Alex Morgan left off US Olympic Women's Soccer Team

The 34-year-old striker, arguably the most popular women's soccer player in the world, is not on the Olympic roster for the Paris Games.
South Korea US Soccer
Posted at 12:13 PM, Jun 26, 2024

Alex Morgan, arguably the most famous active women's soccer player in the world, was left off the U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team headed to Paris for this year's Summer Olympics.

She was also not included among the group of four alternates who could be called upon to fill in. Her exclusion comes as a mild surprise as she was on the starting lineup in the National Team's last matchup when it faced South Korea earlier this month.

The 34-year-old striker in her third season with San Diego Wave FC has been part of the last three Olympics. Despite being excluded, she said she will still support the team as it looks to improve from a bronze medal finish at the 2020 Games. The U.S. did not medal in 2016, snapping a streak of three straight golds.

"Today, I’m disappointed about not having the opportunity to represent our country on the Olympic stage," she said. "This will always be a tournament that is close to my heart and I take immense pride any time I put on the crest. In less than a month, I look forward to supporting this team and cheering them on alongside the rest of our country. LFG."

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The decision to leave her off was consequential for manager Emma Hayes, who was brought in late last year to help the U.S. reassert its dominance globally.

Hayes released a statement on the Olympic roster, not directly addressing Morgan's exclusion.

“Making an Olympic roster is a huge privilege and an honor and there is no denying that it was an extremely competitive process among the players and that there were difficult choices, especially considering how hard everyone has worked over the past 10 months,” said Hayes. “Choosing an 18-player roster plus alternates involved many considerations, but I am excited for the group we have selected and I’m looking forward to building on the work from last camp as we head into the send-off matches and then onto France."

The U.S. will send an experienced group of forwards to Paris, led by NJ/NY Gotham FC's Crystal Dunn, who has made 147 appearances for the National Team. Jaedyn Shaw, Morgan's San Diego teammate, will join Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith and Mallory Swanson up front.

Players returning from the 2020 Games include Dunn, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, defenders Tierna Davidson and Emily Sonnett, and midfielders Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle.

Unlike the men's soccer tournament in the Olympics, the women's tournament features the best possible squads national teams can field. It is the second-most important international tournament on the women's soccer calendar behind the quadrennial Women's World Cup.

The U.S. leads all nations with four Olympic golds since women's soccer was added to the Olympics in 1996. The Americans enter the Olympics ranked No. 5 in the world in FIFA's international rankings.