Sauerbrunn, Lloyd up for BBC World Player of the Year

Kieran Theivam April 29, 2016 43
Shunned for many awards last year, Becky Sauerbrunn (#4) is a finalist for BBC World Footballer of the Year. (Photo Copryight Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Shunned for many awards last year, Becky Sauerbrunn (#4) is a finalist for BBC World Footballer of the Year. (Photo Copryight Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

The often-overlooked Becky Saurbrunn has been named among a list of five players for the second BBC Women’s World Player of the Year award.

The Word Cup winning defender missed out on the shortlist for the Women’s Ballon d’Or and the team of the tournament at last year’s World Cup, but she joins a list for the award that includes Word Player of the Year Carli Lloyd, Seattle Reign’s Kim Little, soon to be Portland Thorn Amandine Henry, and Cameroon international, Gaelle Enganamouit.

A select panel of journalists from across the globe compiled the shortlist, with the winner decided by a public vote that is now open.

On being nominated, Saurbrunn said: “It’s really surprising, but it’s such an honor to be in that kind of company with those players because I think of them as just absolute world class. So you know every time I play against them I’m just kind of thinking ‘man these people, these ladies are really, really good,’ so to be up there and have my name with theirs it’s wonderful, it’s really unexpected.”

Carli Lloyd will be looking to add to her World Player of the Year award she collected in January, as well as the Golden Ball she achieved at the World Cup following a breath-taking hat-trick in the final and a run of impressive performances in the knockout stages.

Lloyd, much like her U.S. teammate Sauerbrunn, was delighted to be nominated, saying: “It’s an honor, every award I know has been a testament to the team’s success because, without the team, I wouldn’t be here. Also, just individually knowing that it hasn’t been an easy road – it’s taken a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of heartache – but its been worth it and I’m just truly honored.”

Soon to be Portland Thorn Amandine Henry was without question the best player in her position in 2015, anchoring the France midfield brilliantly at the World Cup, as well as helping her club Lyon to yet another league and cup double. In addition, she was the winner of the Silver Ball in Canada last year, coming second to Lloyd following her blistering performances.

Henry was humble in receiving her nomination for the award, saying: “I’m not really used to getting individual awards. I have a role on the field where I don’t score goals, it’s a role that’s a little bit in the shadows so to be singled out among these great players, [I keep saying to myself wow] this is incredible.”

Kim Little (center) has won club trophies in the U.S. and Australia. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Kim Little (center) has won club trophies in the U.S. and Australia. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Little once again showed her credentials for Seattle last year in helping to guide her team to the NWSL Championship game, while she also won the W-League’s Players’ Player of the Year in Australia after helping Melbourne City claim the league title in the club’s inaugural season.

Named NWSL MVP in 2014, many expected Little to be front runner for the BBC award last year, but she lost out to Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala for the inaugural award,

In with a second chance of winning following her shortlisting, the Reign midfielder said: “It’s extremely nice to be nominated again for this award. Although I’m sure that all the players that are nominated say it’s a team sport, you know everyone contributes, so of course it’s nice to be individually recognized.”

The only African representative, Enganamouit was prolific for little fancied Eskilstuna United in Sweden last year, finishing the league’s top scorer and helping her club clinch a surprise Champions League place, earning her a move to FC Rosengaard.

She was named African Player of the Year in 2015 for her performances for both club and country, with the highlight no doubt being her hat trick for Cameroon against Ecuador in last year’s World Cup.

Responding to the news of her nomination, she said: “I’m happy to be nominated for the BBC award – I feel good, I think it’s one more motivation to me to keep working hard to play good football.”

Voting is now open on the BBC Sport website to the public and will close on Monday 9 May at 4 a.m. EDT.

The winner of the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2016 will be revealed on Tuesday 24 May 2016 during Sport Today on BBC World Service at 1130-1200 ET, on BBC World News and online bbc.com/womensfootball and on BBC social media channels.

  • Steglitz49

    Are the Brits starting to dominate WoSo? In a couple of weeks is the ladies FA Cup final at Wembley which will be live on the BBC. It will be interesting to see how many show up to watch it in the stadium.

    • Gary Diver

      What is there not to like about Mark Sampson? And I love the British attitude about WoSo. Going into the bronze medal WC15 game, some German players made comments to the effect that playing for third place was hardly worth it, but the English wanted badly to win the game for their country.

      Compare the Laura Basset moment with the Lauren Sesselmann moment. The English team and England showed a ton of class, unlike the Canadian treatment of Sesselmann.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTuahj9UaQQ

      Personally I think BBC does a much better job broadcasting WoSo than is done in the US. Somebody posted their broadcast of the SBC game with USWNT and the commentators and analysis were great. American should listen to commentators who are not American. It would open their eyes on a lot of aspects of the game.

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed.

        The French have published the 3 nominations for their player of the league. They are: Ada Hegerberg (Lyon), Amel Majri (Lyon) and Shirley Cruz (Paris SG). The winner will be announced on May 8th.

