Stanley Chou/Getty Images
Stanley Chou/Getty Images
This champ is literally on the ball!
Soccer MVP Alex Morgan earned an undisputed place among London's Olympic breakout stars—not to mention legions of new fans—after she headed in the game-winning goal in overtime Monday to notch a 4-3 victory over Canada and cinch the U.S. women's soccer team's spot in the final.
Before you can start doing cartwheels—and those soccer gals know a thing or two about tumbling for joy—here's everything you need to know about the sensational 23-year-old striker.
She's a California Girl: The Diamond Bar, Calif., native kicked off her love affair with the sport as a member of UC Berkley's Golden Bears beginning in 2007, and she's played in nail-biting, closely contested matches against teams like Stanford. During her four years with the team, she became the third all-time scorer in Cal history, notching 45 goals.
She Ain't Afraid to Show Off What She's Got: No swimsuit? No problem! Morgan posed for Sports Illustrated's 2012 swimsuit issue in nothing but body paint, flashing her enviably bangin' athletic bod. "I love the way that you can't see anything, but yet you're kind of revealing a little bit," she told the mag. "I was definitely happy and willing to do this." Um, so were a gazillion other fans, we bet.
She's Got Fans, All Right—740,000 of Them: Yep, she's right up there when it comes to Twitter followers. Morgan's got a massive social-media fan base that puts her right behind Olympic bigwigs like Ryan Lochte (865,000) and Venus Williams (856,000). She's also one humble and grateful gal, taking to Twitter to thank all of her fans for their support: "wow thank you everyone for all the support!! So proud of this team it's hard to even put into words... wow i love this team. #Speechless."
She Had an Early Start on the Road to Victory: Morgan became a member of the senior U.S. women's soccer team while she was still a student in college, back in 2010. She immediately proved herself to be a valuable addition to the squad, scoring two goals during the 2011 World Cup—including a big one in the final against Japan. The U.S. lost that game, but they'll have a chance for a rematch, when they go head-to-head with Japan in the Olympics final.
Age Don't Mean a Thing for Her: Morgan was the youngest member of that 2011 World Cup team, and—at 23 years old—is the second-youngest member of the 2012 U.S. women's Olympic soccer team.
She's Knows How to Gallop Onto the Field: According to her Olympics bio page, her teammates gave her the nickname "Baby Horse" because of her young age and her distinct running style.
She's Got a Knack for Racking Up Awesome Stats: For all you numbers-crunchers out there, here's something meaty to chew on: This year alone, Morgan has already scored 20 goals, making her only the sixth American to achieve such a feat in one year. Expect that number to keep climbing if her winning streak continues.
Sorry, Folks—She's Taken: Morgan supposedly received 27 marriage proposals on Facebook at the height of World Cup mania in 2011, but she's off the market: Morgan's boyfriend is fellow soccer player Servando Carrasco, who plays for Seattle Sounders FC. The two athletes were college sweethearts at Berkeley, where they met as freshmen and have been together ever since. They even train close together: Morgan plays for the Sounders' women's club. Talk about game on!