Alex manifested her dream to be a professional soccer player at a young age. It all started when her sister wrote a letter to their mother about wanting to be a model. The act inspired Alex to write a similar note.
She said she neither knew about a professional league nor watched a women’s soccer match on TV before. Alex only knew she loved playing soccer. So, she grabbed a pad and scribbled a note to her mom that read, “I am going to be a professional athlete for soccer! Love always, Ali Cat.”
Growing Up in Los Angeles
Alex Morgan grew up in LA's Diamond Bar suburb with her parents, Pamela and Michael, and two older sisters, Jeri and Jeni. She possessed a natural athletic talent from a young age. Alex played numerous sports growing up, but she discovered a love for soccer when she reached her teens.
Her father, Michael, encouraged her to take up the sport and became one of her first coaches. Michael bought her a practice goal when she turned ten. He played different positions to help Alex prepare for every eventuality on the field, even though he had little to no experience coaching soccer.
She Begins Playing Youth Soccer
Alex’s earliest experience playing soccer was with the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). At 14, she began playing club soccer with Cypress Elite, where the young athlete showed tremendous promise.
During this period, her club won the Coast Soccer League (CSL) under-16 championship and placed third at the under-19 level. Alex was integral to these wins, her knack for the sport was undeniable.
A Force on the Field
While attending high school, Alex also played for regional and state teams of the Olympic Development Program (ODP), where her insane sprinting abilities and speed were legendary. The ODP would become a crucial training ground for her career in international soccer.
Alex credits the ODP for helping her learn from the best coaches and players. The program was pivotal to her development, especially since she joined club soccer relatively late at age 14.
She Joins the National Team
At 17, Alex achieved a tremendous milestone when she joined the United States under-20 Women's National Soccer team. However, she sustained a severe ACL injury while playing against the men's junior national team, putting her out of action for a considerable period.
She joined the team again only in April 2008 but remained in touch with the sport regardless. The budding soccer star attended UC Berkeley, where she played for the California Gold Bears from 2007 to 2010. She led them to a thrilling win during her first season.