Megan Rapinoe is among six NWSL players who have been shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or. (OutfoxedMediaPhoto)
CHICAGO – Six National Women’s Soccer League players have been nominated for the 2019 Women’s Ballon d’Or, awarded by France Football.
Four of the players were members of the United States team that captured the Women’s World Cup title in France this summer.
The award will be presented at the 2019 Ballon d’Or Gala in Paris Dec. 2. This year marks the second time a female has been honored.
Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC/United States), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars/Australia), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit/U.S.), Marta (Orlando Pride/Brazil), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/U.S.) and Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC/U.S.) are among the shortlist of 20 nominees.
The six NWSL players are joined by: 2018 winner Ada Hegerberg (Lyon/Norway), Kosovare Asllani (CD Tacon/Sweden), Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon/France), Lucy Bronze (Lyon/England), Nilla Fischer (Linköpings/Sweden), Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg/Denmark), Amandine Henry (Lyon/France), Sofia Jakobsson (CD Tacon/Sweden), Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon/Germany), Lieke Martens (FC Barcelone/Netherlands), Vivian Miedema (Arsenal/Netherlands), Wendie Renard (Lyon/France), Sari van Veenendaal (Atlético Madrid/Netherlands) and Ellen White (Manchester City/England).
The Ballon d’Or began in 1956 and was only awarded to male players until the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018. Between 2010 and 2015, the award partnered with FIFA World Player of the Year to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or but the two went their separate ways in 2016.
This season in the NWSL, Kerr was named the 2019 league MVP and won her third consecutive NWSL Golden Boot finishing as the league’s top scorer and setting a NWSL record with 18 goals.
Heath, Kerr, and Lavelle were named to the 2019 Best XI, and Rapinoe, Heath, and Kerr saw their teams advance to the 2019 NWSL playoffs. Kerr led the Red Stars to their first NWSL final following their semifinal win over Portland Thorns FC but fell to the North Carolina Courage in the final at Sahlen’s Stadium Oct. 27. In September, Rapinoe was named The Best FIFA Women’s Player for 2019 following her standout performance in the Women’s World Cup as U.S. claimed its fourth title.
Fans canfor the Women’s Ballon d’Or along with France Football’s other notable awards, such as:
Ballon d’Or: Best performing men’s player
Kopa Trophy: Best performing men’s player under the age of 21
Yachine Trophy: Inaugural award for the best performing men’s goalkeeper