Soccer star Alex Morgan lends his latest support: launching his own foundation

Alex Morgan has assisted goals in World Cup matches and World Cup qualifiers. She’s had assists in the National Women’s Soccer League playoffs and meaningless friendlies.

But on Tuesday, she began implementing what would become one of the most important contributions of her career, starting her own foundation to support, empower and set an example for young girls and mothers in San Diego’s South Bay.

“Alex is a football phenomenon, known all over the world. But it’s really about giving back to the community, and these girls see her as a role model,” said high school principal Alejandra Inzunza, who brought 17 female students to meet the two-time World Cup winner moments before introducing Alex. Morgan Foundation at an event held at a middle school in National City. “Hopefully, they give back, maintain the community and keep the advocacy in mind as they move forward.

“It completely validates them. And Alex Morgan is the perfect person for that.”

Morgan, 33, said her outlook on many things, including football, changed when she gave birth to her daughter Charlie almost three years ago.

And as a mom, she’s played some of the best soccer of her career, leading the NWSL in goals in 2022, winning the Golden Ball for best player at last summer’s CONCACAF W Championship and scoring a career-high 14 goals for the Americans. For a US women’s soccer mom.

Motherhood also played a role in the decision to launch a foundation, as it did last year from Orlando Pride to the expansion of the San Diego Wave. Morgan went to high school in Diamond Bar, and her husband, former Galaxy midfielder Servando Carrasco, grew up on both sides of the Mexican border, so the trade marked a homecoming for both.

“Honestly, I’ve been looking at starting a foundation for probably the last five years, but it didn’t come together until a couple of months ago,” said Morgan, whose 121 international goals and two world championships add up. one of the most decorated players in football history. “One of the reasons for being now, for me and Servando, is because we realize that this is our home. I never had that feeling in another city.’

The foundation, she said, is built around three “core impacts” — sports equity, empowering girls and helping mothers — familiar to Morgan, who helped lead the USWNT’s successful fight for equal pay. Among the first initiatives of the foundation will be the collection of funds to invest in the field and the expansion of sports.

Morgan presented his foundation in three stops in working-class areas of South San Diego County, starting at an art gallery in San Ysidro, within sight of the Mexican border. He was then taken by golf cart to Casa Familiar, a grassroots development agency that also runs an art gallery. There she met with community leaders, all volunteers and most of them mothers.

“My mom’s support was incredibly important to me,” Morgan said. “Navigating motherhood and the workplace was incredibly difficult, and so many moms do it with so much grace. They do it behind closed doors with all the problems. They don’t share them. So I want to create a community where we can share problems and help moms deal with challenges and to be able to navigate in a much better way.”

Alex Morgan (13) is honored as her daughter, Charlie, makes her 200th appearance for the U.S. women’s national team before a SheBelieves Cup game against Canada on Feb. 16 in Orlando, Fla.

(Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press)

At the meeting with the students at the last stop, Morgan sat next to Inzunza, a bouquet of wildflowers in a vase between them, at the top of a circle with the girls, wearing blue Alex Morgan Foundation T-shirts, in front of them.

Prompted by Inzunza, a couple of shy girls, clearly afraid of Morgan, questioned him in voices above a whisper. Finally, a student asked Morgan who his role model was.

“My mom,” she replied, sharing a story that her mother, Pamela, worked during the day and studied at night, but still found time to take Morgan and her sisters to softball, soccer and basketball practice.

Morgan’s family, many of whom attended Tuesday’s event, had nurtured her dream of becoming a professional soccer player since she was 7 years old, never bothering to tell her there was no women’s pro league.

“They supported my dream,” he said, “even though there was no path.”

Twenty-five years later, she is a marquee player in one of the most successful women’s leagues in the world. The moral of the story was obvious to the girls in the room: with an ambitious dream and enough support, there’s no reason they too can’t pave their own way.

And when that happens, pay Morgan a favor.

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