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Alex Morgan eager to reignite club career with Orlando Pride

Alex Morgan bench by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY

ORLANDO, Fla. — If you wondered if Alex Morgan considered a move to the Orlando Pride a dream come true, she might say it was.

Morgan could also add that her move to the Pride was more about finding a place to settle into and call home for the long term after playing several years across the country with various clubs. After all, her husband, Servando Carrasco, plays for MLS outfit Orlando City.

“It’s a relief, this is where my journey is suppose to take me,” Morgan told reporters after being introduced as one of the Pride’s first players. “I feel really happy to call Orlando my home … in season, offseason, it doesn’t matter, I’ll be with this community.

“It’s difficult being also married to a professional athlete. You find yourself having a couple of homes around the country, you find yourself not really knowing where to go home for the holidays. It’s exciting to also have one home with my husband. I’m really excited that the ownership isn’t content in where they’re at.”

Morgan, who was also joined by Kaylyn Kyle, was traded from the Portland Thorns to the Pride in exchange for the rights to a first expansion draft selection, first-round selection (No. 1 overall) in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, and one international roster spot for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Sarah Hagen was also traded to Orlando from FC Kansas City. Orlando will receive the No. 15 pick in the second round of the 2016 NWSL College Draft as part of the Hagen deal.

Morgan, who scored the opening goal in the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 3-1 victory over Brazil on Sunday, has been living in Orlando for the past three months. She has been mostly attending Orlando City home games and visiting the UCF women’s soccer team.

Although she hinted that those activities didn’t play a factor in joining the Pride, she stated that the way the city embraced her played a major role in making her move to Orlando more permanent.

“I have moved around a lot in the last couple of years,” Morgan added. “I’m ready to settle down a little more to plant roots in a city, and I think Orlando is the perfect place. I don’t know if it was me embracing the city as much as the city embracing me. When I needed to come out and train in between national team games, I looked out to UCF and I looked out to Rollins College. I also looked out to Orlando City, and all of them were very responsive, and super welcoming, so that immediately gave me a good feeling about our future here.”

U.S. head coach Jill Ellis vouched for Morgan’s move to Orlando earlier this week after the U.S. defeated Brazil 3-1 at the Citrus Bowl.

“She’s a prolific scorer,” Ellis said of Morgan, who played only four games at club level with Portland in 2015. “It does take time to get back into rhythm. With that continuing, she’s going to score goals, she’s a goal-scorer. This city has embraced soccer and it’s become a soccer city.

“It was a great goal, it was the opening goal. … We’ve talked a lot in the past about the road she’s had to go through in terms with dealing with some adversaries and injuries. I think this game, I’m really pleased she was rewarded with a goal.

“It’s hard for a player to get into rhythm. Wherever Alex plays, she’ll get on the ground and I think she came from a city that has embraced soccer and has a fantastic following. My hope … is that we get people into cities to come out and support our league and the players. It’s really important.”

With the move to the Pride official, Morgan hopes to reignite her club career after saying she hasn’t played to her true potential in the past two years.

“I’m fully committed here,” added Morgan. “Whether I’m here for soccer and here for my husband, I have one place to call home and that’s the most important thing and I’m looking forward to a successful season. I feel like that last two years in club, I haven’t performed to my potential and that’s why I fee like it’s an exciting opportunity and a challenge for myself.”


  1. Baby horse! Don’t efff with her, man. Who cares if it works out that she can play in the same city as her husband? Petty, dudes, seriously.

  2. I don’t get the hate for Alex Morgan. She’s been through multiple surgeries and has clearly lost something but she still has a nose for goal and earned some critical penalties and an important goal in the WC. In fact I don’t think USWNT beats germany without her occupying Kemma all day and diving for the gold at the critical moment. She had a great 2010-2012 but has a had a rough couple of years. She’s still only 26 and if Lloyd can finally reach her potential at age 33 or whatever she was in WC2015 then Morgan has a few more years in her if she can avoid more knee and ankle problems. Even if she were to retire to motherhood,coaching and children’s books tomorrow she would still be a legend in her sport olympic gold medalist, WC champ and have great strike rate for USWNT. Lay off her…

  3. This move is all about her hubby. Its going to be funny if he ends up across the country but I bet there was a deal in place to keep him there so Alex can play house after practice

    • This is a great move for OCSC (even though they payed a kings ransom to get her). US Soccer is paying all of her salary and OC Pride will sell 10k purple Morgan kits to people around the world (to people that either want to be like her or who think she’s hot).

