The Orlando Pride striker is determined to help her country win gold at the Tokyo Games, which start later this week
American women’s team star Alex Morgan regularly wants to participate in the Olympics after giving birth to her first child, claiming that she feels ‘stronger and fitter’ than she got before.
Morgan has been included in Vlatko Andonovski’s 18-man roster for the Tokyo Games, which was originally postponed to March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Orlando Pride goal scorer took advantage of the delay when she welcomed her new daughter Charlie into the world a month later, and is now in excellent condition ahead of the reshuffled women’s soccer tournament, which kicks off on July 21.
What was said?
Morgan tells FIFA.com of her excitement as she expressed a desire to help her country repeat their gold medal heroics from the 2012 London Olympics.
“I feel physically stronger and fitter than before when I was pregnant,” she said. “It’s a strange thing and it’s hard to explain because I do not necessarily feel like I did more work out in the gym or in the gym. But I feel a change in my body, and it’s a change for the better.
“I feel really good now. There are little things I want to work on, but there are also things I did well to adjust, even before I got pregnant.
‘I’m in a really good place, personally and with the team, and I’m looking forward to returning to a big tournament after the great success we had in 2019.
“It’s also been nine years since we reached the top of the [Olympic] podium in 2012, so most of this team has not yet experienced success at this tournament. This is an extra motivation. ‘
Who will play the USWNT in the group stage?
The USWNT was drawn in Group G along with Sweden, New Zealand and Australia.
Morgan and Co begin their campaign on Wednesday night with a meeting against Sweden at Tokyo Stadium.
Andonovski’s team will play New Zealand three days later before drawing up their pool schedule against Australia on July 27.
Morgan looks forward to Sweden test
Morgan has not forgotten the sadness of the quarter-final against Sweden in Rio five years ago, and says that the reigning world champions are enjoying the prospect of another clash with Peter Gerhardsson’s team.
“It was devastating, especially knowing it was the worst finish this team has ever had,” she said. “I probably only took it in full weeks later because it was such a shock.
‘That said, it looks like we have played Sweden at almost every tournament I have participated in, and they always play well against us.
“They beat us in the group stage in 2011 and in the quarterfinals in 2016, and I always see them as one of the toughest teams we face on the world stage.
“We are all very much looking forward to playing against them again.”