Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach talk about Kristine Lilly

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The U.S. Women’s National Team was in East Hartford Tuesday night, playing Germany to a 2-2 tie at Rentschler Field in a “friendly” to promote its post-Olympic Gold medal “Fan Tribute Tour.”
I got a chance to speak with forward Alex Morgan, who scored the winning goal against Canada in injury time/extra time – the 123rd minute – in a 4-3 win that put the United States into the London Olympic gold medal match against Japan, the same team that defeated the U.S. in the 2011 World Cup final in Germany.
Morgan assisted on the winning goal in Team USA’s 2-1 gold medal victory over Japan.
I asked her about wearing No. 13, Kristine Lilly’s old number.
“Growing up, watching her play, all those games on TV, she was such a big impact for the team,” said Morgan. “She did so well. She was a huge reason I choose 13 was because of Kristine Lilly.”
Even better, Morgan got to play with Lilly for a time in 2010 as the National Team prepared for the World Cup.
“I did get a chance to play with her (Lilly),” Morgan said. “I got to play with her for about six months during the World cup qualifiers and then after that, she retired.
“She did everything. She was super fit, always running up and down the sidelines. She was quiet but stepped up when she needed to. She was always in it for the team she always put the team first and that was great to see and to be able to play with her for a couple of months.”
I asked Abby Wambach if there were any similarities between Lilly and Morgan.
“I think that, physically … Lil, back in her heyday, was pretty quick, but Alex is just a big, strong, fast, goal scorer,” Wambach said. “I think that Lil possessed a knowledge of the game that Alex will grow into and I think that Kristine Lilly is a legend and a legend in my book and I think that’s something that Alex will grow into.
“They’re very different players. I’d liken Alex to be more like a Mia (Hamm), fast, tricky, great with the ball at her feet and the good news about Alex is that Alex is making her own name for herself. She doesn’t need to be compared to anyone else.
Does she have flashbacks of Lilly when she sees Morgan flying around the field?
“I don’t necessarily see flashbacks to Lil, I think the effect that she has on being able to change a game, absolutely are similar to Kristine Lilly. The thing about it was, Lil, was a quiet assassin. She didn’t talk much, wasn’t loud, she just worked hard. That was her MO. That was how she lived, breathed and played her whole career. Alex is very much the same. She’s very diligent about her training. Wants to get better, so yeah, there are some similarities but like I said, Alex is making a name for herself.”

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