Lauren Holiday, Midfielder
Holiday, who played the first part of the year under her maiden name of Cheney, had a tremendous NWSL campaign for FC Kansas City, leading the team to a tie for first place in points at the end of the regular season. She led the NWSL in scoring with 12 goals and also in assists with nine. She was named the NWSL Most Valuable Player and was a member of the NWSL Best XI. Playing primarily attacking midfielder for the USA, she scored three goals with six assists (tied for the team lead with Abby Wambach) while starting 10 of the 12 games she played. Her goals came in back-to-back games against Korea Republic in June and against Australia in October on a sizzling volley. She finished the year with 21 international scores in her career, becoming one of just 24 women to score 20 or more goals for the United States.
Sydney Leroux, Forward
It was a breakout year for both club and country for the speedy and powerful Leroux as she started nine of her 15 matches after coming off the bench during her first 28 caps. She finished second on the WNT in scoring with 10 goals, and scored the first four goals of the game during a 7-0 rout of Mexico on Sept. 3 before finishing the year with a two-goal game against Brazil. She also added four assists, tied for third on the U.S. team. In NWSL play, she finished tied for second in scoring with 11 goals for the Boston Breakers and was the youngest player named to the NWSL Best XI.
Carli Lloyd, Midfielder
Lloyd rebounded from a broken shoulder suffered at the Algarve Cup in March to have an excellent year, which included three goals and an assist for the WNT. Those scores gave her 46 career goals and moved her past Julie Foudy to become the highest scoring midfielder in U.S. history. She started nine of her 11 matches for the USA, playing primarily in a holding midfielder role. She was instrumental in the Western New York Flash’s run to the NWSL regular season title, recovering from her injury to start 14 of the final 15 games and score eight goals, which tied her for fourth in the league. Lloyd scored both goals in the 2-0 NWSL playoff semifinal victory against Sky Blue FC to earn her squad a place in the inaugural title game.
Alex Morgan, Forward
Morgan battled some injuries during the latter part of the year but still scored six goals – several in her typical big game fashion -- and had four assists for the WNT while starting 10 of her 12 international matches. She scored the final three goals of the 2013 Algarve Cup, equalizing against Sweden in a 1-1 tie that sent the USA to the championship game where she scored both goals in the 2-0 victory against Germany. Morgan also scored against Germany during a 3-3 tie and notched two goals in front of a sold-out crowd in Toronto in early June as the USA defeated Canada, 3-0. In NWSL play, she scored eight times, tied for fourth in the league, and helped lead the Portland Thorns to the inaugural league championship, coming off the bench despite a knee injury and assisting on the game-clinching goal. She led the league in both shots (82) and shots on goal (44). She is on the 10-player short list for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.
Christen Press, Forward
Press finished as the leading scorer in the Damallsvenskan (Swedish First Division) with 23 goals in 20 games and to date has scored 37 goals in 37 games in all competitions this year, which includes League, Cup, Super Cup, Champions League and international play. She scored both goals for Tyreso (which finished in second place in the league) in a 2-1 win at Denmark's Fortuna Hjorring in the first round of their UEFA Women's Champions League round-of-16 series, which the club eventually won 6-1 on aggregate to advance to the quarterfinals. She has scored four goals in the Champions League, one in the Swedish Cup and one in the Swedish Super Cup. For the USA, she earned her first 12 caps, started five games, and scored eight goals, including a two-goal game in her first cap on Feb. 9 vs. Scotland and two more against the Netherlands on April 9 in The Hague.
Abby Wambach, Forward
The 5-foot-11 striker once again led the WNT in scoring with 11 goals, four of which came on June 20 during a magical night at Red Bull Arena when she tied and then broke Mia Hamm’s all-time international scoring record in a span of 19 minutes in the first half. Wambach finished the year with six assists, tied for best on the team, and her world record for goals stands at 163 heading into 2014. She scored in eight of 14 matches she played for the USA and finished second on the team in minutes with 989. In NWSL play, she finished tied for second in goals with 11 and second in assists with eight while helping lead the Western New York Flash to the inaugural championship game after finishing atop the league during the regular season. She was named to the NWSL Best XI and as well as to the 10-player short list for the 2013 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.