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Johnston, Lloyd, Rapinoe named World Cup Golden Ball finalists

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The United States has three finalists for the Women's World Cup Golden Ball, awarded to the best player in the tournament. FIFA announced the eight finalists for the award on Thursday and Julie Johnston, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe all made the cut.

No other team has as many finalists as the U.S. Fellow finalist Japan put two finalists on the list, while semifinal losers Germany and England had one apiece. France, who lost in the quarterfinals, had the final candidate.

- Saori Ariyoshi (Japan)
- Lucy Bronze (England)
- Amandine Henry (France)
- Julie Johnston (USA)
- Carli Lloyd (USA)
- Aya Miyama (Japan)
- Megan Rapinoe (USA)
- Celia Sasic (Germany)

While the U.S. could hardly accuse FIFA of treating them unfairly, the most surprising omission is an American. Becky Sauerbrunn has been phenomenal all tournament in leading the back line and her brilliant reading of the game has led a defense that is the World Cup's best. There's a strong argument to be made that she's been the best player in the entire tournament.

If the U.S. wins on Sunday, they can probably count on one of their players taking home the award. The question would be which one.