Carli Lloyd honored as FIFA Women's World Player of the Year
ANNE M. PETERSON
Jan. 11, 2016
A look at the top moments of 2015 for U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd, honored as FIFA Women's World Player of the Year on Monday in Zurich:
HAT TRICK: Her most remarkable feat came on the sport's biggest stage: the Women's World Cup final. The sellout crowd at Vancouver's BC Place had barely been seated when Lloyd came out firing, scoring three goals in the first 16 minutes of the match against Japan. No other woman had ever scored a hat trick in the final. The United States went on to beat Japan 5-2 for its third overall World Cup championship.
OH, AND ABOUT THAT LAST GOAL: Lloyd's third goal in the final was easily her best, a shot from midfield that sailed 50 yards before it was tipped by Japan's onrushing goalkeeper and bounced into the back of the net. The goal was among the nominees for FIFA goal of the year and Lloyd is the only female nominee for the award.
MISSION STATEMENT: Lloyd made clear her intentions before the World Cup's championship match in Canada. "We didn't come here to just make it to the final. We came here to win it."
SETTING LLOYD FREE: The move that set up Lloyd's playmaking actually came in the quarterfinals against China. With Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe serving suspensions, midfielder Morgan Brian dropped back and Lloyd moved up, freeing her to be more creative. In the end, she won the tournament's Golden Ball as top player.
FOR THE SEASON: Lloyd finished 2015 with 18 goals, far more than anyone else on the U.S. national team. The 33-year-old New Jersey native was named U.S. Soccer's female Player of the Year.
THE AWARD: Carli Lloyd is the third U.S. player to win FIFA's top individual honor. Mia Hamm won in 2001 and 2002, Abby Wambach in 2012. Brazil's Marta holds the record for most awards with five (2006-10). The other nominees for the award this year were Japan's Aya Miyama and Germany's Celia Sasic.
Lloyd received 35.3 percent of the votes for the award, followed by Sasic with 12.6 percent and Miyama with 9.8 percent. National team captains and coaches vote.
OVERCOME: When Lloyd took the stage to accept the award, she said simply: "Wow." And then she had to pause to gather her composure. "I honestly wouldn't be standing up here without my incredible teammates," she said. "We all know it took 23 players to win the World Cup this past summer. So thank you to them."
NOT ALONE: Lloyd wasn't the only American called to the stage in Zurich. U.S. coach Jill Ellis won FIFA Women's World Coach of the Year.