U.S. forward Alex Morgan controls the ball during the London 2012 Olympic… (Andrew Yates / AFP / Getty…)
A year ago Alex Morgan was preparing to fly to Zurich, Switzerland, where she was to be feted at a star-studded gala and recognized by FIFA as one of the three best women’s soccer players in the world.
This coming weekend Morgan will be driving to Veterans Park in Pomona, where she’ll be playing host to a couple of hundred grade-school players at her first youth soccer camp on Saturday and Sunday. And the U.S. national team star couldn’t be happier with the change.
“I love the fact that I’m able to share my love for soccer with all these young [players],” said Morgan, who after scoring 44 goals in 70 matches with the national team was this month named to U.S. Soccer’s all-time all-star team.
The weekend camp, open to boys and girls in first through eighth grades, consists of four separate three-hour sessions, running from 8-11 a.m. and from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to Morgan, campers will also work with national team players Kelley O’Hara and Meghan Klingenberg; Allie Long and Meleana Shim, Morgan’s teammates with the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League; and Major League Soccer players including Servando Carrasco of the Houston Dynamo, who also happens to be Morgan’s fiancé.
“I just wanted a chance to be able to give back to my community, to be able to meet some of the younger girls that are going to grow up and take my place one day on the national team,” said Morgan, 24, whose childhood home is just up the street from Veterans Park in Diamond Bar. “With that in mind I talked to my dad about it. I talked to some of my teammates about it. And we thought it was the right time to start something like this.
“And what better place than right next to my hometown.”
Morgan, who while growing up played basketball, softball and volleyball in addition to soccer, said she never had time to go to a soccer camp. And that’s left her playing catch-up with some of her U.S. teammates.
“I’m definitely not the most technical person on the national team,” she said. “I’ve really focused hard on that the last couple of years: getting my first touch down, working on my technique, getting that repetition that I didn’t get when I was younger.
“You pick up so much more when you’re younger. If they can learn good technique when they’re younger, they can be even better than the player that I have become.”
For information and prices for the Alex Morgan Soccer Camp, go to AlexMorganSoccer.com.
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