On Oct. 26, 2015, the Orlando Pride announced its first player acquisitions ahead of their opening season: the trio of Sarah Hagen from FC Kansas City, Kaylyn Kyle from the Portland Thorns and her teammate Alex Morgan. In successive years Orlando managed to draw not only one the biggest names in men's soccer with Orlando City's captain Kaká, but also brought in Morgan who is one of the biggest names in women's soccer. Her stature among players even has her featured on the U.S. cover of FIFA 16 alongside Lionel Messi.
The only problem is that prior to her arrival, Morgan had spent the majority of the 2015 Women's World Cup recovering from a knee injury. Morgan started the first two games on the bench coming on as a late sub in the USWNT's 1-0 win over Australia and their nil-nil draw against Sweden, but found her way into the starting XI against Nigeria before subbing off for Sydney Leroux in the 66th minute. She would stay in Jill Ellis' starting rotation for the rest of the tournament, but would notch her only goal against Colombia, although she would draw a penalty during this match and another against Germany. It would be a less-than-memorable summer for Morgs.
The fall would be much kinder, and the pagan god of soccer Futeba'al would find favor with Morgan as she scored goals against Costa Rica and Haiti. Then in what couldn't be better timing, Oct. 25 rolls around and Baby Horse would score against Brazil here in Orlando. Futeba'al is a crazy deity who, thanks to personal experience, I'm never going to question. Morgan would continue to find her form and would score in another friendly against Trinidad and Tobago, wrapping up her 2015 scoring eight goals in 25 matches that she appeared in. Morgan would waste little time opening her book in 2016 scoring in a January friendly against Ireland and picking up an assist in the USWNT's 5-0 win.
During CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying, Morgan would net a brace against Costa Rica with assists from Carli Lloyd and pick up a hat trick against Trinidad and Tobago. Her hot start to 2016 would continue in the SheBelieves Cup scoring against France, and who can forget her golazo against Germany?
The USWNT has qualified for the Olympics, and the NWSL won't be in play during the games in Brazil. The league is also taking breaks during FIFA dates. The league will be taking a break from Aug. 1-25 even though the tournament only runs from the 3rd-19th, giving players a few days to train and get acclimated to Brazil.
While it's undeniable that the Orlando Pride is loaded with international talent, whether it be the pair of Matildas in Steph Catley and Laura Alleway, Canadians Josée Bélanger and Kaylyn Kyle, Brazilian defender Monica, or veteran forward Lianne Sanderson: Morgan figures to be the face of the franchise and with the star power she commands, it's not hard to see why.