The Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
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A HUGE Name Is Missing From the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team

A very noticeable absence.

The U.S. Women’s National Team has become very popular because of their talent and activism. Their soccer stardom has been a thing to marvel at! But now they are hoping to redeem themselves at this year’s Paris Olympics after a disappointing 2020 result.

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The elite roster is now set but is missing one of the most famous names of the past decade: Alex Morgan. New head coach Emma Hayes finalized the roster this week, and the goal-scoring star did not make one of the final 22 spots. There are 18 official players and four alternates. With only 8 returning players from the Tokyo Olympics just four years ago, the women’s team is changing and passing the torch. This shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise, though Morgan’s absence is still a bit shocking.

The team overall has not done terribly great in recent global events. Their standards are incredibly high, and anything other than first place is usually seen as a failure for the USA women. With this in mind, their 3rd place finish in the last Olympics was a letdown. Furthermore, their 2023 World Cup showing sparked widespread controversy. They were kicked out in an unbelievable “Round of 16” game that ended in their defeat via penalty kicks.

Experts and fans alike had one common observation: the team just seemed off; the skills, the chemistry, everything just did not work. I watched every match personally and could tell from the beginning that they would not even make the title game. I don’t know why they seemingly just didn’t mesh, but I knew that something was going to change a bit for their future as a squad. 

This influx of new players, mixed with some who have prior global experience, will hopefully catapult this Olympic team to the Gold medal. I like new coach Hayes’ take on the sport, saying that there’s no free pass to just win an Olympic gold medal because of a team’s legacy. It takes hard work and tough decisions, and hopefully the changes to the team’s lineup will turn out to have been the right ones.

Morgan has handled the news well. While disappointed, she said that she looks forward to cheering for the team this Summer. Regardless, Morgan has left a tremendous legacy with the American team and will be missed. But I hope the ladies can find a way to take that gold medal back!

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