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Alex Morgan won’t comment on her USWNT future: ‘Feels like a bad dream’

(Alex Pantling/FIFA via Getty Images)

Alex Morgan would not comment on her future with the U.S. women’s national team in the aftermath of Sunday’s loss to Sweden, which marked the USWNT’s earliest World Cup exit ever.

Morgan and the USWNT had not lost even a single match at a World Cup in more than a decade, since the 22-year-old “Baby Horse” played in her first major tournament with the team. The 2011 World Cup ended with a USWNT loss to Japan in the championship match.

In contrast, the USWNT’s 2023 run ended in the Round of 16, with Sweden advancing 5-4 on penalties after the teams played to a scoreless draw through regulation and extra time. Morgan and the USWNT finished with a 58% possession advantage and a 22-9 shots advantage but failed to convert their chances.

When asked about her future with the national team on the Fox broadcast after the match, Morgan did not have an answer.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I was so focused on the World Cup that, I don’t know. I just need to get back to San Diego, get back to work, go from there.”

The 34-year-old San Diego Wave striker had three shots in the match, all of them on target, but Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic stopped every one. Morgan’s best chance came off a cross from Lynn Williams. Morgan tracked down the ball coming into the box from the right side and sent a header toward the goal, but Musovic managed one of several stellar saves to keep the USWNT off the scoreboard.

Nine minutes into extra time, USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonoski sent Megan Rapinoe to replace Morgan. So the veteran striker did not get a chance in the shootout to redeem her missed penalty kick against Vietnam.

“Just devastated,” she said of her emotions after the match. “Feels like a bad dream. And, I don’t know, the team put everything out there tonight. I feel like we dominated. But it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, we’re going home. It’s the highs and lows of the sport of soccer. It just doesn’t feel great.”

After the final round of the penalty shootout, which ended with Sweden scoring by millimeters, the USWNT huddled together for one final time at the 2023 World Cup.

“To be honest, it was really loud. I couldn’t hear anything but my own thoughts,” Morgan said. “I think that everyone just wanted to lean in on each other in the moment. It’s a really tough moment. This team was a really special team. I just feel like everyone got along really well. So it’s a tough one to swallow.”