Hey, remember SheBelieves? In March? Of this year? Yes, the year 2020, which we are currently somehow still in? Anyway, between SheBelieves, Concacaf Olympic qualifying, and the NWSL Challenge Cup, the senior women’s national team has managed to put together enough games this year to cobble together some kind of assessment of who the “best” one was. There was also the super fun friendly against Netherlands that honestly did put some style on display, albeit for just one game. The U-20s also had just enough games thanks to Concacaf U-20 championships to at least make a general assessment.
Who votes for the women’s award: women’s national team coaches, national team players who have earned a cap in 2020, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, NWSL head coaches (USWNT award), select media members, former players and administrators, and select college coaches (USWNT award)
Per USSF’s release, this is for “achievements with club and country,” hence Challenge Cup counts, although many of the players discussed how it was a physical and mental pressure cooker where no team was at 90-minute tournament-style fitness. Look, this is not to sound like a Debbie Downer about everything; sports awards can and should be fun. And goodness knows we need to take every chance we can get to celebrate the highlights of this year, particularly with the nominated youth players who are genuinely bright talent to get excited about through this next cycle. So I guess what I’m saying is, can they all just win the player of the year award simply for actually finding a way to play soccer at all in this cursed year?
Women’s player of the year nominees:
Women’s young player of the year nominees:
Who’s your player of the year? Did anyone get left off? Let us know in the comments!