With a baby girl on the way, Alex Morgan‘s fight for equal pay has become even more important to the soccer star.
“Having a daughter on the way really validates everything that I’m fighting for,” she told E! News on Tuesday. “It really makes me feel like I really am truly setting up the next generation for even greater success than we’re able to attain.”
In July, as part of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, Morgan, 30, helped lead her teammates (including co-captains Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd) to the United States’ fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup championship.
After the win, Morgan told PEOPLE that she and her teammates “are always trying to encourage and inspire the next generation of girls to play sports. And I think that we are doing our job in that way.”
In addition to their 2019 World Cup win, the U.S. women’s national soccer team made headlines when they filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation because they were not being paid as much as the men’s team.
“We have this platform and we’ve been able to use that and really show the magnitude of the inequalities that we have in the sport,” Morgan said at the time.
“We are so overjoyed to grow our family,” Morgan said at the time, adding of her daughter on the way, “She’s the best World Cup gift I could have asked for.”
Even with her daughter due in April, Morgan doesn’t plan to slow down. The athlete said she fully anticipates competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next summer, just three months after she is expected to give birth.
“I hope to get back on the field as soon as possible,” Morgan told USA Today earlier this week. “After having a healthy baby, I want to get back with the national team and look forward to playing in Tokyo.”
The expectant mom said she has witnessed fellow athletes return to their sport post-pregnancy and raise a family while still competing.
“I plan to follow in those footsteps and be one of those women who have a family, and carry my daughter around as I’m going to the next city to play,” Morgan said. “And I still want to continue to enjoy the sport that I’ve been playing for all my life.”
The World Cup champion married Carrasco on New Year’s Eve in 2014, PEOPLE exclusively revealed at the time. The soccer-star couple rang in the new year in style, exchanging vows in front of nearly 200 guests at Rancho Dos Pueblos in Santa Barbara, California.
“We are both so happy, grateful and excited to start our lives together as Mr. and Mrs. Carrasco,” Morgan previously told PEOPLE. “I truly married my best friend.”