When Alex Morgan made her SI Swimsuit debut in 2012, she posed for photographer Kayt Jones and worked with makeup artist Joanne Gair for an incredible bodypaint feature in a New York studio. The professional soccer player returned to the fold two years later and traveled to Guana Island, British Virgin Islands, for her sophomore feature.
When the 34-year-old San Diego Wave FC striker appeared in the publication for the third time, she had no idea she’d be landing the cover after her trip to St. Lucia with photographer Ben Watts. In fact, the SI Swimsuit team surprised the Olympic gold medalist with the news by first showing her the would-be cover image to get her reaction.
“This was the first like shot of the day, and so I was still getting the nerves out of me …,” Morgan explained. “This picture just shows me how strong I am and how hard I’ve worked—not necessarily to show off my body in any way, but I work every single day to compete on the highest stage in my sport, and this [photo] just shows all the training and discipline and commitment and sacrifice.”
Editor in chief MJ Day then burst into the room to give the USWNT star the surprise of a lifetime: she had landed the cover of the 2019 SI Swimsuit issue.
Whether she’s competing for the World Cup or raising her 3-year-old daughter Charlie with her husband, fellow pro soccer player Servando Carrasco, Morgan does it all with passion and heart. Below are a few of our favorite bikini looks from her SI Swimsuit cover photoshoot.