Los Angeles Soccer: Sophie Schmidt

Alex Morgan gives U.S. the advantage

November, 20, 2010

The best young women's player in America? Clearly, it's Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan, who came up huge in stoppage Saturday to give the U.S. an advantage in its Women's World Cup qualifying series against Italy.

Morgan (Diamond Bar HS), a 21-year-old senior at the University of California who had come off the bench in the 86th minute, raced into the Italian box in the 94th minute to finish a Carli Lloyd long ball flicked on by Hermosa Beach's Abby Wambach to send the Americans home with a 1-0 lead midway through the home-and-home series.

The second leg is next Saturday in Bridgeview, Ill. The victor joins the 16-nation field in Germany next summer.

The goal was Morgan's fourth in eight international matches. Her college career closed last week with Cal's first-round loss to Duke in the NCAA Division I women's tournament, and she'll be one of three players -- along with Stanford Christen Press (Palos Verdes Estates/Chadwick School) and Portland's Sophie Schmidt -- vying to be the top pick in Women's Professional Soccer's draft.

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