Celia Sasic

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi are Ballon d’Or finalists; USWNT’s Lloyd up for women’s honor

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Carli Lloyd and Neymar are among the new names on the shortlists for FIFA’s top individual honors.

Of course, Barcelona’s Brazilian joins a pair of familiar faces in Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. One will win the Ballon d’Or on Jan. 11.

On the ladies side, USWNT star Carli Lloyd has to be considered a front-runner to become just the third American to win the FIFA World Player of the Year on the women’s side.

[ MORE: La Liga & Serie A roundup | Bundesliga wrap ]

Abby Wambach and Mia Hamm have also won the award, though Germany has won two-straight behind the heroics of Nadine Angerer and Nadine Kessler.

This time, it’s German striker Celia Sasic who will try to bring home the honors, and Japan’s Aya Miyama is also on the shortlist.

The coaches for Lloyd and Miyama, Jill Ellis and Norio Sasaki, are up for Women’s Coach of the Year, along with England’s Mark Sampson.

On the men’s coach side, the honor is between Luis Enrique (Barcelona), Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich) and Jorge Sampaoli (Chile).

Women’s Ballon d’Or nominees: Three USWNT players, West Virginia junior

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
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We now know the players and coaches nominated for the highest individual honors in women’s soccer, and there are plenty of connections to the 2015 World Cup champions.

Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd are nominees for World Player of the Year, while USWNT coach Jill Ellis is up for World Coach of the Year.

Seattle Reign boss Laura Harvey is also up for the latter honor, and will combat the coaches for Canada and England amongst others.

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Another candidate for POY is plying her trade in the American college game, as West Virginia junior Kadeisha Buchanan is up for the honor.

Surprisingly, World Cup semifinalist England did not have a player on the final list.

FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year nominees
U.S. — Lloyd, Rapinoe, Solo
France — Amandine Henry, Eugenie Le Sommer
Germany — Nadine Angerer, Celia Sasic
Japan — Aya Miyama
Canada — Kadeisha Buchanan
Switzerland — Ramona Bachmann

FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year nominees
Calle Barring – Sweden U-19
Colin Ball – FFC Frankfurt
Farid Benstiti – Paris Saint-Germain
Jill Ellis – USWNT
Laura Harvey – Seattle Reign
John Herdman – Canada
Gerard Precheur – Lyon
Mark Sampson – England
Norio Sasaki – Japan
Thomas Worle – Bayern Munich.

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.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s WWC news | USWNT ]

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.

Women’s World Cup: Top-ranked Germany routs Ivory Coast 10-0


Germany’s women have the most powerful squad in the world according to FIFA rankings, and they surely demonstrated their might against the Ivory Coast in a 10-0 victory.

Celia Sasic scored the fastest hat trick in World Cup history with goals in the 3rd minute, 15th minute and 31st minute, while Anja Mittag also buried a hat trick.

In the first half, statistics told the story of this game, notably Germany’s 20 shots inside the penalty box. Ivory Coast had 0 shots on target.

Head coach Silvia Neid must have her team in peak physical condition because whenever Ivory Coast held possession, the National Eleven were persistently fast to close gaps in the midfield and played their opposition tight throughout this competition.

“We had judged them to be better than they were today,” Neid said. “We were very focused and concentrated heading into the match. We scored early on, and stood our ground, we outran them.”

The Ivory Coast had a couple of promising occasions, though. Binta Diakite almost had a goal but fouled German netminder Nadine Angerer, and Ange N’Guessan couldn’t bury her header into an open net.

“From this game, we have positive points we can take out – the experience,” Ivory Coast head coach Clementine Toure said. “It’s our first participation in the World Cup, and there was a great crowd here.”

For the first goal of the match, Leonie Maier sent a pass over to Sasic on the edge of the six-yard box, and Sasic’s second was a header off Lena Goessling’s cross.

In the 29th minute, Goessling was in on the assault again when she provided the assist to Mittag for a rocket attempt past goalkeeper Dominque Thiamale.

Five minutes later, Sasic buried her third and was then taken out at the half.

Simone Laudehr, Sara Dabritz, Melanie Behringer and Alexandra Popp (on a free kick) all converted as well; Germany is now tied with Norway at the top of Group B.