Abby Wambach is one of three finalists for FIFA Women's Player of the Year. She is joined by Marta and Nadine Kessler in the running for women's soccer's top individual prize.
That Wambach has made it as a finalist is perplexing, to say the least. She hasn't had near her best year, in large part because she has been resting more than ever in hopes that it will allow her 34-year-old body to be fresher come next year's World Cup. The result was just six goals in 10 matches for the Western New York Flash, the fewest she's ever scored in a club season. Toss in more time on the bench for the U.S. than ever before and it's tough to make an argument that the 2012 Women's Player of the Year deserved to be a finalist this time around.
Unfortunately, strange finalists and winners have been the norm for the Women's Player of the Year. There are too few people who pay close enough attention to the women's game, and especially at the club level, to allow for such a big group of voters, but FIFA still invites national team coaches, captains and media members to all vote.
Nonetheless, Wambach will be one of the final three standing when the winner is announced on January 12. Like Wambach, Marta has also won Women's Player of the Year before, although she did it five times, capturing it each year from 2006 to 2010. Kessler has never been named Player of the Year before.