The Sports Report: Alex Morgan has moved from soccer star to sports icon

Alex Morgan signs autographs before a friendly against Wales this month.
Alex Morgan signs autographs before a friendly against Wales this month.
(Doug Zimmerman / USSF)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Kevin Baxter: It’s a scene repeated wherever Alex Morgan goes: tiny girls decked out, like her, in ponytails and a No. 13 national team jersey, and gathered in shrieking crowds in hopes of getting close to their favorite player. It’s difficult to say who gets more from the encounters — the player or her fans.

It happened Sunday after the U.S. women’s soccer team closed preparation for this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with a 2-0 win over Wales. Morgan once again was among the last to leave the field, waiting until nearly every autograph had been signed and nearly every selfie had been snapped.

Morgan has long been more the leader of a rock band than a soccer team. Think Taylor Swift (her favorite artist) meets Christian Pulisic. But if she had a somewhat motherly vibe during the scene Sunday, that’s understandable. This World Cup, which kicks off for the Americans on July 22 against Vietnam, will be the fourth and likely last of Morgan’s career. If it ends with the team winning an unprecedented third consecutive title, she will join the debate over who is the most iconic and influential woman in U.S. Soccer history.


Last week she was named co-captain of the U.S. team for a second consecutive World Cup, a nod to her leadership and maturity and the journey that has taken her from precocious AYSO player — whose first coach was her father — to two-time World Cup champion and one of the most recognized athletes in the world.

She was outspoken in the team’s campaigns for gender equality, suing FIFA over its use of artificial turf fields in the 2015 World Cup and serving as the lead plaintiff in the team’s lawsuit against its federation, one that led to a historic agreement between U.S. Soccer and the men’s and women’s teams to pay players equally.

Continue reading here

Build your own dream USWNT team ahead of World Cup

Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times

Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.


From Jack Harris: Acquiring another right-handed bat will likely be a need for the Dodgers before next month’s trade deadline.


On Thursday, however, they took a chance on a veteran free agent to fill the hole first.

The team agreed to a major league deal with outfielder Jake Marisnick, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation unauthorized to speak publicly.

It’s not a big-name signing, adding a 32-year-old journeyman with a career .228 batting average, and below-league-average .672 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 42 games this season.

Continue reading here

How did Rangers’ sudden rise begin? It starts with Corey Seager


Dodgers, 51-38
Arizona, 52-39
San Francisco, 49-41, 2.5 GB
San Diego, 43-47, 8.5 GB
Colorado, 34-57, 18 GB

top three teams qualify

Miami, 53-39
Arizona, 52-39
San Francisco, 49-41
Philadelphia, 48-41, 0.5 GB
Milwaukee, 49-42, 0.5 GB
San Diego, 43-47, 6 GB
Chicago, 42-47, 6.5 GB
New York, 42-48, 7 GB
Pittsburgh, 41-49, 8 GB


From Sarah Valenzuela: There wasn’t anything particularly new the Angels could say about being down on their luck after their last series before the All-Star break.


Two more players exited the last two games with injuries on a team already missing several starters including superstar Mike Trout. They got swept by the Dodgers, again. They went into the break with a losing record for the first time since April.

The Angels seemed to be in decent shape last month after rookie shortstop Zach Neto suffered an oblique strain and third baseman Gio Urshela was lost for the season with a pelvis fracture because they traded for veteran infielders Eduardo Escobar and Mike Moustakas to provide reinforcements. They remained in the thick of the playoff hunt in part because of Shohei Ohtani’s historically hot June.

Continue reading here


Texas, 52-39
Houston, 50-41, 2 GB
Seattle, 45-44, 6 GB
Angels, 45-46, 7 GB
Oakland, 25-67, 27.5 GB

top three teams qualify

Baltimore, 54-35
Toronto, 50-41
Houston, 50-41
New York, 49-42, 1 GB
Boston, 48-43, 2 GB
Seattle, 45-44, 4 GB
Angels, 45-46, 5 GB
Minnesota, 45-46, 5 GB


Gabby Douglas, the first Black woman to win the Olympic all-around gymnastics title, is taking aim at the 2024 Games in Paris.

