Megan Rapinoe has been listed as one of ten nominees for FIFA’s 2018 The Best award. The nominees are as follows:
Lucy Bronze (England/Olympique Lyonnais)
Pernille Harder (Denmark/VfL Wolfsburg)
Ada Hegerberg (Norway/Olympique Lyonnais)
Amandine Henry (France/Olympique Lyonnais)
Samantha Kerr (Australia/Sky Blue FC/Perth Glory FC/Chicago Red Stars)
Saki Kumagai (Japan/Olympique Lyonnais)
Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany/ Olympique Lyonnais)
Marta (Brazil/Orlando Pride)
Megan Rapinoe (USA/Seattle Reign FC)
Wendie Renard (France/Olympique Lyonnais)
The final short list of three nominees will be announced in early September.]
The initial list of ten was compiled by a panel of experts:
Diego Guacci (ARG)
Mia Hamm (USA)
Maia Jackman (NZL)
Patrick Jacquemet (FRA)
Nadine Kessler (GER)
Andrea Rodebaugh (MEX)
Jacqui Shipanga (NAM)
Anna Signeul (SWE)
Clementine Toure (CIV)
Sun Wen (CHN)
Belinda Wilson (AUS)
Voting is done by national team coaches, national team captains, a media representative from each country, and fans, with each group weighted equally at 25%. You can see voting procedure and sign up for the fan vote here. Voting for the women’s award is supposed to be for achievements in the period from August 7, 2017 to May 24, 2018.
This has been a pretty good year for Rapinoe, particularly at the club level. When healthy, she’s an indispensable part of the Seattle Reign’s lineup and her absence is keenly felt. She has seven goals and four assists in 13 games for Seattle, with one goal about every 152 minutes, and she currently leads the league in shots on goal. For the national team, she has three goals and six assists in eight games, making that a goal every 188 minutes - but an assist every 94 minutes.
Rapinoe faces some stiff competition and may run up against a lack of a big tournament award in the voting period, while every Wolfsburg and Lyon player on the list went through a grueling Champions League final that ended in an intense and exciting extra time period, with Lyon ultimately taking the trophy. Lyon also won their domestic league this year, while Rapinoe is obviously still playing in hers, with the Reign currently in second place.
Rapinoe is still a worthy inclusion this year, as American players go (and there have been some head-scratchers in years past, as has been customary for this award on the women’s side) and if she loses out to someone like Pernille Harder or Wendie Renard, it’s hard to argue the result.
What do you think? Was there another USWNT player you think should be on the list? Will Rapinoe win? Who do you think will ultimately take the award? Let us know in the comments below.