Alex Morgan is one of the greatest soccer players of all time, and she’s going to be playing in America’s Finest City in the 2022 NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League).
The league is expanding from 10 teams to 12 for the 2022 campaign, and the newly formed San Diego Wave traded for Morgan, as well as signing fellow US international Abby Dahlkemper.
Jill Ellis, who coached the national team at their triumphant 2015 and 2019 World Cups, is the president of the club. Morgan will be reunited with multiple people she’s worked with in the past. Morgan, who is from San Dimas in California, said that the ability to be closer to family played a major role in her decision to join the Wave.
Morgan, who plays as a striker, scored 59 goals in her 137 appearances for club teams, while she’s also added 120 goals in 200 appearances between the United States National Team and its under 20-year-old squad.
Morgan spent most of the last five years playing for the Orlando Pride, scoring 23 goals in 66 appearances, but she did have brief stints in France for Lyon and in England for Tottenham Hotspur. The Pride hadn’t made the playoffs since 2017, and after another disappointing season in 2021, Morgan felt it was time to leave Orlando.
Between Morgan giving birth to her first daughter in May 2020, as well as her obligations to the USA National Team, Morgan’s club career hasn’t always been her focus, but she clearly cares about the Wave. Morgan told the Associated Press that, “I think something I’m really excited about is that I’ve made a long-term commitment to this club. I see myself being in San Diego through my playing career. I see my family settling down in San Diego.” That’ll be good news for the Wave supporters, as USA players Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe have both played into their late 30s, while Morgan is just 32.
The Wave will be joined in the NWSL by Angel City FC from Los Angeles.
Each team will have their expansion draft, and the trade window will open on Friday, at which point Morgan will make the move. The return for Orlando hasn’t been confirmed yet, and while the trade isn’t officially announced, both the Pride and the Wave have released statements on the matter.
Morgan will do a major chunk of the attacking work for San Diego, though she won’t be expected to play every match. It’ll be interesting to see if the Wave picks up another top striker in the expansion draft, as well as the collegiate draft. The Wave will play the 2022 season at Torero Stadium, and they’ll take part in 24 matches, 12 of which will be at home.