Winner to be Announced on January 13 at FIFA Gala in Zurich
CHICAGO (Dec. 10, 2013) – U.S. forward Abby Wambach has been named one of three finalists for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award, joining goalkeeper Nadine Angerer of Germany and forward Marta of Brazil.
Wambach, who was the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, led the USA in scoring in 2013 with 11 goals and famously broke Mia Hamm’s all-time international scoring record with a remarkable four-goal performance in the first half of the June 20 match against the Korea Republic at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. In 2013, Wambach also won her unprecedented sixth U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year award, passing Mia Hamm who was honored five times.
The 5-foot-11 striker also finished the year with six assists, tied for best on the U.S. team, and her world record for goals currently 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, playing 989.
In National Women’s Soccer League 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.
This is the third time Wambach has been in the final three for the award, finishing third in 2011 and winning it for the first time in 2012. 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.
Hamm is the only American to have previously won the FIFA Women’s World Player of the year twice, doing so in 2001 and 2002, the first two years it was given out.
Wambach made the final three through voting by the captains and head coaches of almost all the women’s national teams throughout the world as well as by international media representatives.
The finalists for the Men’s World Player of the Year are Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Portugal, Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Argentina and Franck Ribéry of Bayern Munich and France.
All the awards will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland on January 13, 2014 during which the Men’s World Player of the Year, the FIFA World XI and the FIFA Puskás Award for the most beautiful goal of the year will also be announced. The FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented during the gala. The show will be televised world-wide and streamed live on FIFA.com and FIFA on YouTube.
Former U.S. WNT head coach Pia Sundhage, who was named FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Soccer in 2012, is once again a part of the final three along with Ralf Kellermann, who won the UEFA Women’s Champions League with VfL Wolfsburg and German Women’s National Team head coach Silvia Neid, whose squad won the European Championship last summer.