Saturday, October 24, 2020
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Spurs Women sign USA forward Morgan

Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan scored the winner when the United States beat England in last year’s World Cup semi-final

Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of United States forward and women’s football icon Alex Morgan, subject to her obtaining a visa.

The 31-year-old has helped the USA win back-to-back World Cups, scoring six goals in 2019’s tournament in France.

Morgan, who gave birth to her daughter on 7 May, has scored 107 goals in 169 international appearances for the USA.

She becomes the fifth member of the world champions’ squad to sign for a WSL club this summer.

Sam Mewis, Rose Lavelle, Tobin Heath and Christen Press have already sealed moves to England.

Midfielders Mewis and Lavelle have joined Manchester City, while Manchester United have signed forwards Heath and Press.

Morgan has played for Orlando Pride since 2016, and the Florida-based club say that, while she will not be available for the American NWSL’s upcoming Fall Series, they will retain her NWSL rights upon her return.

Spurs say Morgan, who has been given their number 13 shirt, has joined “for the 2020-21” season, after initial reports that she would only arrive on a short-term deal until the end of December.

Another star name in the WSL

Morgan’s arrival comes after a rapid rise in recent years for Spurs, who were playing in the London and South-East Regional Premier Division when co-head coach Karen Hills first took charge in 2007.

They are competing in the WSL for only a second season this term, after finishing seventh in their debut top-tier campaign last time out following promotion in 2019.

In Morgan, they have captured one of the very biggest names in the sport.

On three occasions – in 2016, 2017 and 2019 – she has been named in the FIFPro World XI, and she won Olympic Gold with the USA at London 2012.

Her move comes after a summer of major transfer moves in the women’s game in England, including Chelsea’s addition of Denmark star Pernille Harder for a fee understood to be in excess of £250,000, plus England full-backs Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood’s moves to Manchester City from European champions Lyon.

Analysis – a striker who transcends her sport

By Tom Garry, BBC Sport

Morgan is not just one of the most decorated strikers the women’s game has ever seen – she has a global stature unlike any other player in the WSL.

As a three-time cover star of Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit magazine and a children’s book author, she has transcended her sport and obtained endorsement deals from major brands over the years including Nike, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.

With 9.1m Instagram followers, Morgan has more followers than Spurs’ official account [8.5m], the royal family’s account [8.2m] and former Liverpool men’s captain Steven Gerrard [9m].

Her skill, clinical finishing and world-class experience will provide a major boost for Spurs and wider WSL fans, but the boost she brings commercially could be even greater.

But why Spurs, and why England? Perhaps most importantly, she will want to play as much as possible in the run-up to next summer’s rearranged Olympics in Tokyo, and the coronavirus has altered the calendar of the NWSL season in her home country.

She may need to return to her best and full fitness, having taken a brief spell away from competitive action to give birth in May, but if she plays anywhere close to the level she has shown throughout her career, Spurs fans are in for a treat.

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