Photo courtesy Matt May / Tampa Bay Rowdies
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Returning to Florida, not far from the city he grew up in, Alex Morrell took a little time to find his feet in his first professional season with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
After earning his second USL Team of the Week selection on Tuesday, though, it appears the Lakeland, Fla. native is finding his groove. The Rowdies recently profiled the 23-year-old midfielder, who has provided energy and plenty of chances for the side since a breakout performance against FC Cincinnati on July 6.
“That was big for me, honestly,” Morrell said of the 2-0 win against FCC. “I’ve been trying to think what was it I was doing that day that made me had that breakout game, and honestly I was just being myself. I felt really good out there on the field.”
Morrell was selected in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire, but made only four appearances in MLS as a substitute before moving on this offseason. Now back home, there’s plenty of support in the stands at Al Lang Stadium for every Rowdies home game, which is helping spur Morrell on as the Rowdies look to push for a high finish in the Eastern Conference.
“Growing up here, I see my friends at every game, my family, it makes me play even harder,” he said. "My mom and my dad used to make it to every game.”
For more on Morrell, who has now recorded two assists and 13 key passes in league action this season – and scored his first professional goal in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – check out the video below.