Hope Solo, Ali Krieger, Carli Lloyd, and Alex Morgan all made it to the 2016 FIFPro World XI. Over 3,200 female players voted on the XI to pick the best player at their position for 2016.
The other five players who were shortlisted but did not make the final XI were: Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Becky Sauerbrunn, Tobin Heath, and Megan Rapinoe.
Johnston, Klingenberg, and Sauerbrunn were ranked 7th, 8th, and 11th in defender voting respectively. Heath and Rapinoe came 4th and 5th in midfield voting respectively.
Solo and Lloyd were also on the 2015 World XI.
2016 was not an especially good year for the Americans, although neither was it terrible. The Olympic loss overshadows everything and indeed should weigh more heavily in people’s minds, but the WNT did have some good wins over France, Germany, and Japan. Still, our defense was not in 2015 form, nor was Lloyd her 2015 self. That’s not a demand that these players always play to that level, just an observation that they had a by-comparison much more tame 2016. It’s also a bit frustrating to see Becky Sauerbrunn ranked so low when she arguably had a much better year than Julie Johnston.
You could also argue over the midfield rankings, especially when you take club play into account as FIFPro voting is supposed to do. Tobin Heath was ablaze for the Portland Thorns in 2016 and to see Lloyd ranked above her perhaps weights international stats a little too heavily.
How would you rank these players? Who’s too high, and who’s too low? Let us know in the comments.