Alex Morgan, forward for the United States Women’s National Team, is making history as the first woman to star on the North American cover of FIFA 16 following her impressive performance against Japan in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final. No stranger to the soccer world, Morgan was named the US Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2012, and in 2013 she was CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Player of the Year. Alongside her will be Argentina’s Lionel Messi, deemed by many to be the best soccer player in the world.
Not only will Morgan be the first woman on the cover, FIFA 16 will be the first game in franchise history with female soccer players and women's national teams. Morgan is not the only female with a historic cover; Australian defender Stephanie Catley will be alongside Messi for FIFA 16 sold in her home country.
With the “Like a Girl” campaign and the feminist movement at an all-time high, Morgan’s cover is a huge step not only for women in sports, but girls everywhere. The USWNT World Cup win in Canada in July was the team’s third World Cup win following wins in 1991 and 1999. The USMNT has won no World Cups, so having a third World Cup under the women’s team’s belt is a step forward in the fight against gender inequality. American women setting records and making history in sports is showing young girls everywhere that with hard work, they too can go far not only in athletics, but in life.
The entire nation, myself included, took to social media to sing the praises of the team, talking about how these girls proved that anything a man can do a woman can do too, if not better. The whole country was full of pride for a group of women, which usually is not the case in sports. In a world of slut shaming and endless competition among women, it was a big step to see women coming together to support one another instead of putting each other down. Seeing so much support for a group of women made me feel as though people were overcoming their gender prejudices. Sports are no longer a man’s world and soccer is no longer a man’s game.Hopefully, young girls gained role models as a nation watched a group of strong, beautiful and hardworking women come together in attempts to do something bigger than themselves. Hopefully, young girls will see Alex Morgan’s cover and realize that life is more than getting the most likes on a picture or the latest clothes. Hopefully, all women can realize that it is not a crime to be beautiful, like Morgan, and still be strong and powerful. I know I did.