Lucy Bronze

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USWNT stars named as finalists for top FIFA award

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Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Lucy Bronze have been named as the three finalists for the FIFA best female player of the year award.

USWNT duo Rapinoe and Morgan were influential in their 2019 World Cup victory, while Bronze was a stud for England this summer and won the UEFA women’s player of the year award last week.

Rapinoe, 34, is likely to win the award as the Reign FC star caused headlines on and off the pitch this summer.

Her clutch goals and leadership were crucial to Jill Ellis’ side winning the 2019 World Cup, but off the field her criticism of political leaders and strong opinions on the Equal Pay battle has led to widespread praise.

Morgan scored five goals in the USWNT’s opening game of the tournament against Thailand and the Orlando City striker scored the game-winner in the semifinal against England. Her hold-up play and selfless work up top was just as impressive as her goals throughout the World Cup, as she also grabbed three assists.

As for Bronze, she won the Silver Ball as the second best player at the World Cup this summer and her marauding displays from right back had Lionesses head coach Phil Neville calling her the best player on the planet on several occasions. The Lyon defender is certainly the best player on the planet not from the USA.

Van Dijk, Bronze scoop top UEFA awards

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Virgil Van Dijk and Lucy Bronze were named the men’s and women’s players of the season by UEFA on Thursday.

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Van Dijk led Liverpool’s defense to the UEFA Champions League title and captained the Netherlands to the Nations League final.

The Dutch defender, 28, had a sensational season in his first full campaign at Liverpool after his move from Southampton in January 2018.

As for the women’s award, Bronze starred at right back for Lyon in the women’s Champions League as they won everything possible.

Bronze also won the silver ball as the second best player at the women’s World Cup this summer as England reached the semifinals in France.

PST’s Women’s World Cup Best XI

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The Women’s World Cup concluded its best run yet with the United States women’s national team’s 2-0 defeat of the Netherlands on Sunday, the fourth title and second-successive World Cup for the ladies of the red, white, and blue.

There will be temptations from some to give the USWNT approximately 11 out of 11 spots on a Best XI, but let’s face it: The best team didn’t often have its best game during its unbeaten run through France.

[ MORE: What we learned about the USMNT this summer ]

Some are no-doubters: Having this team without Julie Ertz or Kelley O’Hara would be criminal. But there are a lot of tough decisions here.

Should a quarterfinalist get a player on the XI, given that France lost to the champions in a brutal draw? How many USWNT players should make it? Alex Morgan did all her statistical damage in one match, but did so much that doesn’t show up on the score sheet. And how do we pick three center backs when the best defenders were out wide?

Ultimately, we’re playing a right back out of position because we can, because Julie Ertz is going to clean up a lot of messes, and because this team will never take the field: It’s a post on the Information Superhighway.

Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands)

O’Hara (USWNT) — Wendie Renard (France) — Lucy Bronze (England)

Kosovare Asllani (Sweden) — Ertz (USWNT) — Rose Lavelle (USWNT) — Sherida Spitse (Netherlands)

Megan Rapinoe (USWNT) — Alex Morgan (USWNT) — Ellen White (England)

This was tough. Who was our most egregious omission?

England cruises past Norway as Bronze scores rocket (video)

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England is off to its second-successive Women’s World Cup semifinal after three different goal scorers led the Lionesses to a straight-forward 3-0 defeat of Norway on Thursday.

Jill Scott, Ellen White, and Lucy Bronze scored in the win, the last name with an emphatic finish off a set piece.

Nikita Parris saw a late penalty saved by Norway after Steph Houghton was fouled and injured in the box.

England will meet the winner of France and the United States in the semifinal, while the 1995 champion Gresshoppene bow out at the quarterfinal stage.

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England’s well-executed plan didn’t need help from Norway, but the Scandinavian country provided sloppy play in the final third anyway.

England’s first goal was aided by accidental misdirection, as Lucy Bronze drove around the left of the Norway defense to cut a ball back toward the spot. EWhite missed her kick completely which must’ve stalled the defense for Scott, standing 6-8 feet away, to push a shot off the far post and into the goal.

Nikita Parris worked the same side of the defense before cutting toward goal, where she smashed a left-footed shot wide of the goal.

While Norway was a shade off in its attack, England looked ready for anything. White smashed a shot off the far post in the 29th minute.

The lead went to two when White drifted to the center of the six to side-foot an easy finish of Parris’ nutmeg pass from the right.

Norway came close to pulling back a goal just two minutes into the second half, but an awkward bounce stopped Caroline Hansen from a first-touch attempt.

England put it to bed through Bronze, who took a cut back free kick and smoked an arrow under the cross bar.

It could’ve been 4-0, but Parris saw her penalty saved by Ingrid Hjelmseth.

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.