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USWNT star Alex Morgan ‘would be OK leaving’ soccer

(Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)

U.S. women’s national team star Alex Morgan is still a while away from leaving the game of soccer. But when she does decide to retire, she’ll do so without regrets, she said on Glennon Doyle’s “We Can Do Hard Things” podcast.

The 33-year-old striker won the NWSL Golden Boot this season with the San Diego Wave, and she sent the expansion club to the semifinals with a game-winning goal in extra time Sunday. And she knows she has more left to accomplish on the pitch.

“But I think a lot of athletes struggle with leaving their sport,” Morgan said. “And I do love soccer, but I would be okay leaving it.”

Morgan spoke in conversation with Doyle and Doyle’s wife Abby Wambach, and Doyle asked Morgan if she loved her sport. While the striker said she does, she also acknowledged that she does not love it every single day.

She noted in particular the “exhausting” nature of the game, mentally and physically, especially for national team players.

“Sometimes I just wake up and I don’t want to play today,” Morgan said. “But it’s never that I don’t want to play for the rest of my career.”

Still, she has put some thought into her career in soccer after she hangs up her cleats. She is adamant that she wants to stay involved in the game, and she said she could see herself becoming an advisor for U.S. Soccer or for FIFA.

While the podcast was recorded before U.S. Soccer released the findings of its investigation into abuse in the NWSL, Morgan’s assessment of what she could bring to those organizations feels accurate and prescient.

“I think they need some more females in those rooms,” she said. “And I think that I could look men straight in the eye and tell them how it is… going into FIFA and looking at these men who don’t give a s— about us women.”

Her former USWNT teammate Heather O’Reilly has talked about becoming a referee after her (recently extended) playing career, and Morgan wants to blaze a trail as well.

“I’ll take one for the team, and I’ll get up there, and I’ll tell them how it really needs to be done,” she said.