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Alex Morgan to join Lionel Messi on cover of FIFA 16 video game

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Alex Morgan will be the first woman on the cover of a FIFA video game series in the United States when she joins Lionel Messi on the cover of FIFA 16. EA Sports announced Morgan as the cover athlete for this year's game in the U.S., a game that will feature women's teams for the first time ever.

EA Sports said in the spring that 12 women's teams would be included in FIFA 16, fueling speculation that a woman might also be on the cover of the game. Messi had already been announced as the global cover athlete, meaning that he would be on every cover in the world, but EA also has regional cover athletes, specific to where the game is released, who join Messi on the cover. With the excitement surrounding this summer's Women's World Cup, this seemed like an opportune time to choose a woman.

According to several reports, EA chose Morgan before the World Cup. So while Carli Lloyd scored a World Cup final hat trick and became the unquestioned star of the tournament, the decision was already made to go with the Americans' starting striker. But that raises another question about the choice of Morgan because she spent parts of the two years before the World Cup dealing with injuries so while she was the most visible U.S. player, she certainly wasn't the best player leading up to the decision.

In addition to Morgan gracing the American cover, Christine Sinclair will be on the cover of the game in Canada and Stephanie Catley is Australia's cover athlete. The trio will be the first women to be on the cover of a FIFA video game anywhere in the world.