Douglas announced on her Instagram page Thursday that she is making a comeback attempt, a dozen years after her triumph in London in 2012 and eight years after her last competition, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


“I wanted to find the joy again for the sport that I absolutely love doing,” Douglas posted. “I know I have a huge task ahead of me and I am beyond grateful and excited to get back out on the floor.”


Local teams on TV today:
All times Pacific

Clippers vs. Philadelphia (Summer League), 1:30 p.m., NBATV

Dodgers at Mets, 4 p.m., Apple TV+

Houston at Angels, 6:30 p.m., Bally Sports West

Memphis at Lakers (Summer League), 7:30 p.m., NBATV

The rest of today’s sports on TV listings can be found here.


1912 — Kenneth McArthur runs Olympic record marathon (2:36:54.8).

1951 — Citation is the first horse to win $1 million in a career by taking the Hollywood Gold Cup by four lengths at Hollywood Park. Citation retires after the race with total earnings of $1,085,760. In 45 starts, Citation ran out of the money only once.

1964 — Jacques Anquetil wins his fifth Tour de France. It’s his fourth straight title of the cycling event.

1967 — Eddie Mathews of the Astros hits his 500th home run off San Francisco’s Juan Marichal at Candlestick Park. Houston beats the Giants 8-6.


1968 — Hank Aaron hits his 500th home run off Mike McCormick as the Atlanta Braves beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2.

1973 — Tom Weiskopf wins the British Open by three strokes over Johnny Miller and Neil Coles. Weiskopf goes wire-to-wire and his total of 12-under-par 276 matches the Open Championship record set by Arnold Palmer on the same Troon Golf Club course in 1962.

1985 — Kathy Baker beats Judy Clark by three strokes to win the U.S. Women’s Open golf title.

1986 — Jane Geddes beats Sally Little in an 18-hole playoff to take the U.S. Women’s Open championship.

1991 — Meg Mallon shoots a 4-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over Pat Bradley in the 46th U.S. Women’s Open. Mallon finishes with a 1-under 283.

1995 — Ramon Martinez throws a no-hitter, giving the Dodgers a 7-0 victory over the Florida Marlins.


2005 — In Oklahoma City, the United States is beaten in an international softball game for the first time since 2002, losing 2-1 to Canada in the inaugural World Cup of Softball.

2009 — The American League continues its dominance over the National League with a 4-3 win in the All-Star game. The AL is 12-0-1 since its 1996 defeat at Philadelphia — the longest unbeaten streak in All-Star history.

2011 — Amateur Tom Lewis shoots a record 5-under 65 in the opening round of the British Open. The 20-year-old Lewis posts the lowest round ever by an amateur in golf’s oldest major to pull even with Thomas Bjorn at Royal St. George’s.

2013 — Jordan Spieth becomes the youngest winner on the PGA Tour in 82 years. The 19-year-old outlasts David Hearn and Zach Johnson on the fifth hole of a playoff to win the John Deere Classic. He’s the first teenager to win since Ralph Guldahl took the Santa Monica Open in 1931.

2015 — Mike Trout becomes the first player in 38 years to lead off the All-Star Game with a home run, and the American League beats the National League 6-3 to secure home-field advantage in the World Series for the third straight time and 10th in 13 years. Trout also becomes the first player to be selected the game’s MVP two years in row.

2018 — Angelique Kerber claims her first Wimbledon title with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over seven-time champion Serena Williams.


2019 — Novak Dokovic wins the longest ever Wimbledon title over Roger Federer 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12 in 4 hours 57 minutes.

—Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally...

Ramon Martinez pitches a no-hitter for the Dodgers against the Marlins. Watch and listen here. Hank Aaron hits his 500th home run. Watch and listen here. Eddie Mathews hits his 500th home run. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.