6 Questions With Women’s Soccer Star Alex Morgan
Soccer forward Alex Morgan is many things: United States Women’s National Team star, Olympic gold medalist and children’s novelist, just to name a few.
But as of Tuesday, she can be something else, too: your soccer trainer.
Morgan and Wayne Rooney are the centerpieces of the just-launched Fivestar Soccer Training Program app for iPhone. The app includes a host of workouts, drills and tips aimed at young players, but are useful for anyone trying to improve their soccer skills. Its highlights include allowing users to record themselves performing drills, then compare that to video of Morgan and Rooney doing the same moves.
Just before the app’s launch, Morgan spoke with Mashable to discuss the app, her social-media diet and her legions of swooning male fans. Read on for a lightly edited transcript of our conversation with the international superstar.
Q&A With Alex Morgan
Mashable: What’s the goal of the Fivestar app, and why was it something you wanted to get involved in?
Morgan: When they approached me about it, I was really excited because it’s a good way to help pro soccer players relay information and drills that can help young players improve their skills. I definitely could have used it when I was younger. It was a collaborative effort, and I was really happy to see it come together. It includes a lot of the ball drills and other training drills I use to get myself ready for the national team.
In addition to you, Wayne Rooney’s in it, as well. That’s some star power between the two of you.
I think it’s great to have both a male and female player in it. Obviously, we do similar drills, but there’s always so much stuff out there for young male athletes to look to. I think it’s great to have young female athletes be able to see these drills and techniques I use, so they can relate themselves to the work they need to put in to be in my position. Sometimes there’s not always a female player to look up to so directly.
When you put it that way, the app actually sounds kind of similar to your books, which center around a group of middle-school girlfriends. Was that something that crossed your mind when you were considering the project?
I definitely had similar thought processes in both the books and the app. They’re aimed at that age range of 7 or 8 years old to 13 or 14 years old. That’s an age where girls can easily get discouraged, or their confidence or belief in themselves can be shaken. The app can hold them accountable, and the books can show them I was in their shoes at one point.
You’re really popular online in general, too, especially Twitter and Instagram. What’s your social-media diet like? What are some of the plusses and minuses to how prevalent social media is now for athletes?
I feel like I was more open on Twitter before I had so many followers. I feel like I get so much criticism now even if it’s a generic tweet. I really started to enjoy Instagram more recently because it’s something that shows people what I’m doing and what I’m going through, but it’s so simple. I don’t have to come up with something witty; it’s just a funny photo, and you can be as artistic or as plain Jane as you want. But being criticized comes with the territory of having so many fans. Everyone has an opinion, and on the computer, everyone’s more than willing to share.
Who’s another athlete you love to follow and why?
On Twitter, I love following my national team teammates to see what they’re up to when we’re not together. Sydney Leroux is hilarious to follow. She’s just really funny with the way she words things. She’s so comfortable with who she is that it’s fine putting out a hilarious picture of herself doing something ridiculous, or making herself look ridiculous by getting into trouble or doing whatever she does. She posts her life on Twitter and Instagram, and it’s just hilarious keeping up with someone who’s so out there.
You and Sydney’s vacation photos recently got some attention online, and it’s no secret to soccer fans that you have lots of male admirers. Are they just always asking you out via Twitter, and do any of them actually have a chance?
(Laughs.) There’s some guys that will ask me to prom or homecoming, which is hilarious. Then you have some guys that ask you to the Marine Corps ball or things like that. I have some friends who have served, so in that way I feel honored. But I have a boyfriend of six years. I’d never be able to go to a ball with another guy. It’s funny and cute when they ask me out usually, so I’ll just softly decline — ‘Thank you so much, but I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend.’
Image: Leon Halip/Getty Images