Alex Morgan: What you don't know about her relationship

Alex Morgan and her husband, Servando Carrasco, are the ultimate sports power couple — but their relationship is far from easy. Though Morgan led the U.S. Women's National Team to victory at the 2019 FIFA World Cup, coping with a long-distance marriage might be her biggest challenge yet. 

The superstar couple has a relatively private relationship — one that's been kicking since they met as freshmen at the University of California, Berkeley and played on their university's soccer teams. Throughout the years, they went from kicking a ball around the backyard to the 2012 Olympics, where Morgan scored her team's gold medal-winning goal. As Carrasco maintains his position as a midfielder for the LA Galaxy soccer club, Morgan resides on the opposite coast, splitting her time between the Orlando Pride and the national team. Despite the roadblocks, these two remain absolutely committed to making things work. 

How do they do it? Apparently, all you need to do is take things one kick at a time. Here are some things you might not know about Morgan and Carrasco's unique — but undeniably adorable — long-distance relationship.

Alex Morgan lives more than 2,500 miles from her husband

It's never easy being away from the one you love, but that's the reality Alex Morgan faced after her husband left Major League Soccer's Orlando City and was drafted by the LA Galaxy in 2018. Carrasco was forced to move from their Winter Park, Fla. home to the other side of the country. The pair now makes its marriage work from more than 2,500 miles apart — a 5-hour flight or a two-day drive.

For Morgan, the realization that her husband was moving to the West Coast was disappointing. In an Instagram post, she said contending with the distance would be one of her biggest challenges in 2018. "I think what was the hardest is just us expecting to live together and to kind of share our lives together here in Orlando. Unfortunately, that didn't happen," she told the Orlando Sentinel. "Just moving forward, I feel like as much as we can see each other on off weeks or whatever it is, will definitely help."

Alex and Servando have adapted to their long-distance love

Having a long distance marriage is undoubtedly difficult, but this couple has gotten used to it. Alex Morgan told the Orlando Sentinel that she and Servando Carrasco have "spent a lot of time away from each other, so [they] kind of understand that side of things." According to Pro Soccer USA, Carrasco has played in Seattle, Houston, and Kansas City, while Morgan has worked with club teams in New York, Seattle, and Portland. That's not including her coveted spot on the U.S. Women's National Team, which kept her away for weeks at a time. In 2017, she even spent six months in France.

The reason Morgan's long-distance marriage works is partly because there's a light at the end of the tunnel. The athletic pros don't expect to be playing soccer forever and do hope to lead a more traditional lifestyle once they retire from the sport. "It's far from ideal to be that far from your wife," Carrasco told Pro Soccer USA. "We know that this is temporary. We're only going to be able to play professional soccer for five to six more years. We've got to take advantage of this, and know that when we're done playing we're going to be together."

They make it work by taking things one day at a time

The future can be an absolutely daunting thing, but Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco found a way to manage their long-distance marriage by simply taking things one day at a time. If they're happy in the moment, that's all that matters. "With this sport you never know, you take it day by day," Carrasco told Pro Soccer USA. "Right now, she has a great setup at her current club and I'm doing well out here. We have to think about the right now. If at some point it kind of comes up that there's a team in L.A., then great. As of right now, she's happy there and I'm happy here. We're going to try and keep on doing this for as long as possible."

Morgan and Carrasco's approach makes a lot of sense, considering job security isn't a given for either athlete. The LA Galaxy could opt to not renew Carrasco's contract, or perhaps Morgan could land a spot on a team closer to her husband. Then again, she could also find herself setting up camp in Tokyo's Olympic village in 2020.

Alex Morgan was not a soccer star when they met

Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco have been together since they met at U.C. Berkeley as freshmen. A whole lot has happened since then — a gold medal, two FIFA Women's World Cup wins, a wedding, and a cross-country move. Though Morgan became the youngest member of the U.S. Women's National Team when she joined during her senior year of college, she wasn't a star athlete when she first met the love of her life. 

Her hubby told MLS Soccer that Morgan was "very raw" during her early college career. "Clearly, she had the athletic ability," he said. "She was the fastest player on the team. She had an amazing left foot. She could strike a ball on a rope. And then she started to add things to her game, brick by brick. She got better tactically, she started watching more soccer, her first touch got better. … She's not just a finisher now. She's not just a person that builds her game off of her speed or off of her athleticism. She's always looking for a challenge." 

They tied the knot on New Years Eve

After dating for nearly seven years, Servando Carrasco popped the question to Alex Morgan while they visited Manhattan Beach, Calif. during the off-season. In an interview with The Knot, Morgan revealed that after the proposal, she slipped on the custom-designed ring, and they rode beach cruisers to her dad's house to celebrate with friends and family. The pair reportedly wed on New Year's Eve 2014 in front of about 180 guests in Santa Barbara, Calif. Talk about a great way to kick off 2015! 

