Four U.S. Women’s National Team players named to shortlist for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year
FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, announced today that U.S. Women’s National Team forwards Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, and midfielders Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe have been named to a 10-woman shortlist for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.
In addition, former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage and Steve Swanson, who led the USA to the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup title, have been named to the shortlist for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Soccer.
The winners of all of the awards will be revealed at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala as part of a televised show at the Zurich Kongresshaus on Jan. 7, 2013, during which the FIFA FIFPro World XI, the FIFA Puskás Award – for the most beautiful goal of the year – the FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented.
The final decisions will be made, as usual, by the captains and head coaches of the women’s national teams as well as by international media representatives selected by France Football magazine.
The list of 10 female candidates has been drawn up by experts from the Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup as well as by experts from France Football. The list of ten coaches has been drawn up by football experts from the FIFA Football Committee, the Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup as well as by a group of experts from France Football.
The shortlists for the men’s awards will be announced next week.
On Nov. 29, 2012, FIFA and France Football will announce at a press conference in São Paulo, Brazil, the names of the three men and three women, as well as the three coaches for women’s football and three coaches for men’s football, who have received the most votes (without unveiling the winners). The three nominees for the FIFA Puskás Award and the FIFA FIFPro World XI shortlist for the best forwards will also be announced (the shortlists for best goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders will be unveiled on Nov. 19, Nov. 22 and Nov. 26, respectively).
Last year, Wambach was chosen as one of three finalists for the Women’s World Player of the Year along with Marta of Brazil and Homare Sawa of Japan, who won the award, while Sundhage was one of three finalists for the World Coach of the Year for Women’s Soccer along with Bruno Bini of France and Norio Sasaki of Japan, who was the winner in 2011.
Sundhage finished third in the voting for the World Coach of the Year in 2008, the first year the award was given out, and second last year behind Sasaki.
Wambach finished third in the voting in 2011, the first time she was in the final three for the award, although she finished fourth in the voting in 2004 and 2006, fifth in 2007, was one of the final 10 in 2009 and was fifth again in 2010.
Wambach scored in each of the first five matches of the Olympics, a feat never before accomplished, and has 22 goals (the second highest yearly total of her career) and eight assists in 2012. With 148 career international goals, she is just 10 behind the world’s all-time scoring leader Mia Hamm.
Morgan, who was on the 10-woman shortlist last year and finished eighth in the voting, has a team leading 24 goals and 16 assists in 2012 which is one of the best scoring years in U.S. history. She scored three goals in the Olympics, including the latest goal in a FIFA competition when she headed home the 123rd minute game-winner in a 4-3 overtime victory against Canada in the semifinal.
For Lloyd and Rapinoe, this is their first appearance on the shortlist for the award.
Lloyd has 13 goals in 2012, including four in the 2012 Olympics. She scored both goals in the 2-1 Olympic gold medal game victory against Japan in front of a sold-out crowd at London’s Wembley Stadium, but also scored the game-winner in the opening match against France and a clinching goal against Colombia.
Rapinoe scored three times in the Olympics, including two spectacular goals against Canada in the semifinal match, one directly off a corner kick and one magnificent blast from distance, both of which equalized a game in which the USA eventually won in overtime.
Swanson’s U-20 side rebounded from a 3-0 loss to Germany in group play to defeat three group winners in the knockout rounds of the Women’s World Cup in Japan. The USA defeated Korea DPR 2-1 in overtime in the quarterfinal, took down Nigeria 2-0 in the semifinal and edged a talented German team 1-0 in the championship game on a goal from Kealia Ohai. It was the first goal given up in the tournament by Germany, who had won four of its five games before the final by three goals or more.
Women’s shortlists for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or gala:
The following 10 women (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the title of 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2012:
Camille Abily (France), Miho Fukumoto (Japan), Carli Lloyd (USA), Marta (Brazil), Aya Miyama (Japan), Alex Morgan (USA), Megan Rapinoe (USA), Homare Sawa (Japan), Christine Sinclair (Canada), Abby Wambach (USA).
The following 10 coaches (in alphabetical order, first nationality and then team) are in contention for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football 2012:
Bruno Bini (France/France National Team), John Herdman (England/Canada National Team), Patrice Lair (France/Olympique Lyonnais), Maren Meinert (Germany/Germany U-20 National Team), Silvia Neid (Germany/Germany National Team), Hope Powell (England/England National Team), Norio Sasaki (Japan/Japan National Team), Pia Sundhage (Sweden/USA National Team), Steve Swanson (USA/U.S. U-20 National Team), Hiroshi Yoshida (Japan/Japan U-20/U-17 National Teams).