Making The Case: Naomi Girma for US Soccer Female Player of the Year

Girma Earns First Player Nomination Following Award-Winning 2023 Campaign

After showing her class and  quality on the world stage and continuing to excel on home soil, defender Naomi Girma has been nominated to be the 2023 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.

READ MORE: 2023 Female Player of the Year Nominees

Fans once again have the opportunity to vote for all U.S. Soccer end of year awards on and at the links below. The fan vote will account for 15 percent of the overall vote tally, with the rest coming from National Team players, coaches, media, and other constituents.

VOTE NOW: Fan Voting for 2023 Player of the Year Awards

Recapping Naomi Girma’s remarkable year:

  • Girma put together an impressive campaign in central defense during her second year with the USWNT, starting each of the 16 games she played this year for the USA and finishing third on the team with 1,290 minutes played.
  • She started each of the USA’s final 11 games of 2023, beginning with the July 9 Send-Off Match against Wales, and played the full minutes in 12 of her 16 appearances this year.
  • A steady yet commanding presence in the back with strong distribution skills, Girma led the U.S. with 129 ball recoveries, ranked first with 34 clearances, ranked second in blocked shots and won 74% of her defensive duels, good for second on the team in 2023.
  • She also completed over 90% of pass attempts on the year, ranking top-five on the squad, while helping lead the U.S. defense to its lowest ever goals against average (0.17 goals allowed per game) in a calendar year (minimum 10 games played).
  • The 23-year-old Girma had a stellar World Cup, her first at the senior level, playing every minute at center back as the USA allowed only two shots on goal and one goal. She was one of only three outfield players – and four players total – to never leave the field for the USWNT during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • With San Diego Wave FC, Girma played every minute of her 19 regular season appearance while helping the club capture the 2023 NWSL Shield. The Wave defense ranked second in the league with 22 goals allowed on the regular season.


  • She won NWSL Defender of the Year honors for the second consecutive year, becoming just the second player in league history to win the award in back-to-back seasons. She was also named to the NWSL Best XI First Team for the second year in a row.
This is Girma’s first nomination for U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. She won Young Female Player of the Year honors in 2020.