Two-time World Cup champion Alex Morgan knew there was something special about the 2019 U.S. women’s national soccer team – its voice.
The 2019 roster, which was without Abby Wambach and Hope Solo but gained names like Rose Lavelle and Crystal Dunn, quickly delivered record TV ratings. Their comments and actions off the field, however, were what sent them to an unprecedented level of fame.
The players of the USWNT this year were targets of criticism from fans and analysts for running up scores and celebrating goals. United States President Donald Trump even weighed in, sparking a feud with Morgan’s co-captain, Megan Rapinoe, mid-tournament over her comments regarding the traditional White House championship visit and her protests during the national anthem.
That deluge of backlash would be difficult for anyone to weather, but Morgan believes that growth between the 2015 World Cup and this year’s iteration helped to prepare the 2019 team.
“In 2015, we realized that we had the microphone but we were still new at learning how to use it,” she told AOL.com on behalf of DICK’S Sporting Goods. “I think we grew into that in the last four years.”