Alex Morgan Exclusive: US Star Talks About Her Injury, NWSL and 2015 World Cup | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

    U.S. women’s national team star Alex Morgan was in Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon when I spoke with her. She talked about her ankle injury, the upcoming nwsl season and the 2015 women’s world cup.

    bleach report: hi alex, how are you?

    alex morgan: I’m fine.

    Reading: Alex morgan playing soccer 2015 world cup

    b/r: you’re in los angeles right now promoting copa coca-cola. what can you tell us about the tournament?

    am: today i partnered with coca-cola to help spread the word about copa coca-cola. is a national youth tournament played in 10 major cities with the final being played in Los Angeles. It is for teens ages 13 to 15, both girls and boys, and they can register for free on the Copa Coca-Cola website. It’s a 5v5 tournament. Both the winning men’s and women’s teams will be entered into a draw for a chance to go to Brazil during the World Cup.

    b/r: us. uu. The women’s national team opens camp tomorrow and you’re not going to be there. What can you tell us about your injury?

    am: I had a sprained ankle quite some time ago (suffered it in october camp before a friendly against new zealand) that I tried to come back from because the doctors and coaches said it was a sprained ankle typical ankle, but unfortunately it wasn’t just a normal ankle sprain. I had a bruise on the bone and since we didn’t take care of it properly, it was again a stress reaction. now i need to go off it, completely weight-free for a couple of weeks. I hope to have just one more week on crutches.

    b/r: what exactly is a “stress reaction”?

    am: a stress reaction is not as bad as a stress fracture, there is not a clear crack in the bone, but you can see it in the bone [on a scan]. the way it was described to me was that it’s worse than a bone bruise and to keep it from becoming a stress fracture, I need to be non-weight bearing.

    b/r: is there any chance you will come back for uswnt match on 31st january against canada or russia on 8th february?

    See also: Schedule, teams, name: 10 questions about the Billie Jean King Cup

    I am: I will have my ankle re-scanned next week and will have more information after that. but, if it all heals up in the next week, I’m going to start getting in shape and training on my own and maybe I’ll be at the end of camp with the national team. it depends on where my ankle is after we get the scan.

    b/r: in 2014, with world cup qualification on the horizon, there are many players who were abroad such as christen press, whitney engen, yael averbuch, amber brooks and meghan klingenberg now coming back to the nwsl. what kind of impact do you think that will have on the league?

    am: A lot of these players will be back for the second half of the league, so initially I don’t see a big difference. From the moment it was decided that we were going to have an inaugural season [nwsl], I knew it was going to start from the bottom up. the first year there were going to be some players who were going to be abroad just because there was no league in the us. uu. (at that time). With that said, I know the quality will continue to rise within the nwsl. these players will definitely help, but it will take a couple of years to get to where wps (women’s professional soccer) was in its third year.

    b/r: You recently got engaged. Congratulations. Your fiancé plays for the Houston Dynamo. Is there any chance we’ll see you with the houston dash this season, or are you going to stick with the portland thorns?

    I am: I am very happy with the portland thorns and they are a great organization, the best organization you could ever play for. they are very professional and i am very happy with the trainer they brought in, paul riley. As of now, I’m happy with portland spines and I think the organization is happy with me, so I don’t see any changes in the near future.

    b/r: return to the us. uu. team, the team seems to have an overabundance of talent up front with you, abby wambach, sydney leroux, christen press and now amy rodriguez is back. how do you see things moving upstairs?

    am: I don’t really envy the position of our coach, tom sermanni. he has to make tough decisions and has given a lot of players the opportunity to showcase his talent with these camps. It will definitely be interesting to see when he has to narrow down the roster in the coming months leading up to world cup qualifiers. I don’t envy his work at all.

    b/r: Sermanni brought 44 players to different camps in his first year as an American. coach and everyone knows that there are only 23 places on the roster for the world cup. how has that affected team chemistry in camp?

    am: There have definitely been camps with different players, different faces coming in and a lot of the European players haven’t been there as much as we’re used to seeing them. megan rapinoe and tobin heath, we’re used to seeing at every camp. It’s been a bit different, but I think before world cup qualifiers we’ll see the same faces again in terms of having a more fixed roster, rather than bringing up to 30 players to camp.

    See also: What channel is the fa cup final on

    b/r: Coach sermanni has a reputation for attracting young players and in recent months we have seen crystal dunn, morgan brian and julie johnston called up several times. what is your impression of young players?

    I am: honestly, I am very happy that you are bringing in young players. they have great talent. crystal dunn, i’m really looking forward to seeing what you’re going to do in the nwsl. She’s one of the fastest players I’ve ever seen, but she also has great technical ability. morgan brian, she will do very well on this team in the future. she has been busy with virginia (university of virginia 2013 varsity cup finalist) and school and is still in college for another year. Morgan [Brian] has something special and I think she will go far with this team.

    b/r: Just a couple of years ago you were a newbie to uswnt. Is there anything special you are doing with these young players to help them acclimate to the national team?

    I am: It always helps to see a friendly face and be open to these players, to let them know that we are not here to put them down in any way, but to help them feel like they are part of the team. I think crystal has definitely felt that way. we were rehabbing our ankles together last camp. it’s nice to be able to hang out with the younger players and see how they’re doing. when I first came to the team I was definitely a bit nervous, my confidence was going up and down. helping them feel like they belong is what they need right now.

    b/r: the 2011 world cup final had to be devastating, losing to japan on penalties. Is that loss something that you and the other u.s. what women are thinking with the 2015 women’s world cup just a year and a half away?

    I am: of course. we haven’t won the world cup since 1999. we are well aware of that. we are ready to do everything we can to prepare for that moment in 2015 in canada. I don’t want to speak for Abby [Wambach], but it says a lot that she kept playing. she is very serious about going to the world cup in top form. she is setting a good example for the rest of us.

    b/r: how do you think the team will do in the world cup?

    I am: If we all bring our best game, individually and collectively as a team, I don’t think there is any team better than us.

    Follow me on twitter @johndhalloran.

    See also: ATP Cup Live Streaming – Ultimate Guide How to Watch the ATP Cup Live

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