When word got out that he was opening a soccer store in Solana Beach, Brianna Inge heard from a local soccer fan that she wanted to invest in the business.
Her name? Alex Morgan.
Like Taylor Swift calling a local garage band and asking if they need a singer.
Alex Morgan’s score closely watched Wednesday afternoon spoke to an easy decision for NJ as 25 lottery winning girls from five local soccer clubs lined up outside the Soccer Post store, eager to meet the Wave and U.S. national team star. Instagram account number 10 million followers. A few local TV camera men and newspaper reporters from San Diego and Los Angeles were in tow.
It didn’t hurt the engine that his daughter, Sierra, was a starting midfielder for the Wave, or that Morgan was affiliated with a soccer store chain.
But Morgan has long wanted to empower girls, she said, wanting to build on the opportunities her parents and many others created for her growing up in Diamond Bar, east of Los Angeles.
“I like to see the next generation come here today and feel a little inspired,” said Morgan, whose San Diego Foundation will receive a portion of the store’s proceeds during the upcoming World Cup.
The 33-year-old striker’s grooming skills also extend to the youngster, who are top of the National Women’s Soccer League midway through the season and face rivals Angel City at the Snapdragon Stadium on Saturday. And more than ever, she wants to keep up with her U.S. teammates this summer — before and during the World Cup, which opens July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
If the Americans are going to win a third consecutive World Cup, they may need a lot of first-timers to do well, and that will require learning from Morgan. As you’d expect, the veteran has talked about the young player since July, joining several of them at US exhibitions.
“You look at Sophia Smith, Naomie Grace, Trinity Rodman, Ashley Sanchez — just to name a few,” Morgan said of four NWSL players who are 22 years old, 23, 21 and 24, respectively. “They’ve got these players. They’ve come in and dominated at club and international level. That’s going to be a big part of us performing well at the World Cup and getting a complete picture.”
Explaining as she often does when discussing women’s soccer, Morgan touched on the big facts and trends that shape results on the soccer field.
“We always run as a big team because there are so many opportunities to play soccer in the United States compared to other countries,” she said of the U.S. program. “Other countries have leagues where women can compete over 25, 26, 27. They are making a good living. We have to make sure we are looking at everything we can do to be the best. And these young players will play a big role in that.
And why does she believe her third match at this summer’s Cup will be more difficult than her encounter with the American club, Morgan said about the economic development of the women’s game in other countries. She tapped the forces below. Economics. Opportunities for women and girls.
Morgan praised the growth of leagues in Europe and Mexico, even though Mexico is not one of the 32 countries participating this summer. In March, England’s top women’s league announced it had signed a broadcast rights deal with the BBC and Sky Sports. According to the Guardian newspaper, the annual fee of about $10 million makes it the largest broadcast deal for any women’s soccer league.
“There’s a lot of different things I can point to as to why the World Cup is competitive,” Morgan said. “But the truth is that women footballers are being valued, accepted, accepted in the way that we always fight for. So I think it will be a good show.
Morgan isn’t the only long-distance soccer star in the United States. The 40-store chain sold about 1,000 Lionel Messi jerseys the day the Argentine star signed with Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami, according to The Soccer Post’s Blake Sonek-Schmelz. Price of the jersey: $90.
In San Diego, where soccer is on the rise, Messi could be an opponent in 2025, when the MLS expansion club, the Wave, is set to open its first season at Mission Valley Stadium.