FIFA announced their ten-player shortlist for the 2016 Best FIFA Women's Player award this morning and among those selected by national team coaches, captains, and various journalists, last year's winner, Carli Lloyd, was the only American player nominated for the award this year.
Lloyd leads the way for the US in 2016
After a disappointing quarter-final exit by the United States Women's National Team at the 2016 Rio Olympics in comes as no surprise that Lloyd is the only US player in the list this year. An argument could be made for Tobin Heath to be on the list as well but Lloyd remained on of the most productive players on the USWNT this year especially at the She Believes tournament and at the Olympic games so her inclusion was to be expected. Her club form had been hampered by injury this year but her performances at the international stage have been excellent. Lloyd currently has a team-leading seventeen goals and eleven assists in 2016 after featuring in 21 games and it has been these statistics that have placed her prominently in many people's minds.
For her club, the Houston Dash, Lloyd was unavailable for most of the season due to injury and international duty but in the seven games that she appeared in, Lloyd managed five goals and three assists. If Lloyd had been available for most of the season, the Dash would have certainly had a higher chance of finishing further up the table in the National Women's Soccer League than where they finished eventually this season. That is how pivotal Lloyd is to her club team and the national team as a whole.
Although not from the US, the exclusion of Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg and Swedish pair Hedvig Lindahl and Lisa Dahlkvist has raised some eye brows. Their performances for both club and country were certainly on par with those in the list and in some cases, better than some of the players listed in the final nomination. We may never know why they were included but it certainly deserves to be discussed as, in Hegerberg's case, in particular, she was awarded the 2016 UEFA Best Women's Player only a few months ago. Lindahl and Dahlkvist were also part of the Swedish team that made it to the finals of the Olympic soccer tournament and finished with a silver medal for their efforts. It seems as though that was not enough for those who had a say in the nominations.
The full list of the final ten players
National team coaches, captains, and various media personnel will not be asked to vote for a final three from the above list and this year. FIFA have asked the fans to get involved and vote for who they feel should win this year's award.
Camille Abily (France); Melanie Behringer (Germany); Sara Däbritz (Germany); Amandine Henry (France); Saki Kumagai (Japan); Carli Lloyd (USA); Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany); Marta (Brazil); Lotta Schelin (Sweden); Christine Sinclair (Canada).