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.
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.
The Start of a Successful NWSL Stint
Alex may have joined the national team later than anticipated, but she was in perfect form and raring to go! Her first appearance for the team was during the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship in Mexico. She scored in a match against Cuba which was her first international goal.
Alex was also a part of the national team in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile. She scored four goals in the tournament, one of which received the most votes as the best goal. Alex’s excellent performance earned her the tournament’s prized Bronze Shoe.
She Multi-Tasks Like a Pro
Student life at UC Berkeley was demanding. Alex needed to hit the books hard while fulfilling her U.S. National team commitments. Despite overlapping obligations, she enjoyed a glorious stint with the California Bears. Among her best games was the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship against Stanford. Alex scored a brilliant equalizer with barely two minutes left – resulting in a draw.
Stanford emerged as the better team during penalty kicks that day, but the game was memorable. During her time with the California Bears, Alex helped the team reach the NCAA Tournament four years in a row.