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Alex Morgan insists she’ll be ready for USWNT’s World Cup opener

Alex Morgan USWNT 19

photo by Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

NEW YORK — Alex Morgan is still battling a knee injury, but the star U.S. Women’s National Team forward insists she will be ready for the start of the World Cup.

Morgan has been recovering from a bone bruise in her left knee in recent weeks, and missed both of the U.S.’s wins against the Republic of Ireland and Mexico earlier this month because of the injury. Her status for Saturday’s send-off series finale vs. Korea Republic is unclear, but Morgan believes she will be fully healthy and ready to go when the Americans open up their World Cup campaign against Australia in about a week-and-a-half.

“I’ve been doing a lot better and I’m still day-to-day,” said Morgan. “Once June 8 comes, there’s no question in my mind that my knee will not be bothering me. I’m going to be 100 percent and I’m looking forward to the World Cup and knowing that won’t set me back at all.”

Morgan, 25, is expected to play a big role for the U.S. in the tournament in Canada. She impressed at her first World Cup four years ago, and earned a regular starting spot not long after. Morgan has 51 goals in 84 appearances at the international level, but has been dealing with niggling injuries for much of the past two years.

If Morgan is not ready in time for the Americans’ World Cup opener, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis does have the luxury of picking from several other talented strikers. Abby Wambach, Sydney Leroux, Amy Rodriguez and Christen Press have all enjoyed success up top for the U.S., and all provide their own unique qualities to the forward position.

“The depth of the forward line is a very scary thing,” said Leroux. “A lot of people say that it’s a very hard coaching position for Jill to be in because you have four to five – depending on whether or not Press is playing forward or Press is playing center mid – players that would start anywhere else in the world as a forward. You have them all here, so it’s all going to depend on what the game calls for.

Added Press: “Each one of them still has a different element that they bring, and I think it’s really dangerous to have those combinations.”

As big of a boost as it would be to have Morgan at 100 percent for the start of the World Cup, the U.S. knows that it cannot rely on just one player to carry the team in Canada. The Americans will need a complete team effort if they are to lift their first World Cup trophy in 16 years, one that sees both starters and reserves contribute to the cause.

“It’s important that everyone’s healthy,” said Leroux. “We need 23 players. One person is not going to win this World Cup. It doesn’t matter who’s coming in off the bench. We need 23 players, and it’s going to take 23 players to win this World Cup.”

Comments

  1. Well hope she’s right. Maybe she can start off the bench and play herself into form. She is devastating when fit and we will need her.

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  2. she wont be ready… she’s so competitive its almost her fault… needs to learn how to take care of herself the year prior to the WC.

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  3. And Jozy Altidore will play vs. Belgium.

    The hope is that she’ll be able to play and play well. The reality is, even if she plays, she hasn’t been in form for well over a year. The frontline fortunes for the USWNT in Canada rest on Press, Leroux, and of course, Wambach.

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  4. i can’t imagine this lady never being ready. several things about her are devastating- her scoring, her technical ability, ok…and her looks

    Reply
    • Her looks got me to click on the article, but all in all, I don’t really have much interest in Team Nike. And if the men start wearing green socks, that will apply to them, too.

      Reply

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