FIFA names 2015 Women’s World Cup all-star team

Jeff Kassouf August 17, 2015 167
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

FIFA released its technical report from the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which includes the all-star team selected by FIFA’s Technical Study Group.

It’s hard to argue with most of the all-star list, but the absence of United States defender Becky Sauerbrunn is an egregious mistake. Here’s the list:

Goalkeepers:
Nadine Angerer, Karen Bardsley, Hope Solo

Defenders:
Saori Ariyoshi, Lucy Bronze, Kadeisha Buchanan, Steph Houghton, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Wendie Renard

Midfielders and forwards:
Ramona Bachmann, Lisa De Vanna, Amandine Henry, Elise Kellond-Knight, Eugenie Le Sommer, Carli Lloyd, Anja Mittag, Aya Miyama, Megan Rapinoe, Mizuho Sakaguchi, Celia Sasic, Elodie Thomis, Rumi Utsugi

Sauerbrunn was easily the best defender in the tournament. Her colleague, Julie Johnston, was a close second but struggled in the semifinal against Germany. Sauerbrunn never looked out of sorts in the seven matches at the tournament, positioning herself perfectly on almost every occasion and making goal-saving tackles on the rare occasion she needed to make up ground.

Sauerbrunn’s omission from the final list of players eligible for the Golden Ball — given to the tournament’s best player and eventually won by Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat trick in the United States’ 5-2 win over Japan in the final — was unfortunate but understandable. Johnston made that list, which is understandable as the center back tasked with more of the attention-grabbing tackles.

But to claim that Sauerbrunn isn’t among the seven best defenders at the World Cup is ludicrous. She firmly established herself as one of the best defenders in the world.

  • Yoyo

    Agree with becky sauerbrunn but ali krieger? tobin heath? morgan brian?

    • STT

      None of those were impact players like JJ, Brun, Rapinoe, and Lloyd were. Yes, they were important pieces of the puzzle, (especially Brian – our team got noticeably better when she started,) but they only helped by making the machine run smoothly, none of them had any real standout performances.

      • john

        One could argue Brunn had no standout performance either. Just seven steady games of high quality. She got overlooked for the same reason. Which raises enormous questions about that whole “technical report ” crap FIFA follows every tournament with.

        • Yoyo

          You read my mind

        • leftbacklion

          Excellent point. No spectacular game-saving tackles because she was almost always positioned so she didn’t have to make any. Did anybody score on Sauerbrunn? No. I think she was well positioned to guard Heymann on Australia’s goal. Heymann did get the assist to DeVanna though. Ogimi scored on Johnston with a nifty turn. Japan’s 2nd goal was an own-goal off Johnston. But you’re right – nothing outstanding from Brunn, just rock-solid play.

      • RM27Fan

        I don’t think Heath and Brian should have been chosen because of their minutes and inconsistency before China. I would however, say that from the China game to the finals they were two of the most important players on the entire team. Their effort’s may not necessarily show up in the stat sheet every game but they were both key pieces in the quick transformation of the midfield. Imho, the US does not beat Germany without them and they both had major roles in many of the goals against Japan

        It is still the biggest joke how Becky was not even considered for the golden ball, but now, this too.

        • Steglitz49

          How do they pick these line-ups? France walked away with 4, the same as Japan and 1 more than England. In WC-11, France got 3 while Sweden only 2. As el cascador and I noted a while ago, FIFA are consistent in their madness.

          • RM27Fan

            Your guess is as good as mine. I suppose they follow a similar procedure with the golden ball nominees.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. Funnily enough they are consistent, so some sort of logic must apply, one suspects. Maybe NYRick can ferret it out for us, seeing that Christen did not get blessed.

    • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

      Ali Krieger did very well defensively, but couldn’t complete a cross to save her life in the tournament. Heath wasn’t consistent enough throughout the tournament. Starting Brian in the middle was the turning point for the U.S., but I think she didn’t play enough to get in.

  • David K Anderson

    It’s really hard to take FIFA seriously these days, isn’t it?

    • STT

      Just these days?

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear!

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    • Steglitz49

      The All-Star team of WC-11 was pretty naff too.

    • Timber Dave

      Has FIFA ever taken WoSo seriously? Not that I can remember. Blatter’s gaffes — not knowing who the Ballon d’Or candidates were, the shorts comment, etc. — are only the tip of the iceberg.

      FIFA looks to me like an old boys network of the worst kind.

  • STT

    Brunn over Kling, for sure. Not sure if there’s another defender I would knock off the list.

    • I don’t know. JJ made more glaring mistakes than Kling, did she not?
      She got a lot of attention for being young & stepping into a veteran position, but for every one or two great plays she made, she also made one noticeable blunder.

