By Shannon Hovan
1. ALEX MORGAN
Who said Alex Morgan wasn’t a 90-minute player? Head Coach Pia Sundhage did, as recently as the friendly against Sweden back in November.
During the post-game press conference, Sundhage said the reason why Morgan was so good was because she came off of the bench. She continued by saying, “she has a small role and she plays it well. She understands it and respects it.” This quote of course accounts not just for the game against Sweden, where Morgan came in late in the second half and whose laser of a shot deflected, setting up teammate Tobin Heath with an opportunity to tap in the game-tying goal in the 81st minute. Sundhage is also referring to the number of game-changing performances Alex Morgan has had off of the bench from late 2010 through 2011, most notably the two goals and one assist she posted in five appearances at this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Germany, and the game-winning goal that qualified the US for a spot in the World Cup initially back in the Fall of 2010. Her ability to perform and perform well against the world’s best and in the most high-pressure situations is not debatable.