I was starting to think that there really wasn’t anything particularly attention-grabbing for today’s DKA. Sure, we have the latest updates in MLS, including the tear Sporting K.C. is on, and the races for the FA Cup and EPL titles, but nothing caught my eye to say “wow, this is headline worthy.”
Then, this morning, as I was drinking coffee and getting ready to watch the Manchester United-Aston Villa match, I came across a link to a letter that U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan wrote to a high-school female soccer player, who tore her ACL in her senior year. Read on for this story on someone who’s not only talented, but whose perspective during times of adversity is incredibly inspirational.
U.S. Women’s National Team
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Alex Morgan. She continues to establish herself among the elite of U.S. women’s soccer, with 22 international goals, scoring at a pace of 1.23 goals per 90 minutes as of the U.S.’s latest match vs Brazil. Her relatively quick rise toward the national spotlight is inspiring to many young women, but it’s her actions off the field which may have even more impact on the next generation of professional female soccer players. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle just published this inspirational letter that Alex wrote to a local high-school player who she didn’t know, but heard was doubting her future after tearing her ACL in her senior year of high school, just as Alex did:
I heard that you have done extremely well for yourself in the past few years, but you just tore your ACL and got surgery less than a week ago. I want to first tell you that tearing your ACL will not be the end of your career.
You decide your destiny. I don’t know if you are religious, but I like to think of it as God testing our strength. You will become a stronger person because of this, and I’m sure you already are. If you know what you want, and if that is playing college soccer or professional soccer one day, do everything in your power to accomplish that.
You need to stay positive, look ahead not back, and use the time you have now in the present to create the future you want.
Make sure to click on the link above to read the full letter.
Abby Wambach is still fully entrenched as the USWNT’s No. 1 forward, but Pia Sundhage is preparing for the future with the addition of another young, dynamic forward to the national team roster. Christen Press, the No. 4 overall 2011 WPS draft pick, and WPS Rookie of the Year has finally been called up, as Pia Sundhage announced the 27-player roster for the Florida training camp, in preparation for their May 27 friendly against China. Press, the 2011 MAC Hermann Trophy winner at Stanford, who previously played with WPS magicJack until the league suspended its 2012 season in January, is currently playing with Sweden’s Göteborg FC.
Major League Soccer
Remember last week when we mentioned that Sporting K.C. set an MLS record for minutes without allowing a shot on goal? Well, that record was unfortunately broken last night, as Real Salt Lake ended the streak at 335 minutes. I’m sure they weren’t fretting too much over it, though. Sporting beat RSL 1-0 to keep a much more important streak alive, starting the season 6-0. They are only the second MLS team to do so, after L.A. Galaxy’s 9-0 start in 1996.
Speaking of the Galaxy, they actually won! David Beckham was back on the field for Saturday’s match against the Portland Timbers, scoring in the 91st minute to ice the 3-1 victory for L.A.
The Red Bulls-Earthquakes match lived up to the hype, with a flurry of goals in the first half, finishing in a 2-2 draw. Unfortunately, it felt more like a loss to the home team, as the Red Bulls led twice early, only to have their defense betray them and forget how dangerous Chris Wondolowski can be. Despite the result, the Red Bulls goals were textbook lessons in brilliance, with the second coming off a beautiful cross from Richards at the end line, flicked back by Cooper and struck by Dax McCarty for his first goal with the Red Bulls. I can’t stop watching that one. Highlights are here.
Read Trista Lutgring’s Saturday MLS Rewind for more scores and details!
English Premier League
After a stunning 1-0 defeat at Wigan midweek, Manchester United could feel City breathing down their necks, only two points behind, after United led by eight just a week ago. Maybe they just needed a little extra pressure to get back to form, as United bludgeoned Aston Villa 4-0 to move back up by five. Kayla Knapp has the full recap.
Everton’s Sylvain Distin is going to be haunted for a while by a horrible back pass that set up an opening for Luis Suarez to knock home the tying goal in the 62nd minute of the FA Cup semifinal. Liverpool capped the win with an Andy Carroll goal off a free kick minutes before the end of the match, sending them to the final.
With the dissolution of the WPS for 2012, many players have moved on to the semi-professional W-League and WPSL for the season, but no team has benefited more than the Seattle Sounders Women, who grabbed up USWNT players Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe. Yep, it’s magicJack all over again, without Abby Wambach and crazy Dan Borislow. Naturally, the Sounders drew more than 4,000 to their first match — of the pre-season. Not too shabby. Even Morgan was impressed with the crowd:
“I’m really impressed with Seattle and the support that we’ve got for the women’s team. It’s been great so far. I was really surprised at how many fans came out to support us. With the WPS we were lucky getting a crowd like this. This was a crowd we would get maybe directly after the World Cup.”
Here are highlights from Friday night’s Sounders 5-0 win against Seattle University, including interview with Leroux, who had a hat trick, and midfielder Keelin Winters.
Keep up with @AerysSoccer on Twitter for our reactions to all the latest news in EPL, MLS, La Liga and U.S. Soccer.