  • NYRick

    No Brunn? No credibility to the list. Nuff said.

    • kernel_thai

      What??? FIFA, no credibility??? U really went out on a limb there.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      Hands Rick a tissue so he can cry about his girl Press not on the team….. It’s ok Rick…

  • EK22

    I’ve seen/heard of some best XI lists and Kling usually makes them because there weren’t a lot of standout left backs.

    • Ethan

      When she played, I thought Laure Boulleau was fantastic. (That first goal against South Korea is just an example of her offensive quality, and I thought she was strong defensively.) However, she got dropped for Majri, and France went out in the quarterfinals.

      • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

        Laure Boulleau got injured during the South Korea game.

        • Ethan

          Okay, I didn’t know that. I just assumed that Majri took back the starting role she had before her injury. Thanks for informing me.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            She has a knee surgery couple weeks ago. Yeah, she was that injured!

            pic.twitter.com/g6Cg76DcEl

          • Lorehead

            Get well soon!

  • Nicole C.

    I know she’s not ditching PSG anytime soon but I would love to see Mittag play in the NWSL.

  • luke

    No Broon – no sense, sorry.

  • Amanda Brooke Petree

    I think the whole US back line should have made it because they were seconds away from setting a single world cup record and, Hope was the least deserving some the games she did not have to make one stop in some of those games because the back line did not
    allow the other team through. One truth abot another player if she had got more playing time i feel like she would have made the all tournament team and that is Kelley O”Hara

    • Cc W

      Hope has to get some credit for making sure the line in front of her was in position. She made big saves against AU and also against GER.

    • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

      Well, what three GKs should have beaten out Hope?

  • BigBadBossMan

    They should explain their methodology for arriving at these lists

    • Steglitz49

      There is no method in their madness, so it will be a tall order.

      France, as usual, is overrepresented.

      • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

        Perhaps because France has very good players nonetheless. You seem to have a problem with that.

        • Steglitz49

          They lost sight of the path to the final. They preferred a pyrrhic victory to smart strategy. I would have no French player in that list, except for Henry.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            What does team strategy has to do with individual performances? They played every game to win and they probably are rewarded for this.

          • Steglitz49

            France have 4 players and England has 3. England took bronze by beating Germany.

            In WC-11 France got 3 while Sweden got 2, so FIFA are at least consistent.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            Good for them.

          • Tom F

            where the heck is China? They only lost by 1 goal in the quarters to the best team in the planet. Yet nobody got picked from their team. Hope you remember that next time to eat a cup of egg fu yung!

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe the experts lumped them in with the Japanese and South-Koreans? Dictatorship? Forced an uncomfortable referee decision against Canada? Any other prejudices we can think of? Don’t speak French?

          • leftbacklion

            Agree. I’d take the Chinese GK over Bardsley.

    • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

      This is basically all there is to it:

      “This All-Star Squad is made up of 23 players who succeeded in getting fans out of their seats and truly impressing the TSG experts.”

  • smallchief

    Sauerbrunn should not only be on the list, she should be the first defender on the list. Ridiculous.

  • Rdalford

    Agree that Sauerbrunn was best defender.

    The FIFA technical report has a number of other comical items. Section on ref’s takes time to compliment hotel accommodations (maybe a FIFA exec focus?) but does not acknowledge any ref problems. Report touts FIFA quality turf, etc.

    • Steglitz49

      FIFA won the turf-war for sure though some matches were damaged by the hot surface.

  • Ethan

    Karen Bardsley? I thought she was caught out by Bronze’s goal, but McLeod deserves to be on the All-Star team much more than Bardsley.

    • Lord Otter-Blotter

      It’s probably not a coincidence that all three of the selected keepers played seven games, whereas McLeod only got five. And Bardsley did have the most saves in the tournament, fwiw, with a save rate about equal to McLeod’s.

      • Steglitz49

        England took bronze. Nevertheless, I consider Bardsley is a liability and that England needs to find someone better soon, Gordon Banks in honor.

      • Ethan

        I suppose. However, despite how well Le Sommer struck the ball, Bardsley was beaten near post while managing to get a hand to the ball, and she definitely is solely responsible for both the Mexico and Canada goals. Her best performance was against Germany, and she bobbled the ball on a corner kick or free kick delivery in that match as well. Whenever I’ve seen her play, she’s always made at least one notable error, and her handling has never looked consistently good. Despite looking decent in the second half against the US, Lindahl is the only top-team goalkeeper I would trust less than Bardsley in international matches.

        • Lord Otter-Blotter

          She definitely did make some big mistakes, and caught the ball less often than I’d have liked. Just saying I think she was also tested a good deal more than McLeod was.

