Soccer star Alex Morgan, part of the U.S. Women's National Team, who is set to begin training next month for the Orlando Pride, is the fastest in U.S. soccer history. It's not her soccer skills that made news most recently, however.
Alex Morgan is on fire to start 2016. She opened up on a lot of topics with me here https://t.co/pxD66oQIol
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) February 20, 2016
She is channeling some of her power as a soccer player into inspiring young girls.
Even though soccer is among the most popular youth sports in the U.S., Alex Morgan noticed there weren't any women--aside from the Women's National team--for young girls to look up to. When she was contacted by an author to create her own book series, she signed on.
Called The Kicks, the six-book series created by Alex Morgan is about the fictional 12-year-old Devin Burke. When Devin moved across country with her family, she learned the soccer team at her new school was far from being up to par. The books center on themes including leadership, friendship and perseverance.
Alex Morgan: Shaken Up (The Kicks): From soccer star, Olympic gold medalist, and bestselling author Alex Morgan comes http://t.co/eXC5hmrEm2
— Info Us (@Info__Us) July 22, 2015
Amazon.com has picked up The Kicks as one of their original video series. The show has already begun shooting.
"That was huge for us," Alex Morgan says, noting there's not yet a debut date.
— ESPN (@espn) February 20, 2016
Something that's also huge--but not popular--is the pay gap between women and men soccer players in the U.S.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the U.S. men's team, which finished 11th in the World Cup, won $9 million. But the U.S. women's team, which took the title last year, won just $2 million.
Alex Morgan says a "cultural shift" is desperately needed in her sport.
Alex Morgan becomes just the 9th American to reach 60 international goals after hat trick vs Trinidad and Tobago. pic.twitter.com/HIazbEZBiP
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 20, 2016
Perhaps she is taking the first step at seeing such a shift take place. By encouraging young girls not only to play soccer, but to become independent leaders and upstanding human beings, she may very well be setting the best examples to the future of women's soccer.
"I think in the last couple of years it's been so great to have this community of female athletes and successful women in positions of power who have worked hard to get there," she told me. "It should be recognized and appreciated and we need more women to step up and be in those positions all around the world."
It sounds like Alex Morgan could be the catalyst that institutes many of these changes.