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Alex Morgan Still Ranked Among Top 50 Female Soccer Players in the World

Former Cal star rose two spots since last year's ESPN rankings. She was once among the top 10. Only six Americans are on this year's top-50
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A few days shy of her 33rd birthday, former Cal soccer star Alex Morgan still ranks among the top players in the world. ESPN.com released its annual rankings of the top 50 female players in the world, and Morgan is ranked No. 36.

Here is what ESPN.com said about her:

36. Alex Morgan

Country: United States

Club: San Diego Wave

Age: 32

Position: Forward

2021 Rank: 38

There's always a lot to say about the USWNT co-captain. Morgan returned to the West Coast to join the newest NWSL franchise, the San Diego Wave, and has been killing it ever since. Scoring 15 goals in 16 games suggests that the 32-year-old is feeling at home with her California crew. She also secured a spot in the national team to pursue yet another World Cup and Olympics bid in the CONCACAF W Championship this summer.

Morgan is one of just six Americans on this top-50 list after 11 U.S. players made ESPN.com’s list last year. You will note that Morgan has moved up two spots from last year, when she was ranked 38th, but that was largely because of inactivity due to injury and the birth of her daughter.

Here is what ESPN.com said about Morgan last year:

38. Alex Morgan

Club/country: Orlando Pride/United States

Age: 31

Position: Forward

Given Morgan's exceptional play over the last decade, seeing her at No. 38 is a surprise at first glance. But in 2020, Morgan had to step away from the game for a spell due to pregnancy and then the subsequent birth of her daughter, Charlie, last May. In the interim, the coronavirus pandemic hit, with Morgan contracting COVID-19 late last year. A knee injury also limited her time in 2020, but 11 years after making her U.S. debut, Morgan's speed and scoring rate still put her among the game's greats. Her 108 international goals is good for fifth on the U.S. list and ninth worldwide. Her legend was only more cemented this year as she crossed the globe, baby Charlie in tow, to join Tottenham and build up her game time after giving birth.

It wasn't a straightforward route back to her best for Morgan, but given her history of delivering in crucial moments, be it the 2012 Olympics or in the 2019 World Cup semifinal win over England, Morgan will be given every opportunity to try to win a second gold medal at the Olympics.

Not long ago Morgan was ranked among the top 10 players in the world.

The Guardian ranked her 12th in its list of the top 100 female footballers in 2019, and placed her at No. 7 in 2018.

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Earlier this year, Morgan seemed to be on the decline, but she has had a resurgence this year as a member of the San Diego Wave of the National Women’s Soccer League. She leads the league in goals with 11 in 10 games, and has returned to the roster of the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Morgan made an impact in the second half of Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Colombia, and she presumably will get another chance to show what she can do tonight (Tuesday, June 28) when the United States faces Colombia again in Sandy, Utah.

Then Morgan will be part of the U.S. squad that will travel to Mexico for the CONCACAF competition, which is a World Cup-qualifying event. The Americans are in Group A and will face Haiti in its opening match July 4, before playing Jamaica on July 7 and Mexico on July 11. The top two teams from each group qualify for the 2023 World Cup and advance to the knockout stage of this CONCACAF event. The semifinal matches are scheduled for July 14, and the championship game and the third-place game will both be played July 18.

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Cover photo of Alex Morgan is by Jon Austria, The Coloradoan,  USA TODAY NETWORK

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