Sam Kerr: “Hopefully one day it will be my time but I just have to be patient and keep doing me.” (Jeffrey Auger Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr, who has been striking for goals and fear into the hearts of opposing defenders and goalkeepers this year, struck back at FIFA after she did not finish among the three finalists for FIFA’s best woman’s player in the world for 2017.
Kerr, who set several National Women’s Soccer League records this season, was among the 10 finalists, but wound up out of the top three candidates despite her superior season.
The FIFA voting includes national team coaches, selected media and fans.
“Not surprised really, it’s FIFA,” Kerr told the Sydney Morning News at a Fox Sports W-League launch. “To be honest, I turned the Twitter off for a few days. I wasn’t getting my hopes up. Moya Dodd had kind of been snubbed.”
Dodd, an Australian native, is a vice president of the Asian Football Confederation. She was a member of the FIFA Council before she lost in an election.
The top three vote getters were:
* Deyna Castellanos is a Venezuelan international who was a vital member of her team at the Under-17 Women’s World Cup, winning the Bronze Ball and Bronze Boot.
* Two-time winner Carli Lloyd did not enjoy the dominant year she had in 2015, when she was a one-woman wrecking crew for the Women’s World Cup U.S. championship team.
* And Lieke Martens, who has performed for FC Rosengard and FC Barcelona, who earned the Golden Ball while scoring three times for the Netherlands side that captured the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro crown.
“Like I said, I don’t play for personal awards. It was obviously a great honor to be nominated and there are other great female athletes in football doing great things around the world,” Kerr told the newspaper. “Hopefully one day it will be my time but I just have to be patient and keep doing me.”
Not surprisingly, Kerr’s omission shocked the women’s soccer world. Many teammates, players, including one-time FIFA women’s world player of the year Abby Wambach and members of the media, came to her defense.
“That’s the most important thing, your teammates and peers thinking highly of you,’ Kerr said. “You don’t really play for personal awards but it’s nice to have the backing of a few people that I look up to like Abby Wambach.”
Kerr, 24, is a finalist for NWSL MVP.
The league’s Golden Boot winner, Kerr set a NWSL season scoring record with 17 goals in 22 appearances. Five of her 17 tallies were game-winning goals, to go along with four assists. She became the first player to record two hat-tricks in the same season, recorded the fastest hat-trick in league history as she registered three goals in 12 minutes. Kerr also became the first player in NWSL history to score four goals in a game and was named to the NWSL team of the month for May, June, July and August.