Brian represented the United States at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. At age 22, she was the youngest member of the team at the World Cup. She played collegiate soccer for the University of Virginia Cavaliers from 2011 to 2014. In her four years with the Cavaliers, she scored 40 goals and recorded 40 assists, finishing her collegiate career ranked second in career points. Brian won the MAC Hermann Trophy in both 2013 and 2014, becoming the fourth women's player to win the award in consecutive years.
Following her collegiate career, Brian was selected first overall by the Houston Dash in the 2015 NWSL College Draft. She currently plays for the Chicago Red Stars.
Born in St. Simon's Island, Georgia to Vickie and Steve Brian, Morgan was raised with her older sister Jennifer. St. Simon's Island had an immense soccer culture and Brian played with girls who were four or five years older than her. Because of her small size among the team, she earned the nickname 'Plankton.' Brian eventually went on to play with the Ponte Vedra Storm in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where she played from U-12 to U-19. However, the team played as the Clay County Soccer Club for their U-19 year. While with the Storm, Brian won state championships at the U-17 and U-17 levels. In their U-19 year, as the Clay County Soccer Club, the team won the 2012 United States Youth Soccer National Championship. Brian missed the championships, as she was with the United States U-20 women's national team.
Brian tried out for the Olympic Development Program state team in Florida along with all of her teammates from the Ponte Vedra Storm. She did not make the ODP team that first year; however she used that as motivation to train harder. She eventually made the state, regional, and national ODP teams. Regarding her experience playing in ODP, Brian stated that is "was what got [her] recognized in the beginning."
Brian attended Frederica Academy in St. Simon's Island from 2007 to 2011, where she played soccer all four years and helped the team win four consecutive state titles. In addition to soccer, Brian also played varsity basketball as an eighth-grader, freshman, sophomore, and senior. She received both All-Region and All-State recognition for basketball.
Brian ended her high school soccer career with 186 goals and 95 assists. She was a two-time Parade All-American and two-time Gatorade Georgia State Player of the Year. In 2010, she was named an NSCAA High School and Youth All-American and was also the 2010 NSCAA Youth Player of the Year as well as the 2010 Parade National Player of the Year. In 2011, she was named Gatorade National Player of the Year. Brian was also the first soccer player to be honored as the Gatorade National Female Athlete of the Year in 2011.
Brian attended the University of Virginia. As a first year in 2011, she started in 22 games and appeared in 23 of the 24 total matches. As a midfielder, she was the second-leading scorer for the Cavaliers with 11 goals and eight assists. She was named the Soccer America National Freshman of the Year, NSCAA First-Team All-American, Second-Team Soccer America MVP and was a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy. She was named the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-ACC.
During her second year, Brian appeared in 15 games, starting 13, after missing the beginning of the season due to representing the United States at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup where she helped the US take home gold. Brian scored four goals and served seven assists for the Cavaliers. She was named NSCAA 1st Team All-Southeast Region, First Team All-ACC, ACC Tournament MVP as well as Second Team Soccer America MVP, Second Team TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Season, and First Team VaSID All-State.
As a third year in 2013, Brian started 25 games. She was first in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in scoring with 46 points on 16 goals and a league-high 14 assists. She scored in all four NCAA Tournament wins to lead Virginia to College Cup. She was named Soccer America Player of the Year, TopDrawerSoccer.com Player of the Year, VaSID State Player of the Year, First-Team NSCAA All-American, First-Team Soccer America MVP and First-Team All-ACC. She was named winner of 2013 Hermann Trophy.
As a fourth year in 2014, Brian repeated as the winner of the Hermann Trophy, becoming the fifth woman to win the award twice, after Mia Hamm of North Carolina (1992 and 1993), Cindy Parlow of North Carolina (1997 and 1998), Christine Sinclair of Portland (2004 and 2005) and Kerri Hanks (2006 and 2008).
On January 16, 2015, the Houston Dash selected Brian with the first overall pick in the 2015 NWSL College Draft for the 2015 season of the National Women's Soccer League. Brian made her first appearance for the Dash on April 10, 2015 in a match against the Washington Spirit. Due to commitments with the United States women's national team at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, Brian missed almost half of the NWSL season. She returned to the Dash in late-July, appearing in a match against FC Kansas City on July 20. Brian made ten appearances for the Dash in the regular season, recording three assists in 810 minutes played. The Dash finished fifth in the league and did not advance to the playoffs.
