This day in football history
On 14 January 2011, the Western New York Flash selected forward Alex Morgan with the first pick in the WPS draft. She went on to become a breakout star for club and country.
Born and raised in California, she played for the University of California, Berkeley from 2007 to 2010, finishing as the team’s top scorer in all four years. In March 2010, she earned her first senior cap for the United States, making a total of eight appearances that year. With her star clearly on the rise, Western New York needed little incentive to make her the draft’s top pick over Virginia’s Sinead Farrelly (chosen second by Philadelphia) and North Carolina’s Meghan Klingenberg (taken third by Washington).
The Flash had gone undefeated in 2010, winning the W-League Championship, but moved to the top-flight WPS for 2011. Playing alongside forwards Marta and Christine Sinclair, Morgan made 13 appearances and scored four times as the Flash won the league in their debut season.
Unfortunately, WPS suspended operations before the 2012 season, but Morgan moved back to the W-League to play for the Seattle Sounders. She continued to shine for the United States, mostly as a substitute in 2011, but becoming a regular starter in 2012. She led the team in goals (28) and assists (21) and helped them claim the Olympic gold medal over Japan, then finished third in voting for the 2012 FIFA Player of the Year Award.
She currently plays for Lyon, on loan from the Orlando Pride.