Breakaway: Beyond the Goal

Breakaway: Beyond the Goal

by Alex Morgan


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Get inspired to be your best—in sports and in life—with this uplifting memoir from star soccer player and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan that includes eight pages of full-color photos as well as book jacket that doubles as a poster!

As a talented and successful female athlete, Alex Morgan is a role model to thousands of girls who want to be their best, not just in soccer, but in other sports and in life. The story of her path to success, from playing in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, to winning gold in the 2012 London Olympics, to ranking as one of the National Team’s top scorers, will inspire everyone who reads it.

From her beginnings with the American Youth Soccer Organization to her key role in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Alex shares the details that made her who she is today: a fantastic role model and athlete who proudly rocks a pink headband.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481451079
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 06/02/2015
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 202,393
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Alex Morgan became the youngest member of the US women’s national soccer team in 2009 and competed in the 2011 FIFA World Cup. She was the first overall pick in the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer draft and landed a spot on the US Olympic women’s soccer team in 2012. At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, held in London, Morgan won her first Olympic medal, a gold, with the American team. The team beat Japan, 2–1, in a match watched by nearly 80,300 fans—the largest soccer crowd in Olympics history. She now plays for the Portland Thorns FC in Oregon.

Read an Excerpt



    I was doing things my own way even before I was born. After having two girls, my parents wanted a boy. Not that having a third girl is a bad thing; they just wanted something different. But I had my own set of plans, and when I was born on July 2, 1989, there I was: a little baby girl.

    With each child my parents had had an agreement. If they had a boy, my dad would choose the name, and if they had a girl, my mom would have the honor. My mom settled on the name Alexandra for me. I can only guess that’s because my dad had chosen the “boy name” Alexander, and my mom decided to allow him just the smallest bit of influence.

    What’s so funny is that even though my dad doted on his girls, he had a real vision of how he would have raised his son, if he’d had one. He once said that since I was the third girl, “he was going to make a boy out of me somehow.” He was joking, of course—he loves having three girls and wouldn’t trade us for anything—but I think he had certain hopes as a father. My dad grew up playing baseball, and he dreamed of a son playing it, living out what he’d loved most as a little boy.

    I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Way before my dad helped introduce me to athletics, I was just a little kid growing up in Diamond Bar, California, about twenty-five miles east of Los Angeles. Diamond Bar is a nice suburban community—quiet, sunny, and generally happy. I liked it there. Mostly everyone knew one another, and I was able to walk to elementary and middle school.

    But there wasn’t very much going on in Diamond Bar. It was a huge deal when we got a Target, and we didn’t even have a chain restaurant until I was fifteen or so. It’s the kind of place that you’re happy to grow up in but also happy to get out of once you come of age. I think so much of my youth revolved around sports precisely because not much else happened around me.

    My parents basically grew up together. My dad was best friends with my mom’s older brother, and he’s as close with my mom’s siblings as she is. In fact, he probably sees them even more than she does! My parents starting dating on and off when my mom was eighteen or so, and they got married and had my eldest sister when she was twenty-three and he was thirty-four.

    My dad owned and ran a small construction company, and my mom worked with him until she decided to get her master’s degree when I was about six. My two older sisters, Jenny and Jeri, were my best friends. Jenny is six years older than me, and Jeri is four years older. I was very close to Jeri, experiencing intense ups and downs like you do with your friends, and Jenny was a little more of a mother figure to me, especially when my mom went back to school at night. She happily dove into a caretaking role and began cooking for the family and organizing things for us while our mom was at class.

    I was always in their shadow. When you’re the third kid, it’s just like that. You’re considered “the baby.” And my mom always got us confused! When she’d call me for something, she’d say, “Jenny! Jeri! I mean Alex!” She definitely valued us as individuals, but three girls can be a whirlwind!

    My parents were stricter with me than they were with my sisters. Even though I was kind of sweet and shy and not at all a troublemaker, they held me to a higher standard. Maybe they knew my potential, or maybe they wanted to do everything right for their last child.

    I remember we used to play so many games. Family games on Wednesday nights were always a big deal, especially with my dad. We’d play gin rummy or Monopoly or other board games, and they were really competitive. That’s where I got my fighting spirit; competition was a positive thing in our house, not a negative one. There were always winners and losers, though—nobody would be handed a win out of pity. My mom was actually the only one who wouldn’t laugh in your face when she won. If it was just me and her, the outcome of the game really didn’t matter. But not my dad! He would literally do a dance around the house after he won. It was extremely annoying.