          • Ethan

            Okay, fair enough.

  • justsomeguy

    agreed, this is completely unfair to saurbraun. best player on the team

  • Ethan

    Bachmann? I guess a dominant performance against Ecuador is good enough to put you on the all-star team. (I know about all of her dribbles and such. However, she seems reluctant to pass at times, and she really had no end product outside of the Ecuador match.) Utsugi? And she’s listed as a forward in the tweet with the all-star team? Some questionable decisions were made here.

  • Cc W

    I think most of us will agree, that we don’t want to take anything away from the players named – congrats to them – but anyone who watched the games knows Becky should have been on that list.

    • Ethan

      I can’t really argue with any of the defenders listed though. Take away Bardsley (does there really have to be three goalkeepers on this list?), or take away Bachmann/Utsugi. (I’m okay with people justifying Utsugi’s inclusion; she just didn’t really stand out to me. Neither did Sakaguchi outside of her wonderful team goal. However, outside of the final, Japan didn’t concede much, and they were the defensive midfielders. So, I guess FIFA wanted to reward them for that.)

      • Steglitz49

        Why do you want to take away Utsugi? Lack of name recognition? I contend that Rumi is a fine choice. Where is el cascador when we need him?

        • Ethan

          Fair enough. You know more about how she played in the World Cup than I do. Three Japanese midfielders though? The FIFA Technical Study Group sure loves watching possession football.

          • Steglitz49

            Japan reached the final. That must be rewarded. They only have 4 players in this list, the same as France. That does not make sense.

            Rumi went to Montpellier 5 years ago at the age of 21 and has played there since and by all accounts is much liked and respected. An honorary French player!

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            Where does it say all-star players must be those who went the farest in the tournament?

          • Steglitz49

            It stands to reason.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            All-star players means to me spectacular players…players that make the show. That why Bachmann deserve to be on that list. Doesn’t not have to be players who won something or in that case let’s put all the USWNT squad and that’s it.

          • Steglitz49

            Let’s be reasonable. The winner in the final gets one more than the loser. The bronze team gets one less and the #4 1 less than that. After that we pick and chose the exceptional players 1 each from a team..

            In WC-11 the US got the same as Japan which was just about defendable because the game was tied. Sweden should have had 3 players and France 2.

            As you and I agree, at least FIFA is consistent even if we don’t agree about the details.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            FIFA is surely consistent with the world “all-stars”. All the player named are stars for their country.
            A principle you seem not to be agree with.

          • Steglitz49

            I contend that Henry was the only true French star. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

          • guest

            I would pick Le Sommer by default. I didn’t really see any forwards who were stars in this wc. Amandine Henry is, in my opinion one of the top 5 midfielders in the world and played like it at the wc.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            I am still hoping for the day someone would conscientiously watch France’s games. He will say that Wendie Renard is the key for France also.

            Wendie Renard, Henry and LeSommer deserve to be all-stars. I am not saying that because they are french I am saying this because they are really good and spectacular at what they do.

            It is Steglitz69’s logic to see nationalities before individual talent. This is also the closest mindset to what we call racism commonly.

          • Steglitz49

            Wendie Renard was the French captain. It was her job to make sure the team got over on to easy street, the sunny side of the draw. She failed. No place on an All-Star team. Basta.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            Well, open your eye, actually she is.
            Another conspiracy theory about french taking over?

          • Tom F

            Euro’s tend to think that a cb should also be an attacking player as well, and that is why probably they selected Houghton, Johnston or Renard over Sauebrunn who in my mind is the best actual defensive player in the world today.

            But unfortunately this thinking pattern(offensive cb’s) us why Euro teams have taken a back seat lately. and you don’t have to look no further than OL’s A team loosing to Bayern Munich’s ‘B side last Sunday.

            I’m sorry but the key for France to finally win an important tourney, is too put more value on defenders. Hopefully M’Bock might provide that(when France finally decide to put her in their starting lineup up over the George/Renard).

            Canada’s Buchanan is only 19 years old and look how good she’s become. So please, to really win the big one’s, it’s got to be defense over offence

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            I live in France for 25 years I know better what France lacks. France’s problem is the opposite of what you are saying. Historically France produces very good midfielders; they produced the best playmakers and defensive midfielders in the last decades. Likewise Spain, their philosophy is to play skilful and good (if not beautiful) football based on possession, patience and short passes. Sometimes we saw that goalkeepers were chosen for their football skills over their goalkeeping capabilities ( Bouhaddi, Barthez etc…). FRANCE’S PROBLEM IS THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO PRODUCE DEADLY STRIKERS. In 70 years France only produced only 4 efficient strikers in front of goals : Fontaine, Papin, Trezeguet, Henry. In witch one would argue and add Zidane and Platini but they were not strikers. It’s a very small number if to compare with the most titled nations (Brazil, Germany, Italy). National teams like Spain or England had produced more deadly strikers in a smaller window of time. DANG IT! France women national team would have probably won a tournament if their best striker in France women soccer history would not be retired today : Marinette Picton.

