On Monday, U.S. Soccer announced the five nominees for 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. This year's nominees include forwards Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan, midfielders Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd and defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Today we make the case for WNT midfielder and co-captain, and 2016 finalist for the FIFA Best Women's Player of the Year: Carli Lloyd.
In 2016, U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder and co-captain Carli Lloyd, the reigning FIFA Women’s Player of the Year and U.S. Soccer Female Payer of the Year, scored 17 goals and recorded 11 assists (a team-leading mark) in 21 games.
The total was one short of her career best 18 goals that she scored in her spectacular 2015, but she also did so in five fewer games, thus making her totals even more impressive. Her 17 scores in 2016 brought her total to 96 international goals, just four shy of becoming the sixth player in U.S. history to score 100 or more. Lloyd, who very fittingly scored the first WNT goal of 2016 against the Republic of Ireland in San Diego last January, had three multi-goal games this year.
Against Thailand on Sept. 15, Lloyd was part of seven of the nine goals the USA scored. She recorded her seventh international hat trick and added four assists to become the first player in U.S. history to record three goals and four assists in a single match.
Against Switzerland on Oct. 23, Lloyd tallied a goal that will go down as one of the best she’s ever scored as she absolutely crushed a shot from distance into the upper right corner. Of course, we all know what was probably THE best goal she’s ever scored (midfield, anyone?), but the blast against Switzerland was sure one of the most spectacular of the other 95 goals during her career.
At the 2016 Olympics, Lloyd tallied twice for the USA – against New Zealand and France – and became the only American to score multiple goals in three separate Olympic Games (’08,’12,’16). Her eight Olympic goals put her in second place behind Abby Wambach’s U.S. record of 10.
Due to injuries and WNT commitments, Lloyd played in just seven games for the Houston Dash this season, but made the most of that time, scoring five goals with three assists.