Photo credit: Stanley Chou/Getty Images
Somehow the US Women's national team always find a way to make things dramatic, amazing and magical. If last year's last gasp Abby Wambach goal versus Brazil was breathtaking, today's overtime game-clincher by Alex Morgan was pure fantasy.
The high-scoring Olympic semifinal versus Canada was a far cry from the match we saw in Portland last year. Canada took the initiative and Christine Sinclair scored a hat trick to bring her team within reach of the Gold Medal final. But Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan answered back every time Canada went ahead on the scoreboard and sealed it with the fourth goal in the 123rd minute.
If Megan Rapinoe is the new engine in the midfield for the Women's team, then Alex Morgan is its new weapon. Her savvy treatment of the ball, scavenging positioning and uncanny nose for goal settles her as a perfect number 9 player and a great complement to Wambach. Let's face it, this will soon be Morgan's team as Wambach, 32, eases her foot from the soccer pedal.
Alex Morgan's clinching goal is a testament to a different kind of player: less power than Wambach or Mia Hamm but a lot more finesse. Her header cradled the ball and gave it enough speed and traveling arc to ease over the Canadian goalkeeper. She put it exactly in the one place it needed to be. That is how you win tournaments.