[REAL VERSION] London 2012

REAL VERSION

Full coverage on NBC through August 12

Cal's Alex Morgan, the "X" Factor of Team USA

Cal's Alex Morgan plays part in golden win on soccer field

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: Carli Lloyd #10 of United States celebrates her first half goal with teammates Alex Morgan #13 and Kelley O'Hara #5 against Japan during the Women's Football gold medal match on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Today is a big day for U.C. Berkeley graduate Alex Morgan.

    She played on the world's stage winning an Olympic gold medal in soccer. Of course, she had a team of women around her as Team U.S.A. took on Japan in a highly-anticipated rematch of the World Cup match which Japan won last year.

    Midfielder Carli Lloyd scored both of Team USA's goals to beat Japan 2-1, but her first goal came in the eighth minute, when she headed in a cross by Morgan.

    "I've been hoping for this final from the moment I stepped off the podium in Germany," forward Abby Wambach said prior to the match.

    Wambach is the team captain, but Morgan has become a bit of a team star of the London games. The Huffington Post went as far as declaring her the "America's Darling."

    It was Morgan who scored the game winning goal, a 6-yard header, to beat Canada earlier this week in one of the most thrilling games of the Olympics which ended in an extra time 4-3 win and put the U.S. in the gold medal match.

    "Alex is the X factor," San Jose's Brandi Chastain told the Mercury News. Chastain is doing soccer play-by-play for NBC and was a member of the 1999 World Cup champion team.

    Many are comparing Morgan to the great Mia Hamm.

    Morgan also scored two goals in the first match of the London Games when Team U.S.A. beat France 4-2.  

    The gold medal match was something Morgan said she has been dreaming of since she was a child. "I watched the Olympics when I was a little girl. I remember watching the Beijing finals and it was about 4 or 5 a.m. our time in California, and I was one of the only ones who woke up to watch the match. And at that moment I knew, I'm going to be on this team next Olympics," Morgan told USA Today.

    Thursday's gold medal match was played at Wembley Stadium in front a standing room only crowd of some 83,000 spectators. Those 83,000 people crushed a previous Olympic attendance record from 1996 when 76,000 people watched the soccer final between the U.S. and China in Greece.

    The U.S. team has played in the title match in every Summer Games since women's soccer was introduced in Atlanta in 1996, winning the gold in 1996, 2004 and 2008 and the silver in 2000.