          • Tom F

            I get what your saying, but please understand over on this side the complaints from our ‘expert commentators’ is whether playing even the best foreign teams is lack of marking & other poor defensive skills by opponents.
            Remember, in soccer the men’s game is different than the women’s. In the men’s, usually a defender can kick the ball out of the ball park on a last ditch clearance.
            But in the women’s game, half of all the goals are going to be made by errors of the defenders, either by own goals, poor clearances, sloppy passing within danger zones. This part is so obvious important to work on and that’s why you need defenders who can actually defend first!(then thinking about an attacking defender)

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            You are talking on a way wider scale whereas I was speaking about France specifically.

            Let’s keep in mind that Women’s soccer is still a young and new sport for most countries.Women’s soccer is not as sophisticated as Men soccer globally is today.

            As for France we can agree on one thing : they definitely need to be focusing on the goalkeeping issue as well. I still believe France defense is ok, being comfortable with the ball limits the chance of mistakes.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point that “women’s soccer is still a young and new sport for most countries” is perceptive though it might not explain why Japan not only won WC-11 but has dominated the last 4-5 years of WoSo together with the USA.

            The issue is not that the game is young among the ladies but that the Federations which are male dominated do not give a squat for WoSo. Had it not been for men like Aulas at Lyon and the Emir at PSG, WoSo in Europe would be in even worse trouble than it is. Platini has shown less interest in WoSo than Blatter.

            FIFA gave the Australian federation $500,000 this spring to help them develop the women’s game — in reality shore it up and stop the defection to cricket and netball.

            As far as I remember, Italy organized the first competition that can be considered an attempt at a women’s world cup. Pia scored the first goal by a woman at Wembley stadium and the following year Carolina Morace scored 4 for Italy. The FA women’s cup was first contested in 1971 and the Swedish and Spanish in 1981.

            Young is as young does. I expect to see the US continue to dominate WoSo. Whether Japan can stay in the upper echelons time will tell. Roll on 2019 and, before that, 2017.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            I maintain that yes most countries has come to WoSo late therefore you can’t expected a better competition and a better show than the men are showing. Even if all the late comers federations put all the money they can today, it won’t come anytime soon. Countries need first to scout players out, to make them train professionally, make sure they evolve in good leagues (locally or abroad). Theses countries teams would need to gain experiences from defeat, confidence through victoies. They would have set cycles over cycles of players, systems, coaches, again and again to finally be ‘competitive’. This s all the best teams now went through. And I believe it is where countries like Spain or Nethertland are today. There are still missing big names of soccer like Portugal, Argentina, Italy, Czech Republic, Croatia, Russia… or maybe they are on their way. Though we can agree some federations are more sceptic than anothers about Women’s soccer. Uncomfortable economic contexts might be ones of the reasons too

          • Steglitz49

            An oddity is that part of the reason why the Algarve Cup got going was that when the Swedish Federation, having been disappointed with Cyprus as a winter training location, were interested in trying Algarve one of the members of the Portuguese FA wanted to establish and develop the women’s game in Portugal. He saw Sweden’s interest as a way of promoting WoSo in Portugal.

            So far little has happened in WoSo in Portugal but the Algarve tournament has established itself as a worthy cause and in its turn spawned the Cyprus cup and now the Istria cup.

            As you type, it takes time.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear.

        • brdn08

          moreso than Formiga or even Morgan Brian or Tobin Heath?

          • Steglitz49

            America has 5 players and Japan has 4. Seems reasonable. We can with benefit take out a French player and give the US a 6th player. (But, was the US really twice as good as England and so on?)

            Anyway, Utsugi has played for Montpellier for the past 5 years since she was 21, so she is almost French!

          • Tom F

            your forgetting, Bardsley was born & raised in California, that would make it them 7 Americans, and since everybody’s whining about it, if Brunn was picked, then that would make it 8!

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. I worked out that Sweden could claim 6 or 7, depending on!

      • brdn08

        The argument isn’t about the quality of the other defenders even though there is plenty to dispute. The question is whether Sauerbrunn had a better tournament and I don’t see how anyone could dispute that.

        • Steglitz49

          I think we can agree that the so-called experts could with benefit have taken away one of the French names and put Brunn in.