        This year the French have added a new trophy for the best Hope for the future. I am not sure how to translate “le meilleur Espoir” (maybe Espoir is the sponsor): here we find again Ada Hegerberg (Lyon) among those nominated, as well as Grieddge M’Bock (Lyon) and Sakina Karchaoui (Montpellier).

        • Gary Diver

          No Amandine Henry? I can’t wait to see if she is the real thing. As I’ve said before, the bar has been set very high for her.

          People are gushing over Ada Hegerberg. Rising superstar of the future?

          • Guest

            She was injured for a month or so and Ada had a hell of a season. It’s rare that DMs and CMs get nominated for these awards anyway that are usually dominated by the top goal scorers.

        • Ethan

          Is there a difference between “best Hope for the future” and Young Player of the Season/Year?

          • Steglitz49

            Sakina Karchaoui is just 20. She comes from the south of France (Provence). Griedge Yinda Colette Mbock Bathy Nka, to give her her full name though she usually goes by her surname Mbock Bathy, was born in Bretagne. Ada Hegerberg is 20 and was born in Molde in Norway, where Ole Gunnar coaches today.

            I am not convinced that Ada can be labelled as hope for the future seeing that she has already arrived. How young is young? Mana Iwabuchi was 18 when she played in the WC-11 final and Saki Kumagai 20.

          • Ethan

            Well, I’m thinking of awards like the PFA Young Player of the Year Award. To win that, a player can’t be older than 23 at the start of the season. So, age wise, all three players would definitely be eligible for a Young Player of the Season award. I’m just intrigued by the wording of the “le meilleur espoir” award because “young player with the best potential” is slightly different from “best young player”.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe it allows the judges more leeway. After all, what are the criteria for the Hermann trophy seeing that Alex did not get it while Christen Annemarie did?

          • rkmid71

            It seems like there really are no criteria for these awards. Or they make them up as they go along to suit their preferences, coaches favorites, most popular, etc. The year she won the Hermann, I’m pretty sure Press actually played in college, while Morgan spent a lot of time away playing for YNTs. But then again, that didn’t stop Sauerbrunn from winning Defensive Player of the Year in NWSL last year and playing only about half the games. I think that was a makeup call for being screwed for any recognition in the World Cup — where she really earned it. I’ve given up trying to understand these things.

          • Steglitz49

            I do not like them though I understand that there is a popular demand for these awards from the great unwashed.

            When a sport has been running for a long time, like mens soccer, you start making lists of the players that never got the Ballon d’Or.

            I guess some wag can figure out an objective award based on the square root of the ratio of body mass to vital statistics or something like that. The negative logarithm, perhaps, would be fairer?

          • rkmid71

            They could, but probably would make it worse. As they would keep tweaking the theorem until the answer was what they wanted anyway. And then claim objectivity. I kind of like the BBC method. “A select panel of journalists from across the globe compiled the shortlist, with the winner decided by a public vote.” Presumably the journalists are a diverse, representative group from across the world. It’s an interesting list they came up with. And interesting that Gaelle is on the list. I did love watching the Indomitable Lioness play at the WWC. And Gaelle’s got some style.

          • Steglitz49

            Gaelle Enganamouit was the Goalscoring Queen in Sweden last season and also had 5 assists. Her team missed by one measly point to win the Damallsvenskan. Unfortunately for them, Rosengård acquired Gaelle. Gaelle also had a more than decent world cup. Worse, now she is injured.

            Thus the Nordic countries, which have meant so much for the development of WoSo, are represented by a Cameroonian international! I guess the same could have been said when Marta won the first 3 of her 5 POTYs.

          • Ethan

            Maybe.

            Regarding your question, Morgan never really played enough college matches in a given year to justify winning the Hermann award. In her senior year, I think she had 14 goals and 2 assists in 12 or so games before joining the NT for World Cup preparations. Maybe if she had played the full college season, she could have really challenged Press for the Hermann award. Plus, Berkeley doesn’t have the reputation that Stanford and the other top D1 colleges have. Either way, there isn’t really any criteria to the Hermann award, and Press definitely deserved hers for the senior season she had.

          • Steglitz49

            It seems to me that whoever advised Ms Morgan has done a brilliant job so far.

            As far as I can tell, the only other female athlete who has been as expertly promoted in the same timeframe is Magdalena Neuner, the German biathlete. Neuner allegedly was active in her PR-strategy. Also, to be fair, the agencies had more material to work with both on account of her hobbies and her ease at talking. Being glamorous did not harm either, but some say it is her kindness, generosity and loyalty that gives Magadlena an added edge.

          • Steglitz49

            U23 I can understand because that is the cut-off for the men’¨s team in the Olympics and the last level also for the ladies, though no serious competitions are run for them, U19 and U20 being the big ones.

            U23 is a special bib in X-country skiing — don’t know about alpine or biathlon — but many stars broke through well before 23.

