Servando Carrasco

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USWNT star Morgan pregnant, due 3 months before Olympics

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Add childbirth into USWNT superstar Alex Morgan’s summer plans.

The two-time World Cup winner said the “newest member of the Carrasco family” will be a girl, due April 2020. The Olympics begin three months later.

[ MORE: Pulisic assists Chelsea winner ]

Morgan is married to LA Galaxy striker Servando Carrasco, and the comments on her Instagram post include a who’s who of soccer including Kaka and Canadian WNT star Janine Beckie.

Congratulations are of course in order for Morgan, who understandably did not comment on how the addition to her family affects her late summer plans, but NBC’s Olympic Talk reports that she plans to play:

A source close to Morgan said, after the pregnancy announcement, that her goal is to play at the Olympics. Morgan has not stated her intention publicly either way since the announcement.

Report: Alex Morgan to Orlando in blockbuster trade

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The Orlando Pride have been around, officially, for all of a day and a half, and yet the expansion National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club (owned by the same folks in charge of MLS side Orlando City SC) is set to make the signing of the offseason.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USWNT coverage ]

According to a report from SI’s Grant Wahl, a deal has been agreed between the Pride and the Portland Thorns that will see U.S. women’s national team superstar Alex Morgan head to the Sunshine State, where she’ll be able to live in the same city as her husband, Orlando City midfielder Servando Carrasco, and play for former USWNT head coach Tom Sermanni.

Morgan, who featured heavily during the USWNT’s 2015 Women’s World Cup triumph, played each of the last three seasons (since the NWSL’s inception in 2013) for the Thorns.

From Wahl’s report:

In return for Morgan, Portland is set to receive Orlando’s first pick in the NWSL draft, two international slots, U.S. national team fullback Meghan Klingenberg (who’s expected to not be one of the two protected national team players from Houston) and likely Lindsay Horan as the first new allocation coming in from overseas if Horan decides to join the NWSL from PSG.

Given that the Lions and Pride are operated by the same ownership group, a city like Orlando was always the most likely destination for the USWNT star and her slightly less famous husband (Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo owners also own and operate their own NWSL teams).

The same circumstances surround fellow USWNT superstar Sydney Leroux, who plays for the Western New York Flash and is married to Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer. Rumors of a proposed trade to FC Kansas City have been regularly floated since the two announced their marriage on Valentine’s Day, but FCKC is owned by a group separate from Sporting KC.

In form and rising: Okugo heads to Sporting KC as Orlando picks up Carrasco

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It seemed like a big trade at the time, but Orlando City’s acquisition of Amobi Okugo in December has fizzled in Florida, as the versatile 24-year-old defender/midfielder has been sent to Sporting KC in exchange for Servando Carrasco.

Early in the season Orlando shipped a 2016 second round pick and allocation money to Philadelphia for Okugo, a move that seemed like a lynchpin move for the expansion side. Okugo had played 117 matches over five seasons for the Union, and was talked about as a potential European target.

[ MORE: Trio of women to land FIFA cover slots ]

So when Orlando nabbed him, it seemed like a coup. Okugo started the first nine games of OCSC’s MLS tenure, but has either been a substitute or unused in all MLS matches since.

Sporting KC got considerably stronger on Monday as the race to come out of a deep Western Conference heats up, while Orlando just saved money. Surely Okugo wanted out, as Orlando hasn’t exactly been swimming in healthy and/or available bodies.

For Okugo, it’s a reprieve from a bad situation. For Sporting boss Peter Vermes, it’s yet another solid weapon in his in form arsenal. KC has the best points-per-game return in MLS.

For Orlando, it’s an asset they weren’t maximizing. Could another signing be on the horizon?

GLORY IN PHOTOS: Our favorite shots from the USWNT’s winning evening in Vancouver

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Whether it’s a teary-eyed Alex Morgan draped in the flag, Jill Ellis leaping into the arms of Abby Wambach, or Wambach’s post-game kiss with her wife, plenty of memorable photos are making their way around the Internet today.