        • Ethan

          I’m not disputing that. I’m saying I’d replace one of the midfielders/forwards or Bardsley with Sauerbrunn. Is there a rule that says there has to be three goalkeepers or seven defenders? If I have to replace one of the defenders with Sauerbrunn, I’d choose Ariyoshi or Renard. However, in my opinion, those two deserve to be on the all-star team more than Bardsley/Bachmann/Thomis.

          • Steglitz49

            I would drop Renard. Japan reached the final. France didn’t.

            Bachmann should not be on there either but the three you name can’t be stuffed for a defender.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            What about Johnston over Sauerbrunn? Renard did no mistake against Germany. Renard have been selected to any all stars tournament or league teams since Euro13

          • Ethan

            Okay. I did mention Ariyoshi as well. However, I will say it again; I would prefer to take out Bardsley/Bachmann/Thomis. I wasn’t really disagreeing with you when you said Thomis didn’t deserve to be on the all-star team; I was just saying she deserved it more than Bachmann did.

          • JL

            I’d have Williams as the third keeper before Bardsley.

          • Ethan

            No disagreements here. I’d put Geurts (Netherlands) and Nayler (New Zealand) before Bardsley if you have to have three goalkeepers, but that would never happen because Bardsley played all 7 matches.

          • I’d just switch Johnston for Sauerbrunn & leave the rest of the list as it lies.

            Does anyone think the U.S. makes the final if Becky Sauerbrunn isn’t on the field for the entire tournament?

          • mockmook

            The TSG 🙂

  • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

    A few thoughts:
    -Is it normal for tournament technical reports to take more that a month to produce?
    -Sauerbrunn missing the list is unfortunately not a surprise.
    -Bardsley has no business being on the list over McLeod.
    -Bachmann doesn’t belong on the list at all.

    • Steglitz49

      It is an interesting list as you note, Bardsley was a liability. Bachmann carries a lot of baggage with faking.

      In WC-11 there were 4 Americans, 4 Japanese, 3 French, 2 Swedes, Germans, English and Brazilians each, and 1 each from Australia and Equatorial Guinea. YET Sweden beat France with only 10 players to claim Bronze and beat the US in their group game.

      C’est la vie as they say. France is overrepresented again. Le plus ca change, le plus c’est la même chose.

  • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

    Thomis does not deserve to be on that list.

    • Ethan

      Well, she’s certainly more deserving to be on the list than Bachmann, and I believe people have said that her exit from the Germany game changed that game in a very negative way for France.

      • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

        Hopefully what people believe is not what everybody should believe. Thomis’ game against Germany was what she does best : running fast but failing to convert opportunities into goals or missing to deliver the right passes when she had the chance. Nécib’s game was way more interesting. Overall neither Nécib and Thomis deserve to be on that list.

        • Nicole C.

          She reminds me of Aluko. I love her crazy pace but she cannot finish for her life. If Sampson hadn’t taken her out of the lineup I doubt they would have survived that far into the knockout round.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            Spot on

          • Ethan

            Well, at least Thomis got a goal this World Cup.

          • Steglitz49

            while England claimed the bronze beating their arch-enemy.

          • Nicole C.

            For lack of a better word, Angerer sucked during that game. To put icing on the cake she lost her starting club GK position to Betos. Not a great way to retire.

          • Steglitz49

            This world cup will soon be forgotten except in the US. Too many matches were out of the time zone for too many countries (not least the Final n the middle of the night for Europe and Africa). Very little was memorable and the final was too one-sided as well as.

            It is a toss-up which manager/head-coach screwed up most but Japan at least got to the final! I would say that the French manager was the biggest fool, Neid second dumbest while Pia did herself no favors.

            Maybe Mark Sampson will get the FIFA manager of the year, though I doubt it. It is earmarked for Ellis. She won the shebang after all.

            To return to Germany’s goalkeeper, Neid should have played Schult, their #2 goalie. She is excellent. Pia should have played Musovic the young keeper she did not pick for the squad.

          • HOFCToDi

            Wrong as usual.

            England will not forget the performance of the “Three Lionesses”.

            Japan will not forget fighting to the bitter end in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, unlike the Brazilian men in the semifinals the year before. At least Japan played with honor earning a silver medal unlike Brazilian men in 2014.

          • Steglitz49

            I still don’t understand what happened to Japan. The final was over before it started it seems. I can’t read the Japanese sites so I don’t know what their supporters say.

            Were they just dog tired? They played almost the same starting XI in all matches. They rode their luck — and had a bit of bad luck too. But, the final was odd and such one-sided finals drift away in the mists of time.

