Shannon Boxx Finishes Third in FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Voting
U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx finished third in the voting for the 2005 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year behind German Birgit Prinz, who won the award for the third year in a row, and Brazilian dribbling dynamo Marta. All three attended the FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich, Switzerland on Dec. 19. In voting by Women’s National Team head coaches and team captains from around the world, Prinz received 75 first-place votes and a total of 513 points, Marta had 55 first-place votes and 429 points and Boxx had 25 first-place votes and 235 points. Sweden’s Hanna Ljungberg finished fourth.
For Boxx, the USA’s defensive midfielder, it has been an amazing ascension into the world’s elite. Boxx, one of the top players in the WUSA during its three seasons, had never played a match for the full U.S. Women's National Team before being named to the roster for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. She scored in her first two matches, both exhibitions before the tournament began, then scored in the opening game win over Sweden to set a U.S. WNT record for consecutive goals at the start of a National Team career. She was named to the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team. Boxx, who will join the U.S. team in training camp starting Jan. 3, 2006, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., has since gone on to become a staple in the U.S. midfield, earning 50 caps (49 of those starts) while scoring 13 goals. She has established herself as perhaps the top defensive midfielder in the world and earned a high honor in May of 2004, captaining the FIFA Women's World All-Star Team to a victory over Germany in Paris, France. Last year she finished seventh in the voting for FIFA Women's World Player of the Year. This year, her teammate Christie Welsh, the top scorer at the 2005 Algarve Cup in Portugal, finished ninth.
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