U.S. Women's National Team

Tuesday Kickoff: USWNT trio makes shortlist, Slovenia's new coach and more


Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/ISIphotos.com

After a year in which the United States women's national team reached the World Cup final, Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and Alex Morgan were rewarded by being named are among the 10 finalists for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award.

Wambach and Solo helped carry the United States to the final, while Morgan managed to make the final cut for the award despite never being deployed as a regular starter under manager Pia Sundhage.

The other finalists are Sonia Bompastor (France), Kerstin Garefrekes (Germany), Marta (Brazil), Aya Miyama (Japan), Louisa Necib (France), Homare Sawa (Japan) and Lotta Schelin (Sweden). 

Marta has won the award for the last five years.

Here are a few more stories to kick off your Tuesday:


When Slovenia hosts the U.S. men's national team in a friendly next month the coaches on both sidelines will be different than when the two countries met in the 2010 World Cup.

Matjaz Kek, who guided Slovenia to the World Cup, ultimately paid the price for not getting Slovenia to qualify for Euro 2012 and was ushered out in favor of Slavisa Stojanovic. The first match for the new manager will be against the United States on Nov. 15.


Manchester United centerback Nemanja Vidic has retired from international soccer, citing the criticism of his attitude toward the national team as a major reason for his decision.

Vidic, 30, missed a penalty kick in Serbia's 1-0 loss to Slovenia that prevented Serbia from having a chance at reaching the Euro 2012 finals next summer.

''The main reason for this decision is that for a long time, especially in light of recent events, the media and thus the public criticized my attitude toward the national team, even though I sometimes played injured, sometimes against the will of my club,'' Vidic said. ''Therefore, I do not want to burden the next generation of our players before the new cycle of qualifications."


Aston Villa's up-and-coming midfielder Barry Bannan was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving following a car accident on Sunday.

Bannan, a 21-year-old Scottish international, and former Villa player James Collins were both arrested and bailed. Bannan didn't train with Aston Villa on Monday as the club looks into the incident to determine any potential course of action.  


Surprised to see three U.S. players on the women's POY shorlist? Think anybody unseats Marta? Think it benefits the USA to face Slovenia during its first match under a new coach? What do you make of Vidic's retirement?

Share your thoughts below.

  • biff

    Just want to note that Hoffenheim (Danny Williams and Fabian Johnson) plays today against Cologne in a DFB Pokal game, while on Wednesday in Pokal games Nurnberg (Chandler), Schalke (Jones) are playing Second league teams and Buddle and Ingolstadt are going up against (gulp) the mighty FC Bayern in Munich. Would love to see Buddle score one or two against Bayern.


  • Marcus

    Good luck to our girls, but one would think in a World Cup year that a World Cup winner will win the award (even if they may not have merited it…*cough* Cannavaro *cough*). So my money’s on Sawa.


  • Khan

    I am so sick and tired of hearing about Abby Wambach. She plays horribly for an entire game and then scores a header because she is 6 inches taller than every other woman and everyone goes nuts for her.

    She chokes on so many opportunities that it makes you scream when you are watching them.


  • Khan

    So true.

    That was a common topic of discussion during the women’s world cup around my TV. Alex Morgan seems to be the only striker on that team who doesn’t fit into the mold.


  • Matt

    really? the last i checked she have 70+ more international goals than Donovan who is our leading male international goal scorer. She puts herself in positions to have opportunities to win games, there are very few forwards with the instincts she has infront of goal


  • Matt

    not to mention throughout the final round of the qualification tournament she was the team leader in assist in a time that she wasn’t scoring goals


  • PetedeLA

    Nevertheless, she missed a metric butt ton of relatively easy chances.

    If memory serves she tallied one goal that wasn’t with her head, and it was NOT a thing of beauty.

    But I give her a ton of credit for her never-give-up attitude.

    Also… I’m not trying to say she is talent-less. I’d seen her in past games make great shots and display great attacking skill, but in that tournament she was a one trick pony.

    If anything, as much as I hate the degree to which we praise goalkeepers in this country, Hope Solo was incredible and would be a deserving winner.


  • Marcus

    I agree on Sawa. As far as Cannavaro goes, during the half of a season he played with Real Madrid after the World Cup, he as ABSOLUTELY horrendous compared to his previous form. I am making the point that in a World Cup year, all that matters for FIFA Player of the Year is the World Cup. Therefore, no one other than Sawa should be expected to win the award. And for Cannavaro, I’m not saying that he didn’t play well in the WC…but he wasn’t even voted as the best player in the WC…Zidane was!
    I remember thinking at the time that Henry finally deserved the award after leading the EPL in goals, single-handedly dragging Arsenal the the CL final, and contributing to a 2nd place finish in the WC, but that was my opinion.


  • Alex

    Just a response to your last statement, we praise goalkeepers in this country is because some of our most successful players for club and country have been goalkeepers. Look at the EPL, we have 2 top players at above average clubs (I count Everton as above average. They should do better if they could spend just a little bit).


  • Matt

    There isnt a single person I would rather have in front of the net as a target player than Abby. And she has scored plenty on her own, if you want to talk about a player who COULD NOT score without exceptional service, its McBride who is heralded as one of the best forwards the US team has ever had.


  • John D

    I watched a couple of France’s games and I thought Necib was on a level all her own on the pitch. Her technical skills are outstanding and she has great vision. Kind of reminded me of the female version of Xavi.


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