Alex Morgan shows she's a rising star

FRISCO, Texas -- Alex Morgan proved she belonged in the U.S. women's team's starting lineup in the 88th minute of Saturday's friendly against New Zealand.

Morgan's header from Megan Rapinoe equalized the score 1-1, ensuring that the sold-out crowd of 20,677 at FC Dallas Stadium wouldn't see the first U.S. loss on its home soil since 2004.

"Me and Abby [Wambach] were both up top trying to motivate each other and motivate the team," Morgan said. "We were working really hard to try and get that equalizer. It wasn't easy, but we've done it before and you could see this team just had the heart to do it again."

Then with seconds left in stoppage time, Morgan proved why she's quickly turning from starter to star. The veteran Wambach flicked the ball to Morgan, who added another header from eight yards in the 94th minute.

Wambach said she and Morgan are getting more comfortable playing together.

"We're going to continue to get better and continue to get stronger as the front two up top," Wambach said.

U.S. head coach Pida Sundhage agreed that the two are quickly becoming a dynamic duo.

"Alex's ability to score goals with [Wambach] is phenomenal," Sundhage said. "I hope it stays like that."

Sundhage compared Morgan's combination of speed and power to Swedish superstar Lotta Schelin and U.S. legend Mia Hamm.

Heading into the Algarve Cup in Portugal at the end of the month, the two have scored the last seven goals for the U.S.

"I'm excited for the future of the Abby Wambach-Alex Morgan duo," Wambach said.

The U.S. opens up Algarve Cup play Feb. 29 against Denmark.