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Nominees for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Revealed, Head Scratching Ensues

posted by All White Kit
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 4:20pm EDT

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FIFA has released the shortlist of players eligible to be named FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. The list was drawn up by football experts from the Football Committee, the Technical and Developmental Committee and the Committee for Women’s Football and FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The ceremony will be held January 10, 2011 in Zurich.

The list features seven WPS-based players and two Frauen-Bundesliga players. South Korea’s 2010 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup starlet Ji So-Yun rounds out the list. The full list of nominees are:

Camille Abily

Fatmire Bajramaj

Ji So-Yun

Marta

Birgit Prinz

Caroline Seger

Christine Sinclair

Kelly Smith

Hope Solo

Abby Wambach

 

Additionally, 10 coaches will be in contention for the FIFA World Coach of the Year For Women’s Football 2010. This is the first year the award will be handed out. The list features two club club coaches, two U-20 coaches and six senior team coaches.

Bruno Bini (France Women’s National Team)

In Cheul Choi (South Korea U-20 Women’s National Team)

Maren Meinert (Germany U-20 Women’s National Team)

Albertin Montoya (FC Gold Pride)

Silvia Neid (Germany Women’s National Team)

Hope Powell (England Women’s National Team)

Norio Sasaki (Japan Women’s National Team)

Bernd Schroder (Turbine Potsdam)

Pia Sundhage (United States Women’s National Team)

Beatrice von Siebenthal (Switzerland Women’s National Team)

 

While it’s tough to argue against most of the players included in the list of nominees (Marta, Fatmire Bajramaj, Abby Wambach, Kelly Smith and Christine Sinclair are no-brainers), some of the selections are a bit puzzling. It makes you wonder “are these people really paying attention?”

How Inka Grings and Kerstin Garefrekes failed to make the cut is any one’s guess. Last season, Grings led the Frauen-Bundesliga in goals with 28 while Kerstin Garefrekes came in second with 19. Duisburg and Frankfurt came second and third respectively. Birgit Prinz is undoubtedly one of the best female football players ever but did she really do enough to merit a nomination? It’s clear that FIFA has gone for the name over the question of “what have you done for me lately?”

The same applies for Hope Solo. Solo is the only goalkeeper on the shortlist. Any WPS fan can tell you that Solo had a rough 2010. Remember the time when Solo conceded 12 goals over the course of just three games last season? Surely her year was not better than Turbine Potsdam’s Anna Felicitas Sarholz who helped guide her team to UEFA Women’s Champions League glory on the back of two outstanding penalty shoot-outs. And she was just 18, by the way.

Caroline Seger and Camille Abily are also interesting ones. Seger had a solid year with the Philadelphia Independence and certainly helped make that midfield one of the best in the league. However, she has a teammate who scored 13 goals last season, including the goal that took the Independence to the Super Semifinal. That player wasn’t included on the list.

Camille Abily came into form late last season but she spent much of the season either injured or out of favor. Perhaps the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year nomination is coming a year late. Rachel Buehler was a major factor in FC Gold Pride’s dominant season last year but it seems like FIFA has a thing against defenders. (For the record, of the 23 nominees on the men’s side, just four are defenders)

It’s great to see Ji So-Yun’s name in the mix and she richly deserves her spot on the list. But if FIFA are going to nominate young players why not include Germany’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup star Alexandra Popp? The 19 year-old scored 10 of Germany’s 20 goals in the tournament.

Other “boy, it would be great to see so-and-so on this list” include Genoveva Anonma who led USV Jena to an incredible appearance in the DFB-Pokal Cup Final last year and Amy LePeilbet who is certainly one of, if not thebest female defender in the world.

Oh and Inka Grings. What did she do wrong? Seriously.

 

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