On January 13, 2016, Brian was on the official list of United States women's national team allocated players for the 2016, having been assigned to the Houston Dash along with Carli Lloyd. Brian made seven appearances for the Dash before joining the national team in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Brian will be returning to Houston for her third season in the NWSL and fifth overall season for the NWSL. Brian made her 2017 debut on May 6, 2017 in Chicago during the fourth week of the NWSL historical 5th season. Brian sat for the first few weeks due to a MCL injury that she sustained during her 66th appearance for the USWNT during the She Believes Cup against France in early March.
On August 30th, 2017, the Chicago Red Stars acquired Brian from the Dash for Kristie Mewis.
Brian was a member of the United States U-17 women's national soccer team that placed third at the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Costa Rica. At age fifteen, she was the youngest member on the squad.
Brian was a member of the United States U20 squad that won the 2012 CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championship and earned a spot at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan. During the qualifying tournament, she played in four games totaling 337 minutes, scored one goal and served one assist. Her goal occurred during the team's 4–0 semifinal victory over Mexico, which earned the squad its berth to the U-20 Women's World Cup.Leading up to the World Cup, she earned 15 U-20 caps and scored three goals.
Brian would later help the team win the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan; playing all six matches and scoring a goal. Describing Brian, head coach Steve Swanson said, "Morgan does everything extremely well, which is rare for any midfielder. She can finish, she makes great runs, she's an excellent passer, she can take players one-on-one and she can head the ball. There are not a lot of things she can't do, but what sets her apart is her brain. She's got an amazing soccer brain for her age and she's still one of the younger players on this team."
Brian received her first senior national team call-up in June 2013, when she was named to a 23-player roster for a training camp and a two-game series against the Korea Republic. At 20 years old, Brian was the youngest player on the roster. Brian earned her first cap on June 15, 2013 during the first match against the Korea Republic, replacing Lauren Holiday in the 77th minute. On September 3, 2013, Brian made her second appearance in a match against Mexico at RFK Stadium. She replaced Erika Tymrak in the 70th minute. Two minutes later, Brian scored her first goal for the national team off an assist by Abby Wambach. The United States won the match 7-0.
In 2014, Brian made 16 appearances with the national team while also playing with her college team. She started off the year at a national team training camp from January 8 to January 15 at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center in Carson, California. On February 24, Brian was named to the 24-player roster for the 2014 Algarve Cup that took place from March 5 to March 12. She started in the team's first match of the tournament on March 5 against Japan, a 1-1 draw. She also started in the match against Sweden on March 7, a game that ended the 43-game unbeaten streak for the United States. Brian started in the team's final match of the tournament against Korea DPR that secured their seventh-place finish in the tournament.
Brian joined the team for a two-game series against China on April 6 and April 10. She started in both matches. In late April, Brian was named to a 22-player roster for a match against Canada on May 8. She played 68 minutes of the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw. She was then named to the roster for two games against France on June 14 and June 19. Brian was named to a 19-player roster for a match against Switzerland on August 20 in Sandy, Utah. She made an appearance during the match, coming in for Megan Rapinoe in the 78th minute. The United States went on the win 4-1.
Brian joined the national team for a training camp at the end of August in order to prepare for two matches against Mexico in September as well as the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Qualifying tournament in October. She appeared in the first game against Mexico on September 13 and was subsequently named to the roster for the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship that served as a qualification for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Brian made three appearances in the tournament, starting one. Her first appearance of the tournament came during the team's final group match against Haiti, when she replaced Tobin Heath in the 63rd minute. She also came in during the 67th minute of the semifinal match against Mexico on October 24, helping the United States win 3-0 and qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Her third appearance came during the final against Costa Rica on October 26, helping the United States win the tournament. Following the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament, Brian was named to the 24-player roster for the International Tournament of Brasilia in Brazil that took place from December 10 to December 21. She came in for Lauren Holiday during the 65th minute of the match against Brazil on December 14. Brian made two assists in the match against Argentina on December 18. Brian played all 90 minutes in the final against Brazil. The game was a 0-0 draw, but the tournament title was given to Brazil, who had more points from the group stage.
