Alex Morgan vs. Christen Press: Who Should Start for United States Women’s National Team? by Knute Rimkus

My niece and I recently attended the double header soccer game of the national women’s teams, Japan vs Brazil then US vs Australia.

It was interesting to watch the game between Avani, my nine-year-old niece who, like many in the stadium, is a big Alex Morgan fan, and a pair of serious women soccer fans, who were more discerning in their support. Alex was lovely, as always, for the 30 minutes she played, but truth be told, she was also pretty ineffectual as a player. She shot into the side netting when one-on-one with the goalie, then flubbed a couple of dangerous balls sent her way in the box. The woman next to me groaned about how “frustrating” Morgan is.

Christen Press

And I tend to lean her way. Let’s face it, Morgan’s beauty wins her a lot of attention, but she’s a bit of a twinkle toes on the pitch, jinking and hinking around with the ball, then getting dispossessed (dare I say “stripped”) before she gets a shot off. The historical defeat to Australia’s feisty Matilidas made me realize that we’re in a little lull for strikers on the U.S. team. With Abby Wambach’s retirement, there’s no marquee forward who can score reliably.

Morgan caught everyone’s notice for being this dark-eyed spark, coming off the bench and sprinting in the open field past tired defenders to score. But I think that’s all she’ll be — a speedster sub who only knows how to score endorsements regularly. I first thought they started Christen Press because they were saving their stars for the finish of the exhibition game, but I think now maybe they’re grooming Press for the starting job for real. Hey, from a chauvinist dufus perspective, she’s pretty nice on the eyes too. Now what do I tell Avani? I’ve never actually pinned her down to ask why she likes Alex Morgan.

Despite the US team’s loss, it was a gorgeous Seattle evening at the Seahawks stadium; the craft beer was expensive but cold and fresh, and my tongue is still numb from the thick layer of garlic on the Ivar’s Garlic Fries. Makes you remember why you live here.

Knute Rimkus

Comments are closed.