ZURICH: World champions United States dominate the shortlist for the 2015 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year award with a trio nominated, the most of any nation writes CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE.
For the first time there is no place in the shortlist for Brazilian women’s superstar Marta.
US goalkeeper Hope Solo, winger Megan Rapinoe, and 2015 FIFA World Cup final hat-trick hero Carli Lloyd – the obvious favourite – are all shortlisted for the award which will be handed out at the annual FIFA Gala on January 11 in Zurich.
The shortlist was drawn up by FIFA’s Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup as well as a group of journalists chosen by France Football.
There are two nominations from Germany, with 2014 winner Nadine Angerer making the cut in what was her final year of international football. Compatriot Celia Sasic, top scorer at the Women’s World Cup finals, joins her on the list.
Eugenie Le Sommer and Amandine Henry make the list after impressing for France and Lyon.
The list is completed by Switzerland and FC Rosengard’s Ramona Bachmann, Canada’s young star Kadeisha Buchanan and Japan’s Ayi Miyama.
There’s no place for any England players on the shortlist, despite the side achieving a record third place finish at the World Cup in Canada.
Head coach Mark Sampson makes the English-dominated shortlist for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s football award.
Fellow Englishman John Herdman is nominated for his coaching of World Cup host nation Canada who fell to England in the quarter-finals 2-1 in Vancouver.
The third Englishman on the list is Colin Bell, who led FFC Frankfurt to their record fourth UEFA Women’s Champions League triumph in May, beating Paris Saint-German 2-1 in Berlin. Laura Harvey, also from England, makes the list for leading Seattle Reign to a runners-up finish in the National Women’s Soccer League.
World Cup winning coach Jill Ellis will also contend for the award, along with Japan’s Norio Sasaki, PSG’s Farid Benstiti, Gerard Precheur of Lyon and Thomas Worle of Bayern Munich.
The coaches shortlist is completed by Calle Barrling who coached Sweden’s U19 side to their third UEFA Women’s Championship title in Israel.
FIFA say that “the awards recognise the best in each category, without distinction of championship or nationality, for their respective achievements between 22 November 2014 and 20 November 2015 inclusive.”
Bearing that in mind, Chelsea Ladies manager Emma Hayes may be justified in feeling slightly aggrieved having led her side to a hugely impressive cup double, winning the FA Women’s Cup for the first time two months before clinching their first ever FA Women’s Super League title.
The final decisions for the awards will be made by the captains and head coaches of the women’s national teams as well as international media representatives selected by FIFA.