Brian started off the year at a 21-day training camp in 2015 from January 5 to January 25 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. Following the training camp, Brian was named to the 24-player team that would travel on a 13-day trip to Europe for matches against France and England in mid-February. Brian made the start in the match against France on February 8 and was replaced by Abby Wambach in 63rd minute. She also played all 90 minutes in the match against England on February 13, which was a shutout victory for the United States. On February 21, Brian was named to the 25-player roster for the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal. She played all 90 minutes of the team's opening match against Norway on March 4, a 2-1 victory for the United States. She also started in the final match against France on March 11, helping the United States win their 10th Algarve Cup title. Following the Algarve Cup, Brian was named to a 25-player roster on March 20 for a match against New Zealand on April 4 in St. Louis. She entered the match in the 79th minute and scored the team's fourth and final goal in the 81st minute, helping the United States defeat New Zealand 4-0.
On April 14, 2015, Brian was named to the 23-player roster that would represent the United States at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. At the age of 22, she was the youngest member of the team. She played in six games of the tournament, starting four. Brian became a World Cup Champion on July 5, when she helped the United States defeat Japan 5-2 in the Women's World Cup final. She recorded an assist during the match, passing the ball to Tobin Heath, who scored the final goal of the game. Brian joined the national team on a Victory Tour following their World Cup win that started in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 16 and ended in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 16.
Brian joined the national team for their first training camp of the year at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California from January 5 to January 21. She was then named to the 20-player roster for 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying. The United States qualified to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after a semifinal win against Trinidad and Tobago on February 19. Brian played all 90 minutes in the final against Canada on February 21. The United States won the tournament after defeating Canada 2-0 and Brian was named Budweiser Woman of the Match. Following the tournament, Brian was named to the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Best XI and also won the Golden Ball for best player.
Brian was named to the roster for the 2016 SheBelieves Cup that took place from March 3 to March 9. She played all 90 minutes in the team's opening match of the tournament on March 3 against England. On March 6, Brian earned her 50th cap with the national team during the match against France, a 1-0 victory for the United States. She became the 52nd United States female player to make 50 appearances. Brian played 90 minutes in the final against Germany on March 9, helping the United States win the 2016 SheBelieves Cup. Brian joined a 23-player roster for a training camp ahead of two matches against Colombia in early April. She did not play in either game due to a hamstring injury. Brian was on the roster for another two-game series against Japan in early June and she started in both games.
On July 12, 2016, Brian was named to the 18-player team that would represent the United States at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She made her Olympic debut on August 3 in the team's opening match against New Zealand. She recorded an assist during the match on Alex Morgan's goal in the 46th minute. She also appeared in the second group match against France, helping the United States take away another victory and secure their first-place finish in the group.Note
Parade National Player of the Year: 2010
NSCAA Youth Player of the Year: 2010
NSCAA High School and Youth All-American: 2010
ESPN Rise All-American: 2010
Gatorade Georgia State Player of the Year: 2010, 2011
Soccer America National Freshman of the Year: 2011
NSCAA All-American First Team: 2011, 2013, 2014
Soccer America First Team MVP: 2011
MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist: 2011
NSCAA All-Southeast Region First Team: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
ACC Freshman of the Year: 2011
All-ACC First Team: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
VaSID State Freshman of the Year: 2011
ACC Tournament MVP: 2012
Soccer America Second Team MVP: 2012
TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Season, Second Team: 2012
VaSID All-Sate First Team: 2012
MAC Hermann Trophy Winner: 2013, 2014
Soccer America Player of the Year: 2013
TopDrawerSoccer.com Player of the Year: 2013
Honda Award Nominee: 2013, 2014
Soccer America First Team MVP: 2013, 2014
TopDrawer Soccer.com Best XI First Team: 2013
College Soccer Madness All-American First Team: 2013
VaSID State Player of the Year: 2013, 2014
All-NCAA Tournament Team: 2013, 2014
ACC All-Tournament Team: 2013, 2014
Virginia Nike Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team: 2013
TopDrawerSoccer.com Preseason Best XI First Team: 2013, 2014
TopDrawerSoccer.com National Player of the Year: 2014
U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year Finalist: 2013
2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship Golden Ball Winner
2012 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship
2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup
2014 CONCACAF Women's Qualifying Tournament
2015 Algarve Cup
2015 FIFA Women's World Cup
2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying
2016 SheBelieves Cup
Brian was featured along with her national teammates in the EA Sports' FIFA video game series in FIFA 16, the first time women players were included in the game.
Following the United States' win at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Brian and her teammates became the first women's sports team to be honored with a Ticker Tape Parade in New York City. Each player received a key to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio. In October of the same year, the team was honored by President Barack Obama at the White House.