    Like I said, competition was all in good fun, but I’m not sure how fun Jeri thought it was when I first beat her in a footrace. I’d always been one step behind her in everything, but when I was nine I realized I was pretty fast and I might have a chance at doing something better than her. I’d stopped thinking my name was “Jeri’s little sister” instead of Alex, and I was going to assert myself!

    “I’m going to beat you! You’ve got no chance. I’m going to win,” Jeri yelled at me as we were about to race against each other at the school across from our house.

    “Just you watch me,” I said as I took off running.

    Jeri couldn’t even keep up—I crossed the finish line way before her. I’m sure she’d deny it to this day, but I remember it clearly. I totally killed her.

    My dad really wanted us to be athletic, and we all played different sports when we were little. I played soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, and even participated in local track meets, which I loved.

    I was probably three when I really learned how to catch a ball, and that was when Dad decided I was destined for softball. My sisters had been playing in a softball league for years, so I’d seen lots of their games. I remember holding on to the fence outside one of their games, poking my nose through as I cheered them on. Dad signed me up for a team as soon as I was old enough, and from then on I played softball more often and more intensely than any other sport. The first team I played on was a T-ball team called the A’s, and it was, of course, coached by my dad.

    Jenny and Jeri were really good at school, but I took to athletics a little more than them, so I think that’s when my dad started pushing me harder than them. It wasn’t in a bad way—he just nudged me to do something I seemed naturally inclined toward and that I liked.

    We would go to Anaheim Angels baseball games all the time. My dad had season tickets for a few years, and every time we went, he made sure that I brought my glove just in case I caught a foul ball. It was always so fun going to games, but now that I’m so into soccer, I look back and think, Wow, baseball is boring. Why did I enjoy it so much? Maybe it was just because I liked making my dad proud.

    One day when I was about nine, though, I decided I’d had enough. I’d been playing soccer since I was five, and I’d realized that it was the sport for me.

    I turned to my dad and said, “You know what? I don’t like softball.”

    “What?” I could see the shocked look on my dad’s face. I was so good! How was it possible that I didn’t like it?

    “I like soccer. I like to run.”

    Dad’s face visibly softened. You see, he just wanted me to be happy and to chase my dreams. His goal—for me to love softball as much as he loved baseball—wasn’t the most important thing. He just wanted me to follow my passion, whatever it was. And it was clear that my passion was soccer.

    Pushing Moves You Forward

    There’s probably someone really important in your life who pushes you toward a goal—it could be your teacher, your mom, your grandfather, or someone else entirely—and you might disagree with them sometimes. I disagreed with my dad all the time! But I think you still need to value their place in your life. If you listen to them and let them in, they will probably nudge you just a little harder to find your passion. I’ll always thank my dad for doing that for me.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Breakaway: Beyond the Goal 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Congrats to the 2015 Womens World Cup winners, USA!!!! This book is a teriffic story about soccer player and role model Alex Morgan!!!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    It was a good book, INSPIRING!
    SCHS_Reader More than 1 year ago
    Summary of the book Breakaway Beyond the goal: The book Breakaway Beyond the goal is about a teenager named Alex Morgan who’s dad is is eager to have her play softball, but she wants to play soccer. Her dad gradually moves into soccer. They practice every night after school in their backyard in till the dark then her dad takes them out for ice cream for a treat for doing such a good job at practice. Alex’s dad even gets her a trainer to help her get better at soccer, but then something bad happens when she’s on the game field. What happens next ? Well you will have to find out when you read it. Recommendation: I would recommend this book to others if you like soccer. This book will make you realize that you should follow your dreams! I would also recommend this book to people who like biographies because it is real people that are giving you advice by telling you their life story. Also, you get excited when you can make a connection with a person in the book because you have something in common.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Loved it
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love how she talks about her life and how soccer affected her life . Also the fact that she talks about her teamates and how they affect her . Therefore that is why you should read this book :) :) #alexmorganrocks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Yeah we won 5-2 revenge against japan go usa!!!!! do you play soccer i do i play at bay oaks bombers 04
    Anonymous 6 months ago
    This is going to be my deepest thoughts on alex morgan... To Alex Morgan, ever since I have played soocer at tge age of 2 its been amazing! But once I was 7 I started watching u play and since that moment on u were my rollmodle and the most inspiring person anyone could ever imagine of and you are very very(100x) very good at soccer u are a person that if I ever met I would cry happy tears and I would never forget you. I love you so much Alex Morgan and you will always be my favorite person to Pluto an back!<3
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Omg the best
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