'Four more years': Morgan in for '23 World Cup
PASADENA, Calif. -- Alex Morgan won't be on the field when the United States women's national team plays Ireland on Saturday in its first game since winning the World Cup. But the American co-captain plans to be there in 2023, chasing an unprecedented third title.
"For me, I want another World Cup," Morgan said when asked about options beyond the field. "[Life after soccer is] not super soon. Four more years!"
Morgan talked about her future in the fourth and final episode of her ESPN+ series Alex Morgan: The Equalizer, which is currently streaming exclusively on ESPN.com and the ESPN App.
No women's player has won three World Cups, although Morgan will likely have some company among U.S. holdovers from the 2015 and 2019 teams in 2023.
The Silver Boot winner in the most recent World Cup, Morgan matched teammate Megan Rapinoe for the tournament lead with six goals (ceding the Golden Boot to Rapinoe on a tiebreaker). But the last of those goals came in a semifinal win against England on Morgan's 30th birthday. That left at least some degree of ambiguity about the future for a player who has already played in three World Cups and absorbed a significant amount of physical punishment from opposing defenses intent on slowing down the U.S. by slowing down its center forward.
Morgan will turn 34 in 2023. That is the same birthday Rapinoe celebrated during this year's tournament, en route to winning the Golden Ball as the most outstanding player. And it's roughly one year older than Carli Lloyd and Japan's Homare Sawa were when they won the same award in the 2015 and 2011 World Cups, respectively.
Earlier this year, Morgan became the seventh American woman to score 100 career international goals and the third youngest, after Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach. She is tied with Michelle Akers for fifth in U.S. history with 107 goals. Scoring 78 more goals to pass Wambach as the leading American goal scorer will be a challenge -- with Canada's Christine Sinclair likely to soon pass Wambach and put the overall record out of reach -- but Morgan is 52 goals from passing Hamm for sole possession of second, an attainable total for a four-year stretch.
Morgan won't play Saturday because of what U.S. coach Jill Ellis said was discretion with a minor, undisclosed injury from the World Cup, but the forward looked close to game form as she ran on the Rose Bowl field during practice. She will soon return for the NWSL's Orlando Pride. And it sounds like she will be around the U.S. lineup for quite some time.
"I just look at continuing to play on top of my game [and] bring home more medals," Morgan said. "There's really no end point in sight. I feel like I'm still pretty young and have a lot more to offer."