          • HOFCToDi

            Bottom line:

            Silver is better than nothing, which is what Germany ended up with yet again.

          • Steglitz49

            I think we can agree that for the past 4 years WoSo has been dominated by the US and Japan, odd as it may seem.

            Bev Yanez and Becky Moros had a great time playing in Japan, as have other American players, while many Japanese lasses have come and played in America over the years. Long may it last.

          • HOFCToDi

            Is that all you post? Americans playing abroad.

            You do realize the WPS officially ceased operations on May 18, 2012? You do realize that NWSL teams loan players out upon conclusion of the NWSL season?

          • Nicole C.

            I know. Viewers across the Atlantic had the same issue during Brazil 2014. It was perfect for much of the Americas though.
            Everybody hate(s/d) Ellis, but it’s hard to deny an award to a winning coach. Sampson’s character is great but I agree, they have to give it to Ellis. What more can she do in the eyes of FIFA than to win their highest competition? Jogi won it last year when Germany won the Cup and Sasaki won it in 2011 when Japan trumped the USWNT.
            The 2016 German coach, Steffi Jones hasn’t even managed a 2. Bundesliga squad before so I wonder how she’ll fare with the national team in her hands.

          • Steglitz49

            I have no idea what Germany are up with Jones. They could have asked that Englishman who manages Frankfurt (Bell?). Maybe they did and he said no thanks? or Kellermann of Wolfsburg. It is decidedly odd.

            Is she keeping the seat warm till someone else is free? If so, whom? It can hardly be Rudi Voeller, can it?

          • Tom F

            this is where I would disagree—the 2015 WC will finally bring the age of US dominance in woso again. Carli Loyd’s boom ball goal will go down as one of the most memorable in history. As long as the NWSL is around,and we got a coach who a NT coach that starts players in their prime, the US will be forever a powerhouse. In my opinion a US ‘B”C’ & ‘D’ team would of done just as good.
            Not trying to throw superiority around here, but that’s the way as long as Europe treats woso as a 2nd rate sport

          • Steglitz49

            As I started “except in the US”. It seems almost forgotten in England already. As for Australia, Ellyse Perry is the great heroine — for her exploits on the cricket oval. The hottest property in Australian ladies team sports gave up the world’s game for Australia’s national sport.

            I don’t disagree about the NWSL. I have alsways championed it. I love its attempt to create balance.

            as for “an NT coach that starts players in their prime” is what Pia did, what TS attempted — iow been there and got the teeshirt — while for JE it seems to amount to Moe and JJ.

            As for Europe and Japan, it is too soon to tell but the amount of money that the wealthy clubs are willing to put forward in addition to the leagues as well as their willingness to sign Johanna-foreigner, it is too soon to tell. Three US U23 are plying their trades with wealthy teams in Europe. Granted there is no longer the big US presence as before the NWSL got going but if keen college seniors increasingly perceive their chances to be blocked, heck why not travel the world in a pair of football-boots?

            Roll on Rio and the the NL.

          • Tom F

            as they say; ‘to the victor goes the spoils! England’s WSL has seen it’s attendance spike since the WC and it’s FA Cup final of the 34K at Wembley ‘ain’t too shabby’!
            But I’ve noticed a lot of Euro fans were turned off on woso simply cause the US won. To them the US is just a ‘boom ball’ team that used it’s physical & athletic prowess to win.
            Can’t help that Sweden & Norwegian fans don’t want to show up in droves. Not spending time or money hurts a program. In Canada, more fans attend the women’s NT’s than the men’s/ Can’t tell if it’s exactly the same in the US since men’s NT’s games sell out, by usually half the people are cheering for the other side, especially when playing Latin teams.

          • Steglitz49

            The attendances at WoSo league matches in Sweden about a dozen years ago, has yet to be equalled in other leagues. Remember, those were the days when a young Marta chose to play for Umeå.

            How the Swedish soccer federation let this slip through their fingers says more than we would like about WoSo vs MeSo. The MLS vs NWSL says the same, not least when you take ticket prices into account and that the foreigners in MLS are has-beens while the foreigners in NWSL are current.

          • Nicole C.

            Aluko could have scored at least three times had she capitalized on her chances. During one match, you could see Kirby’s “wtf” face after she gave Aluko a perfect ball that she wasn’t able to convert.
            Maybe she couldn’t cope with the pressure? She even admitted she played poorly during the 2011 WWC match against Mexico (painful to watch)

          • Steglitz49

            Fran Kirby aka mini-Messi may be one of the world’s most expensive players. Neither Chelsea nor Reading have revealed what Chelsea paid. Lyon paid Göteborg about $250,000 to buy Lotta Schelin, allegedly.

