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14 Americans lead FIFPRO Best XI shortlist

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That’s over 25% of the list.

United States of America v Netherlands: Final - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Photo by John Todd/isiphotos.com/Getty Images

FIFPRO has released their 55-player shortlist of players who provide the pool for the World Best XI. Dominating the list are 14 United States women’s national team players.

USWNT players on the list by position:
GK: Alyssa Naeher
Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn
Midfielders: Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Carli Lloyd, Sam Mewis
Forwards: Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe

You could very nearly make a World Best XI from the US players alone. These are mostly players who had solid-to-blazing-hot World Cups, which is what happens in a tournament year. The big performances stand out, making it less likely that someone will be evaluated for their entire body of work for the year. Is that fair? Should someone who lights up the field for their club but didn’t stand out at the World Cup or got snubbed for a roster get as much attention as someone who went buck wild at the tournament but hasn’t done much for club? Is it only right for the World Cup to be weighted so heavily, given its level of difficulty?

Among the list of US players, Ertz, Horan, Lavelle, and Rapinoe are probably guaranteed to win enough votes. Mewis is certainly just as deserving as her fellow midfielders, but may fly under the radar due to having a less flashy game, Leslie Jones tweet notwithstanding. Heath had a bit of a wobbly World Cup and Lloyd simply didn’t get much time, as well as not having the most high-profile season with her club. Dahlkemper probably should be on there for the very unremarkability of her game - that’s the sign of a calming, solid center back - and of course Crystal Dunn made a case for herself as the best left back in the world. But regardless of individual play, if you pulled any XI from this list, you’d at least have an internationally competitive team that could beat almost any other starting XI in the world.

Here’s the full list:

GOALKEEPERS (5)

Sarah Bouhaddi (France, Olympique Lyonnais)
Christiane Endler (Chile, Paris Saint-Germain)
Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden, VfL Wolfsburg/Chelsea)
Alyssa Naeher (USA, Chicago Red Stars)
Sari van Veenendaal (The Netherlands, Atletico)

DEFENDERS (20)

Millie Bright (England, Chelsea)|
Lucy Bronze (England, Olympique Lyonnais, photo)
Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada, Olympique Lyonnais)
Abby Dahlkemper (USA, North Carolina Courage)
Crystal Dunn (USA, North Carolina Courage)
Nilla Fischer (Sweden, Linkopings/VfL Wolfsburg)
Sara Gama (Italy, Juventus)
Stefanie van der Gragt (The Netherlands, FC Barcelona)
Alex Greenwood (England, Olympique Lyonnais)
Stephanie Houghton (England, Manchester City)
Ali Krieger (USA, Orlando Pride)
Saki Kumagai (Japan, Olympique Lyonnais)
Amel Majri (France, Olympique Lyonnais)
Griedge Mbock (France, Olympique Lyonnais)
Maren Mjelde (Norway, Chelsea)
Kelley O’Hara (USA, Utah Royals)
Wendie Renard (France, Olympique Lyonnais)
Michelle Romero (Venezuela, Deportivo La Coruna)
Camila Saez (Chile, Rayo Vallecano)
Becky Sauerbrunn (USA, Utah Royals)

MIDFIELDERS (15)

Andressa Alves (Brazil, AS Roma)
Kosovare Asllani (Sweden, CD Tacon, Linkopings)
Sara Daebritz (Germany, Paris Saint-Germain)
Danielle van de Donk (The Netherlands, Arsenal)
Julie Ertz (USA, Chicago Red Stars)
Formiga (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain)
Jackie Groenen (The Netherlands, Manchester United)
Amandine Henry (France, Olympique Lyonnais)
Lindsey Horan (USA, Portland Thorns)
Rose Lavelle (USA, Washington Spirit, photo)
Carli Lloyd (USA, Sky Blue)
Dzsenifer Marozsan (Germany, Olympique Lyonnais)
Samantha Mewis (USA, North Carolina Courage)
Sherida Spitse (The Netherlands, Valerenga)
Keira Walsh (England, Manchester City)

FORWARDS (15)

Oriana Altuve (Venezuela, Rayo Vallecano)
Caroline Graham Hansen (Norway, FC Barcelona)
Pernille Harder (Denmark, VfL Wolfburg)
Tobin Heath (USA, Portland Thorns)
Ada Hegerberg (Norway, Olympique Lyonnais)
Jennifer Hermoso (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Sam Kerr (Australia, Chicago Red Stars)
Eugenie Le Sommer (France, Olympique Lyonnais)
Lieke Martens (The Netherlands, FC Barcelona)
Vivianne Miedema (The Netherlands, Arsenal, photo)
Alex Morgan (USA, Orlando Pride)
Nikita Parris (England, Olympique Lyonnais)
Megan Rapinoe (USA, Reign FC)
Marta Vieira da Silva (Brazil, Orlando Pride)
Ellen White (England, Manchester City)

Who would you put in your World Best XI?