      All it’s going to cost the have her is a MLS roster spot and the minimum MLS contract that Carrasco qualifies for.

      It’ll be interesting is Heath gets sacked and the new manager comes in and complains to the press that there’s a player that he doesn’t want on his squad but is unable to trade or cut. I guess that’s what OCB is there for, if it comes to that.

  4. Morgan certainly brings something to the table, but it’s become clear that both her and Leroux haven’t really added to the one-dimension that made them lethal upon breaking on to the scene.

    There are better all-around forwards in the pool (Press, Horan). Hopefully others keep getting looks moving forward. Would shock me to see either Morgan or Leroux fade from the national picture completely by 2019.

    • Currently I think Morgan and Leroux best serve the USWNT coming off the bench. I think Press and Lloyd are the better all around attackers right now for 90 minutes.

      Morgan’s progress has been hampered by injuries and consequently surgeries. Leroux doesn’t play much defense and is better in a counter attacking system. The US (rightfully so) plays a pressure/possession style. However Leroux’s athleticism has its benefits late in games against tired defenders.

      Right now the USWNT doesn’t seem to be look implementing the younger players at their disposal (Dunn, Horan, etc) into their system. I expect both Morgan and Leroux to be on the squad in ’19, in some capacity.

  5. Moved around a lot in the past couple of years? Um, you were in Portland for 3 seasons straight. And what happens when Carrasco gets traded again? He’s been on 4 teams in 5 years. Is Orlando City just going to sign him to their USL team to keep Morgan happy? That’s gotta be a serious blow to the ego, the only reason you’re employed is to keep your wife happy.

    If it’s not apparent, i’m not a huge fan of Alex Morgan. Hopefully she doesn’t have the commitment issues she had in Portland. It’s pretty clear she cares way more for the USWNT than her NWSL club. Which is understandable, but the degree that which she made it obvious was pretty jarring.

    15 goals in 3 years for the Thorns. Surgeries to both knees before she’s 25. 2012 is further and further in the past.

    • USSF pays Morgan’s wages not NWSL or her club. She basically can’t ever turn down a call up and play for her club team. USSF wants her and other USWNT members to play for a NWSL club in-between NT windows to stay sharp and help promote the game and players here domestically. Therefore she’s not snubbing her club team in any degree.

      I’m sure OCSC made assurances to Morgan that Carrasco is in their plans, at least immediately. Morgan makes more money of the two, and she’s more valuable to that franchise. She’s the reason Orlando jumped into NWSL a year earlier before their stadium was ready. That just goes to show you how much she moves the needle.

      I guess plan B would be for Carrasco to play for OCB. But again, she’s the bread winner in the family so his ego is probably already in check, or he probably wouldn’t of married her.

      • Well you’re mistaken about a thing or two. USSF merely subsidizes Morgan’s wages, they don’t pay them in their entirety. Also, you obviously haven’t watched many of her Thorns games then. The commitment I’m referring to doesn’t mean simply being available for games (hardly anybody dismisses national team call-ups, nice red herring though). I’m referring to the actual effort, or lack thereof, that was readily apparent when she played for the Thorns.

        All i’m saying is I hope Orlando’s fans don’t get their hopes up about the Pride’s ability to win on the field.

      • @steezknockerpdx: Sorry Bub, but the three North American federations subsidizes the entire league’s wages, by paying the salaries of their national team players. The 24 USSF, 16 CSF, and 12 FMF players don’t count towards the team cap, because the respected federations fund those players salaries completely. Look it up.

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