National Women's Soccer League / US Women's National Team

College Spotlight: Morgan Brian

Morgan Brian has already broken into the senior U.S. women’s national team. Next week, the midfielder will find out which of her national team teammates she’ll be playing alongside at the third NWSL College Draft in Philadelphia.

Brian, a native of St. Simons Island, Ga., began her high school varsity career with the Frederica Academy Knights when she was just in eighth grade. During her first year on the team, she helped her team advance to second place in the Georgia state tournament.

In Brian’s freshman year, she won All-Region and All-State honors for the second consecutive year and was named the team’s most valuable player, while leading her teammates to a state title.

The midfielder’s talent continued to shine throughout the rest of her high school career. During her senior season in 2011, Brian added 71 goals and 30 assists to her name. She finished her high school career with an astounding 186 goals and 95 assists.

These figures helped Brian win many prestigious honors, including the 2011 Gatorade National Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year award and two Gatorade Georgia Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year awards.

At just 15-years-old, Brian became the youngest player named to the American squad in the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.

Throughout the course of the tournament, Brian saw 90 minutes of field time in the United States’ 3-1 group stage victory over Paraguay. The team eventually placed second in the tournament, falling 2-1 to North Korea.

After completing high school, the Georgia native was a top-ranked prospect and opted to play collegiate soccer at the University of Virginia.

Under head coach Steve Swanson, Brian played in 81 matches (earning 78 starts) during her four years with the Cavaliers. The midfielder notched 41 goals and 43 assists for 125 points.

Following her sophomore season, Brian was a member of the United States’ championship-winning 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup team. The team was led to victory by Brian’s head coach at Virginia.

The midfielder earned starts in all six of the team’s matches and scored the game-winning goal in the Americans’ 2-0 semifinal victory over Nigeria.

Upon returning to Virginia for her junior season, Brian saw starts in all 25 games she played. She scored a (college) career-high 16 goals and made 14 assists—a number she matched during her senior season.

After being a Hermann Trophy semifinalist during her freshman year and named to the preseason watch list during her sophomore year, the midfielder won the impressive honor of being named the Hermann Trophy winner in 2013.

Just a month after wrapping up her junior year of college, Brian earned her first cap for the senior U.S. women’s national team at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. on June 15, 2013.

The midfielder was subbed on in the 77th minute, replacing Lauren Holiday, in the team’s 4-1 victory over Korea Republic.

Eighteen caps later, Brian has racked up three goals for the national team, including two goals at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., just two-and-a-half hours away from where she played collegiate soccer.

In fact, many of Brian’s Virginia teammates were present at RFK on Sept 3, 2013 when the midfielder scored just two minutes after being subbed on during a 7-0 rout over Mexico.

Returning for her senior season at Virginia, the midfielder helped the Cavaliers to a first-ever visit to the College Cup final. The Cavaliers ultimately fell to first-time winners, the Florida State Seminoles, in a 1-0 match.

Though she fell short of winning a College Cup, Brian has once again been named as a finalist for the Hermann Trophy and will find out on Friday if she has earned the honor of being a two-time winner when she squares off against UCLA’s Samantha Mewis and Florida State’s Dagny Brynjarsdottir.

Widely expected to be chosen as the first overall draft pick in next week’s 2015 NWSL College Draft, Morgan Brian’s impressive résumé leads many to believe she’ll be nothing short of beneficial no matter where she ends up.


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