LONDON (Reuters) – Carli Lloyd, captain and hat-trick hero for the United States in their World Cup final triumph, heads the trio of nominees for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, announced on Monday.
Lloyd, whose treble in the 5-2 win against Japan in Vancouver in July featured an extraordinary strike from the halfway line, is joined on the shortlist by Japan’s captain Aya Miyama and Germany striker Celia Sasic.
The Houston Dash midfielder and double Olympic champion Lloyd will be favourite for the award after her historic World Cup in which she led the U.S to a record third title and won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.
Her showpiece treble was the first hat-trick by any player — male or female — in a World Cup final since Geoff Hurst’s 1966 heroics for England against West Germany. Lloyd, though, achieved her feat in just the first 16 minutes of the game.
Lloyd’s six goals in Canada saw her match Sasic as the tournament’s top scorer with the German striker winning the Golden Boot on the basis of having played fewer minutes.
(Writing by Ian Chadband; editing by Justin Palmer)