          • Ethan

            If that price for Schelin is right, then I’m pretty surprised since she joined Lyon seven years ago in 2008. Lyon really has been willing to invest in its women’s football team for a while now.

          • Steglitz49

            Allegedly, they paid Göteborg one year’s salary. The amount may well have suffered inflation over time but it was a lot of money.

            When Lyon decided to spend, they spent. I remember seeing very high figures for salary costs of their players, much more than Frankfurt and Potsdam could afford. Lyon is not a rich men’s club — and FF and Potsdam are stand alone WoSo clubs — so when the likes of Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, PSG and the big English clubs start spending, it all is going topsy-turvey — and fast.

          • Ethan

            Yeah, maybe the reason is pressure-related. I really have no idea. She played well against Germany though. I think she may just be a situational sub for England in the future.

        • Ethan

          Fair enough. Necib and Thiney had huge misses as well. However, I remember people saying that Thomis’s pace and pressure put Germany on the back foot and prevented them from getting into the game. Once she left, they were allowed to do so. I still think Thomis deserves it more than Bachmann does.

          • Steglitz49

            Thiney’s miss was the worst.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            France did create opportunities after Thomis had left especially Thiney’s big one

          • Ethan

            I’m not saying they didn’t create opportunities. I’m saying that I remember people saying that Thomis’s exit from the game allowed Germany to have more of the possession and more of a foothold in the match.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            No. I think what allowed Germany to have more possession is France’s fatigue first and foremost. Obviously Thomis seemed very exhausted hence she got replaced.

          • Ethan

            Alright.

          • Steglitz49

            The game was poorly refereed. Early in the game the ref got in the way of a French trick corner. She also misjudged the handballs or at least was not consistent.

      • Tom F

        why shouldn’t Bachmann be not on the list? She scored 3 goal in 4 games. She looked even good in their loss vs Canada. It’s not her fault that the rest of her team mates weren’t up to par. I would of put Norway’s Hegerberg & Germany’s Goessling on the list too instead of Mittag, Sasic, or LeSommer

        • Steglitz49

          She carries too much baggage. She should not be in a list except such as based on number of goals or passes, when she can’t be excluded.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            “She should not be in a list except such as based on number of goals or passes, when she can’t be excluded.”

            Funniest comment ever.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. We have ways of making you laugh (just don’t mention the war).

        • Ethan

          You can change that to 3 goals in one game. All against a nation that everyone knew was going to be outmatched in this World Cup. How could you tell her teammates weren’t up to par in the match against Japan? She wouldn’t pass them the ball. Plus, she had that clear opportunity to tie it late, and she wasn’t up to par. I guess I’m just a much bigger fan of a player such as Dickenmann. I’ll admit that I didn’t watch the Canada match, but one match out of four isn’t going to change my overall opinion.

          I understand your Goessling argument, but I wouldn’t put her in instead of Mittag. I’m fine with replacing Sasic, but they were never going to not include a Golden Boot winner who played a lot of minutes. Le Sommer (who I think is better than Sasic) had a good overall tournament, and I wouldn’t replace her with Hegerberg. I think we’re probably just going to have to agree to disagree.

          • Steglitz49

            I would replace her with Maren Melde, she of the awesome freekick.

          • Nicole C.

            Mjelde’s free kick is defintely Puskas top 3 worthy. It embodies everything the award stands for: the most aesthetically significant, or “most beautiful”, goal of the year.
            There was so much finesse on that shot.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. Hear hear! — and it was scored against a top team with a more than decent goalie, not some tomato-can.

          • JL

            Eh, I’ve seen better FK goals. Maybe not on the same stage, but still more impressive all the same.

          • Ethan

            I will give Bachmann some credit for the deflected cross that led to the Swiss goal against Cameroon, but I still believe that she didn’t do enough to warrant inclusion in this all-star team. Bachmann is a talented, flashy player that has had success in Europe and pulled off successful dribbles in this World Cup. That is why she was included in my opinion.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            Yes, that might be. And I think it should be that way. This is the true meaning of ‘all-star’. My opinion.

          • Ethan

            Okay, agree to disagree.

          • Steglitz49

            What is the fun in that?

    • HOFCToDi

      Neither does Anja Mittag.

      Alex Morgan scored as many goals in the knockout stage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup as Anja Mittag.

  • Steglitz49

    6 of these players at least either play or have played for Swedish club teams. Something to console the Swedes with. Even more have played in the USA.

  • Steglitz49

    That white teddy-bear deserved an honorary mention in dispatches.

  • Miami66

    I think Cameroon’s Enganamouit could’ve replaced Elodie Thomis. Also wonder if Erin McLeoud should’ve been on there instead of Angerer, and a Chinese defender (Shanshan) instead of Buchanan.