According to People, Morgan wore two dresses: a Berta Bridal gown for the ceremony and a shorter custom Amsale dress for the reception. The couple danced to Jack Johnson's "Better Together," and guests enjoyed a family-style Mexican-American meal with a quesadilla bar, churros, and two signature cocktails: a Moscow mule and a Cadillac margarita. At midnight, they held a balloon drop to kick off the new year. All in all, it seemed like such a lovely, normal wedding that you'd never guess Morgan was a gold-medal Olympian with her own an IMDb page. "We are both so happy, grateful and excited to start our lives together as Mr. and Mrs. Carrasco," she told People "I truly married my best friend."

They're not competitive with each other

When two professional footballers tie the knot, you might assume there's a fair amount of competition. They are, after all, spending their lives going for the gold (quite literally in Alex Morgan's case). As it turns out, Morgan and Servando Carrasco don't waste their time and energy competing with each other at home — they save it all for the pitch. 

Though Morgan's credentials are undeniably impressive — World Cup wins, a gold medal, the 2018 film Alex & Me, her New York Times best-selling book, and a slot on TIME magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world — Carrasco doesn't love his wife because she's a soccer superstar. Instead, he loves her just for being her. "I'm not competing with her. I love her for the person she is, and what she accomplishes is almost secondary to that. Of course, I'm proud of her, there's no doubt about it," he told MLS Soccer. "When my nieces talk to her and they look up to her, that's as good as it gets. I mean, the soccer stuff, yeah, for sure, cool. But to see her on the '100 Most Influential in the World' in Time magazine? I'm like, d**n. She's making a difference."

Talking about soccer is off limits

You'd think that a husband and wife who spend their days on separate coasts playing soccer would talk a great deal about the sport, but Carrasco and Morgan try to separate their professional pursuits from their personal relationship — at least, as much as possible. Though Carrasco admitted to Pro Soccer USA that they enjoy watching games together and definitely do talk about the sport, at a certain point, they opted to prioritize their marriage above all. This means chatter about one another's games is strictly off limits.

"Oh, man, that's been quite a journey," Carrasco told MLS Soccer. "At first, we were talking about games and stuff. You know, like, 'Oh, you should probably do this, probably do that.' And now I think the marriage is more important. We kind of keep soccer separate." In the event that one of them does want to discuss their play, Carrasco said he falls into more of a supportive role, though Morgan certainly appreciates his insight. Carrasco admitted to MLS Soccer that the one thing they won't ever do is tell each other when they've played poorly. "That stuff wouldn't be good for our relationship," he said. "She has a lot of people that do that for her, and I have a lot of people who do that for me. Last thing I want is to hear it from the person I love."

They binge-watch TV, just like everyone else

In the rare moments that Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco actually get to spend time with one another, they're not focusing on their soccer careers. Instead, they're trying their best to be a normal couple, which means enjoying the odd TV binge. In an interview with Pro Soccer USA, Carrasco admitted that Morgan, like most millennials, was battling an addiction with This Is US. "She flew through both seasons pretty fast," he said. Carrasco, on the other hand, wasn't really a fan of the series. He felt like the show was a little too emotional, and he "couldn't really handle it." (To be fair, not everyone wants to spend their Hulu nights bawling into a bowl of popcorn.)

Aside from binge-watching TV, this husband and wife prioritize family time when they finally get to be in the same city together. "It's also nice just to be normal, spend time with our family, nieces, spend time with our parents," Carrasco told Pro Soccer USA. "Whenever [Morgan] comes back to California we spend a lot of time with them. We go to the beach, we're both normal people. We just try and be as normal as possible."

Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco bond over crossword puzzles

There aren't a whole lot of activities spouses can do together when they live more than 2,500 miles away from each other. Sure, they can watch the same series and duke it out on Words With Friends, but options are kind of limited. During their time apart, Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco play USA Today crossword puzzles together, though Morgan told the Orlando Sentinel that she's "pretty bad at them." Fortunately, these two don't duke it out over the alphabet. "We have not made that a competition," she said. "A lot of things are competition in our daily lives, so I think we'll leave that to more of a collaborative thing instead of a competitive one."

This may sound kind of snooze-worthy on the surface, but let's not forget this couple spends most of its time traveling the world to play soccer in front of millions of soccer fans. After that, a crossword puzzle seems like a quiet reprieve.

Alex Morgan leans on her teammates when she's missing her hubby

Alex Morgan might be without the most important person in her life, but she's far from alone. She's got a whole team full of friends to lean on for emotional support while Servando Carrasco is playing soccer in California. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Morgan said spending more quality time with her teammates could help her cope with her long-distance marriage. "I don't live super close to a lot of my teammates, other than [goalkeeper] Ashlyn Harris and [defender] Ali Krieger, so I think I just need to get outside my comfort zone more and kind of go hang out with them a little more often."

Morgan also admitted that she doesn't like to cook for one (who does?), so she planned a hangout with Orlando Pride teammate Toni Pressley, who has an apparent knack for preparing vegan meals. Honestly, who needs a husband when you've got the whole U.S. Women's National Team and the Orlando Pride on your side?