Football: American icon Alex Morgan relishing time in New Zealand as world champions gear up to face Football Ferns

One of sport's biggest names, football superstar Alex Morgan has arrived in New Zealand.

The two-time defending world champions USA face the Football Ferns in two friendlies next week as preparation for July's World Cup.

But despite their unprecedented success, they're playing down their rock star status.

Two days in, and the defending world champions are catching on to what makes New Zealand tick.

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.
Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan. Photo credit: Getty Images

"'Oh god, the coffee for sure," said Morgan. 

"The coffee's been great, the food's been great," added Naomi Girma.

"I was expecting a little more sun," joked Mallory Swanson.

The weather is a perfect dress rehearsal for July's tournament.

"This is my first time [in New Zealand]," continued Morgan. "And to have the chance to be here twice in the same year is great."

A double-World Cup winner and Olympic gold medallist, 33-year-old Morgan has achieved close to everything in the game, on field and off - even gracing the cover of Time Magazine.

But playing in a World Cup as a mum will be a first.

"I'm prioritising both my health, my body [and] my football - but also my daughter and my family," Morgan continued.

"I think I've been able to do a pretty good job at it."

The US women's team is widely regarded as the 'superstars' of women's football.

They led the fight for equal pay in the States - an Act which has just been passed into law.

While raising the bar on the field again and again.

"I think everyone thinks we have this idea about ourselves, like we are the best and this and that. 

"I feel like we are actually always growing and learning."

Three consecutive losses at the end of last year is proof of that, but they remain the biggest drawcard in the women's game 

"We hope we can help women's soccer in general," said captain Becky Sauerbrunn. "[We want to] bring more eyes to it, and travelling here and getting to play the Football Ferns, we hope we can bring more eyes to them as well."

They'll meet the Football Ferns in Wellington on Wednesday, after already meeting the World Cup mascot, a penguin called Tazuni.

"Our coordinator kind of told us it was an actual penguin when we first got here," joked forward Lindsey Horan. "When we first got here we were a little shocked."

And depending on how things go in the capital, it might not be their last surprise.