Alex Morgan of the United States Women's National Team was chosen to be the female cover athlete alongside international soccer sensation Lionel Messi for EA Sports' FIFA 16 video game.
Alex Morgan is the female cover athlete of EA Sports' FIFA !6.
Morgan, a member of the United States Women's National Team which won the gold medal at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup on July 5 against Japan, is on the cover of the video game alongside international soccer sensation Lionel Messi, per a July 20 press release on EA Sports' official website.
Morgan, Canada's Christine Sinclair and Australia's Stephanie Catley all made history by being the first women to appear on the cover of a FIFA-titled video game, per EASports.com. Sinclair and Catley appear with Messi on separate covers of FIFA 16.
In an EA Sports press release (via espnW's Adena Andrews), Morgan said being FIFA 16's cover athlete "is an incredible honor":
"It's an incredible honor to be one of the first women featured on on the cover of EA Sports' FIFA. I know people all over the world pay this game and I'm really excited that 'FIFA 16' is putting such an important spotlight on women's soccer.
"And now to share the cover with today's greatest player is surreal."
For his part, Messi returned the compliment, per EA Sports (via espnW):
"Having women's national teams in 'FIFA 16' will be great. Alex and her team have accomplished something amazing for their country and the sport in the USA, and to share the cover with her is an honor."
EA Sports Manager of North America Marketing David Pekush, Sr. told EASports.com that Morgan, Sinclair and Catley are the "perfect cover athletes" for FIFA 16:
"As soon as we knew Women's National Teams were joining FIFA 16, we immediately recognized that Christine and Alex would be the perfect cover athletes based on their accomplishments and what they represent for their respective countries and the sport of women's soccer.
"They are exhilarating players and exude heart and courage on the pitch, and we are extremely proud to be working with them this year."
FIFA 16 will feature women's soccer teams -- a first for EA Sports. More precisely, 12 teams will be included: the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain and Sweden, per espnW's Doug McIntyre.
McIntyre stresses EA Sports called for the innovation because 48 percent of the video-gaming public in the United States is comprised of women. Including women's teams in FIFA 16 is a reflection of that fact.
Morgan and her USWNT teammates Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe visited EA Sports in Vancouver in April to help FIFA 16's developers make the game as realistic as possible, per espnW.
"Women's soccer isn't on TV as much as men's soccer, so this is going to give female players more exposure," Morgan told McIntyre on May 28.
EA Sports features a variety of global cover stars -- all of them appearing with Messi -- for the latest installment of its FIFA series.
Liverpool FC midfielder Jordan Henderson is the EA Sports FIFA 16's cover athlete for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. On the other hand, C.D. Guadalajara midfielder Marco Fabian appears on the game's cover for his home country of Mexico.
Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann is on the cover of the game's French edition while Chelsea FC winger Juan Cuadrado of Colombia is on the cover of the Latin American version, per EASports.com.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa is featured on the Japanese edition. Messi appears by himself in FIFA 16's global cover, per EA Sports' official website.
The 26-year-old Morgan has been with USWNT since 2010. Since then, she has scored 52 goals in 91 games. She was also a gold medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, 2012 US Soccer Athlete of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year finalist.
Andrews reveals FIFA 16 is slated for a Sept. 22 release in North America.
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