    • Steglitz49

      Ms Enganamouit would have given Sweden a 7th player in the list. Vow!

    • Ethan

      I would have McLeod replace Bardsley. I get wanting a Chinese defender on the list, but if you were going to do that, I’d replace a midfielder/forward (i.e. Bachmann). I didn’t really pay attention to Enganamouit. However, Cameroon only played four matches, and she didn’t come through against Switzerland or China.

      • Steglitz49

        Cameroon beat Switzerland.

        • Ethan

          I know, but Enganamouit wasn’t the one who made the difference. Onguene was the player who sparked the comeback.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. I contend that she should have been in the list — instead of Bachmann to boot!

  • brdn08

    The fact that any defender for Japan is listed is a joke. None of those defenders are of Sauerbrunn’s ilk At least half the team is incorrect. No Formiga, is an insult. Lisa DeVanna wasn’t even the highest scoring forward on her own team. Who is Elise Kellond-Knight??? I could keep going, but an omission in my opinion of the best female player in the world (Rebecca Sauerbrunn) is reprehensible.

    • Steglitz49

      In reaching the final, Japan only conceded 3 goals. To be fair, they made up for it in the final.

      Four French players is the real laugh.

      • D23

        Kellond Knight was Australia’s best player. She got two player of the match awards too I think. She had a great tournament.

        • JL

          Yeah, Kellond-Knight was superb the entire time. It has nothing to do with name recognition.

    • Ethan

      I remember people on this site praising Kellond-Knight’s performances. I have no problem with her inclusion. DeVanna wasn’t the highest scoring forward on her team. However, she was influential throughout Australia’s run, and Japan was no doubt grateful when she left the Japan-Australia quarterfinal match. Brazil never really got going and went out in the Round of 16 to a team they were favored to beat. You might not like it, but Formiga being included in the all-star team was never going to happen. Everyone here pretty much agrees that Rebecca Sauerbrunn should have made it on this team.

  • RM27Fan

    For shame FIFA. Excluding Becky Sauerbrunn from this list is reprehensible.

  • kernel_thai

    Sauerbrunn – in my opinion she was the best defender in WC. The reason she neither made this list or the golden ball short list is FIFA doesnt care about players who dont put up offensive numbers. Johnston on the other isnt as good a defender. She is young and has a lot to learn. What she is is the best offensive CB I have ever seen. It’s just amazing how many set pieces she impacts.

  • kernel_thai

    Morgan – while I dont think a one goal performance by a forward gets u on the list, I saw no argument put forth my any forward at WC that Alex Morgan isnt the best forward in the world by a good bit. Even with one leg in the recovery room she still impacted every match she played in and gave defenses nightmares.

    • Nicole C.

      I’m seriously worried about her. Morgan’s only 26 and has been dealing with injuries left and right. I wouldn’t be surprised if years down the line, she’s forced to retire on one.

      • kernel_thai

        Here’s hoping it’s finally behind her but the way she attacks the game like her hair is on fire u have think it will always be something.

  • ladywing

    It’s FIFA, nobody really expects these listings to be fair, do they?

    • kernel_thai

      Well they do that popular vote Best XI right after WC which would sort of cover their bases if they wanted to put forth an actal well thought out list later on.

  • guest

    How in the world did Press not make this list? Anyone who couldn’t see her quality in her limited time is an idiot. Just another example of the forces working against her.

  • leftbacklion

    How the HELL is Becky Sauerbrun not on this list? She had a better WWC than both Johnston & Kling. She should have been up for the Golden Ball in my book. I thought she was the best & most consistent player for the WNT in the WWC. Nobody asked for my vote though……….

  • weltmeister

    no leonie maier, bad fifa, open the eyes.

    • Buckeye

      The same Leonie Maier who got turned inside out by Rapinoe and was lucky to not get a red card?

  • maddoxhightower

    Casual fans just can’t tell Sauerbrunn from Klingenberg. My guess.

  • I’d like to know who the hell comprises FIFA’s Technical Study Group. Any former players? Coaches?

    Because it seems like the defenders who scored or made a goalline save are the ones included here. Yes, Kling & JJ had fantastic moments – they were also flashy. It would be nice to see. 99% flawless – but quietly competent – performance rewarded for once.

  • Jersey Shore Rises

    Would not be surprised if NYRick is having a conniption fit with his Press not on the team… Poor Rick…

  • john eric

    Megan Rapinoe was only effective in the first match against Australia. After that, she was missing in action against Germany and Japan.Lauren Holiday would have been a better selection.Also strange that Sauerbrunn was omitted from best defenders.