Alex Morgan is seven months pregnant, but that's not stopping her from staying sharp on the field and staying close to her U.S. teammates.
Days after a viral video circulated showing Morgan excelling at shooting drills, she joined the U.S. women's national team in Los Angeles, where it's training for the decisive semifinal match in Concacaf's Olympic qualifying tournament. For the U.S., it's simple: beat Mexico and advance to a seventh straight Olympics, or lose–for the first time in its Olympic qualifying history–and miss out entirely.
Morgan, who is due in April, was shown getting off the U.S. team bus, where she happily displayed her baby bump and headed to the training field in full uniform.
On Monday, video made the rounds of Morgan staying fit on the field, working on her shooting with both feet–and finding the back of the net with a wicked left-footed finish.
It's no surprise to see Morgan keeping up with her skills while she and her husband, longtime MLS midfielder Servando Carrasco, expect their first child. Morgan has been clear that she intends to fight for a place on the 18-player U.S. Olympic team–provided the USA qualifies–despite the tournament taking place some three months after she is due.
U.S. manager Vlatko Andonovski addressed the possibility upon his hiring as Jill Ellis's successor, telling SI.com: "I absolutely think it's possible. I had a great conversation with Alex. She's very driven and she's very excited. The main point of the conversation was that she has to be healthy and have a healthy pregnancy and she needs to deliver a healthy baby, that should be her main focus right now, and that's what we're excited about. We talked about creating different programs to help her expedite the process, so after the delivery when she comes back, she gets back in her form as soon as possible.
"Ultimately, and this is just not for Alex, but for everyone on the team, whoever deserves, whoever performs will be on the Olympic team–that's [presuming] we qualify in February."
The 20 active players on the current roster looking to ensure the U.S. qualifies will be in action Friday night vs. Mexico at Dignity Health Sports Park (10 p.m. ET). Canada and Costa Rica will play for Concacaf's other berth, with the two semifinal winners then playing for regional bragging rights on Sunday.