          • Gary Diver

            In the US, Mallory Pugh is the new standard for young. If Ashley Sanchez makes the USWNT roster in 2017 it will at the same age as Pugh.

          • Steglitz49

            Given how incredibly competitive and difficult to break into the USWNT is, Mallory is a new standard in the second half of the second decade of the third millennium.

            I contend that FIFA will soon be forced to bring in a minimum age for senior competition, as applies in figure skating, gymnastics and tennis.

          • Gary Diver

            Women’s gymnastics is its own world. Women are often past their “best due date” when only 22 years old. The changes in their bodies can’t be hid. Since 1996, US women’s team has won a medal at every Olympics, but very few of the gymnasts made two of the rosters. The 2012 roster was known as the “Fierce Five” and they got a lot of press, a smaller version of the acclaim for the WC15 gals. But few of the 2012 roster will be on the 2016 roster. Simone Biles is the current superstar.
            http://sportspressnw.com/2217197/2016/biles-takes-all-around-u-s-wins-pac-rim-gym

            http://www.today.com/news/meet-olympic-hopefuls-us-women-s-gymnastics-team-t71391

            P.S. A lot of unhappiness about Candace Parker not making the basketball team:
            http://www.teamusa.org/News/2016/April/27/Meet-The-Members-Of-The-2016-US-Olympic-Womens-Basketball-Team

          • Steglitz49

            When do you become a Veteran in ladies basket?

          • Gary Diver

            Mallory Pugh’s call-up and making the national team is controversial to some people as an example of special treatment given to favorites of the USSF coaching staff.

            If we could transpose a 17-year old Mia Hamm to today (2016), do you think anybody would have a problem with her being put on the USWNT?

          • Steglitz49

            I contend that given the risk of serious injury, not least knee injuries and concussions, there could be an argument that you can’t play for the senior NT until you are 18. Maybe 17 would squeeze by and be OK, but not younger.

            The US should not need to call up anyone below college junior and they ought to leave the U20s in peace and be what they are: — 20 years or less.

          • Guesting

            So you would want to deny a talented player the opportunity to play on the NT team, because of the risk of injury. The physical nature of the college game, may present a bigger risk. Where an injury could be the kind, like a concussion, that could end a playing career. At least, there is one thing Mallory Pugh can say, is that she got to play on the NT, regardless what may happen in her college experience.

          • Gary Diver

            The Tour de France has a “white jersey” [Fr. maillot blanc] for the best young rider under 26 years old.

          • Steglitz49

            What is the age-limit for the females of the species?

            In X-country skiing there is a special jersey or bib for the U23 skiers, I think, maybe U21 for the ladies.

      • AlexH

        Enough with the crying already!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M8szlSa-8o

        • Gary Diver

          Funny, but honestly you don’t find Laura Basset’s own goal heartbreaking? If not, you really don’t have a heart.

          P.S. Seeing a young Tom Hanks and Rosie O’Donnell is a hoot. I’m I the only one who sees a resemblance between Rosie O’Donnell and Melissa McCarthy?

          • AlexH

            Own goals and missed PK’s happen all the time though. Pro athletes need to suck it up and move on. Although I wouldn’t mind some crying if at the end of it the coach actually insinuated that the ref looked like a piece of anatomical plumbing (doesn’t really matter which)

          • Steglitz49

            The best alternative is to have a snow-machine, like the US did in 2011.

        • Steglitz49

          Madonna!

          I loved the scene with the girl who could not read and her friends had to tell her she was in.

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        I remember that Sampson and the rest of the English team were supportive of Bassett, but I don’t recall anyone from Canada being especially harsh on Sesselmann or throwing her under the bus. Are you talking about different responses from teammates & staff or from social media?

    • AlexH

      The Brits are delusional about their soccer prowess at all levels, but it’s nice to see their delusions expand to the benefit of the ladies.

      • Gary Diver

        The Little Engine that Could was delusional:)

    • STT

      Showing up for a cup final, if they do that, means nothing; nor does broadcasting it. One game for two teams is a drop in the bucket versus what a program, league, or federation needs to grow.

      • Steglitz49

        Come back when either ABC, CBS or NBC will show the NWSL Championship live on prime time.

        I suspect a lot of people keen to grow the ladies game will follow what the FA is doing carefully. How long can they keep the BBC onside to show the FA women’s Cup final? Can the FA grow the attendance — Wembley holds 90,000 not 25,000 — and so on and so forth.

    • Tom F

      if they got 10 more players like Rachel Daly, they would be numero uno!

      • Steglitz49

        Fran Kirby is quite fun to watch too.

  • Gary Diver

    It is Friday, where is EQ’s preview of the weekend games?

    • Steglitz49

      Watching the NHL playoffs? Preparing for the hockey World Cup? Getting drunk or laid, not necessarily in that order.

      • Gary Diver

        A gotcha moment?

        • Steglitz49

          It is posted now, at least the one about Seattle and KC.

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