Ayumi Kaihori

USWNT’s Lloyd, Johnston, Rapinoe shortlisted for Women’s World Cup Golden Ball; Solo for Golden Glove

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When Sunday’s final of the 2015 Women’s World Cup kicks off at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada, five of the 22 players suiting up for the US women’s national team and Japan will be finalists for the Golden Ball award at this summer’s tournament, as announced by FIFA on Thursday.

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Similarly, two of the three finalists for the Golden Glove award, given to the tournament’s best goalkeeper as voted by the media, will be in goal as the pair of 2011 Women’s World Cup finalists do battle once again in the 2015 finale.

Candidates for Golden Ball

  • Saori Ariyoshi (Japan)
  • Lucy Bronze (England) 
  • Amandine Henry (France)
  • Julie Johnston (USA)
  • Carli Lloyd (USA)
  • Aya Miyama (Japan)
  • Megan Rapinoe (USA)
  • Celia Sasic (Germany)

Who three Americans and two Japanese on the shortlist for the Golden Ball, Sunday’s final between those two sides could very well determine the eventual winner of the award for the tournament’s best player.

A World Cup-winning goal could seal the award for any of three attackers (Lloyd, Miyama and Rapinoe), or a shutout and the game-winning goal coming from somewhere else in the team might just swings things in favor of the two defensive stalwarts (Ariyoshi and Johnston).

Candidates for Golden Glove

  • Nadine Angerer (Germany)
  • Ayumi Kaihori (Japan)
  • Hope Solo (USA)

Likewise, another shutout in the final — Kaihori has conceded three goals all tournament, while Solo has given up just one, including zero in the USWNT’s last 513 minutes played — will almost surely see either the Japanese or American shot-stopper take home the heaviest goalkeeper glove known to man.