CHICAGO (Dec. 5, 2016) – U.S. Soccer has announced the five nominees for the 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award. This year’s field features forwards Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan, midfielders Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd, and defender Becky Sauerbrunn.
All five players played prominent roles in the USA’s 2016 calendar year, which included winning the inaugural SheBelieves Cup and finishing with a 22-0-3 overall record. It marked only the third time that the WNT has finished a year unbeaten in regulation time when it has played 10 or more matches.
Lloyd and Morgan finished 2016 as the team’s leading scorers with 17 goals each, with Lloyd adding a team-best 11 assists. Dunn added 14 goals, recorded eight assists and played in all 25 matches to conclude her best year with the WNT so far. Heath also turned in an impressive 2016, scoring six goals and adding eight assists, both career bests for one of the USA’s most skillful players. It was also another rock-solid year for Sauerbrunn, who started all 23 games she played in, and added three assists, one more than she had compiled in her previous seven years combined with the WNT.
The winner will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 11 on ESPN FC.
A new voting process was put in place starting in 2014. Votes will be collected from National Team coaches and staff, WNT players who have earned a cap in 2016, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer’s Athlete Council, National Women’s Soccer League coaches, select college head coaches and select media members.
Two of the nominees have won the award before. Lloyd has won it twice, in 2008 and most recently in 2015 after a historical year that featured her legendary performance in the Women’s World Cup and her FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Award. Morgan won it in 2012.
Abby Wambach holds the record for most Female Player of the Year awards with six honors (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2013). Her win in 2013 broke the previous record of five held by Mia Hamm.
The U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year has been awarded since 1985, when midfielder Sharon Remer (known then as Sharon McMurtry) earned the inaugural honor.