[ MORE: With a legend as a super sub, the USWNT wrote a team-first tale ]

But did you know others were taken? Of course you did, with plenty more flag-waving winners, emotional players, and post-World Cup couple smooches leaping off the wire. Shall we look at a few?

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Alex Morgan (Getty Images)
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USA forward Sydney Leroux gets a kiss from husband Dom Dwyer. FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
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VANCOUVER, BC – JULY 05: Julie Johnston. (Photo by Maddie Meyer – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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Ellis and Wambach (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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 (Photo by Mike Hewitt – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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VANCOUVER, BC – JULY 05: Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco (Photo by Matthew Lewis – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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USA midfielder Shannon Box walks on the field with daughter Zoe (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

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(Stuart Franklin – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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Assessing the Adam Moffat, Servando Carrasco trade between Houston and Seattle

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Adam Moffat was a huge piece of Houston’s personnel puzzle over the last two years as Dominic Kinnear’s Dynamo made its way into consecutive MLS Cup finals. Moffat isn’t the best of MLS midfield distributors, but his hard edge and desire was a good fit for Houston’s grinding style, and he sure delivered a few clutch goals courtesy of that well above average long-range shooting.

So something looked askew when Moffat (pictured, along with former Dynamo teammate Ricardo Clark) was traded to Seattle right at last week’s MLS roster deadline for reservist Servando Carrasco and a second-round draft pick. Carrasco is a versatile, third-year midfielder but perhaps not an MLS starter. (Not yet, anyway. Maybe he will be now that he’s not stuck behind the league’s top ball-winning midfielder, Osvaldo Alonso, but we’ll have to see.)

The Dynamo’s midfield was already strong, one of Major League Soccer deepest; it’s the lack of a striker this is currently undermining Houston’s playoff chances. Will Bruin simply is not having a good year, Cam Weaver can’t finish reliably (he missed a couple of absolute golden opportunities last week in Philadelphia, including one with a wide-open goal to shoot at), Omar Cummings’ injury recovery just hasn’t been fruitful to this point and the old Dynamo warrior of a striker Brian Ching is now a limited, role player off the bench.

It would have made more sense if Carrasco was a forward, someone to give Kinnear one more option closer to goal. But Carrasco’s best position is the very same one Moffat played, holding midfielder.

So Seattle got the better part of this trade in the short term. Moffat, a tough Scotsman full of desire, provides a little more cover in the event of injury to Alonso, probably the most indispensable man to the Sounders’ Supporters Shield and MLS Cup chances. He can be what the increasingly immobile Shalrie Joseph just has not been, an experienced, holding midfielder who keeps the dropoff from being egregious if Alonso has to take a seat.

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New Houston Dynamo midfielder Servando Carrasco with his girlfriend, on the right. Maybe you’ve heard of her … U.S. women’s national team star Alex Morgan.

Moffat can also play alongside Alonso if Sounders manager Sigi Schmid wants to reconfigure his midfield according to the situation, something that happens with some regularity around CenturyLink anyway. In that scenario, the versatile Brad Evans would play elsewhere – which, of course, he can.

So why would Houston agree to this? There is about $100,000 of salary cap relief for Houston, as the more experience (and quite popular) Moffat makes about $160,000. And Carrasco is four years older. Otherwise, it must indicate a couple of things.

First, Dynamo coaches have a lot of faith in second year man Warren Creavalle. Versatile enough to play along the back line or as a holding midfielder, he stands to gather up even more minutes now (having already started 11 games this year for Houston.)

Or Houston officials believe Carrasco has more upside; he is already a better passer than Moffat, so there’s that. But will Carrasco get more minutes in Houston? Because while he’s no longer sitting behind Alonso, he’s behind the rangy, effective Ricardo Clark. This also means more of Clark back into his more natural spot, further back in the midfield. That will allow Kinnear to deploy someone more technical, with more attacking craftsmanship into the playmaking areas.

And maybe that’s the point. Guys like Brad Davis, Oscar Boniek Garcia and Andrew Driver give the Dynamo plenty of offensive push along the flanks, but the middle channels don’t always do enough to create. A little better passing, a little more offensive craft from the midfield and maybe one of those strikers will finally find his scoring shoes.