Former Flash stars Sinclair, Morgan surge at the Olympics
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • August 07, 2012 @ 9:20am
In an Olympic quarterfinal for the ages, the U.S. women’s Olympic soccer team nudged past Canada 4-3 at Old Trafford in Manchester. It was the exploits of two former Western New York Flash stars—Canada’s Christine Sinclair and the U.S.‘s Alex Morgan—that provided many of the match’s highlights.
The hero for the U.S. was the starlet Morgan, who’s been seen on billboards all over the country and left the jaws of many soccer-loving males pinned to the floor after posting a photo of her in a Manchester United jersey. Her looping header in the 123rd minute—the third minute of stoppage time before penalty kicks—doomed Canada and marked the third time the Americans rebounded from a one-goal deficit in the second half.
Morgan was the first overall pick in the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer draft, and she spent most of last year as a super-sub for the Flash’s Aaran Lines, contributing four goals and three assists in 13 matches. When the WPS folded, Morgan relocated to Seattle to play for the W-League’s Seattle Sounders and to be closer to her boyfriend Servando Carrasco.
Sinclair scored all three of Canada’s goals, smashing home a right-footed strike in the box and nodding home two other pinpoint headers. Seething after the match, Sinclair proceeded to blame the official for deciding the game’s result before it began.
As a member of the Flash in Women’s Professional Soccer, Sinclair tied Brazilian teammate Marta for the league lead in goals with 10 and paced the WPS in assists with eight. She was vocal in her support of saving the WPS, but when the league crumbled, she opted to train without club affiliation in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics.
If anything, yesterday’s Olympic masterpiece was another reason to relish the year that Western New York housed the world’s best players, allowing Sinclair a platform to shine while continuing Morgan’s rapid development.
(Header photo is a screenshot from U.S. Soccer’s 2012 WNT player profile video on YouTube.)