Houston will be the home to the FIFA World Player of the Year for the second straight year after the FIFA Awards gala in Zurich on Monday night. At the awards Houston Dash forward Carli Lloyd was announced as the FIFA World Women’s Player of the Year.
The FIFA award is issued based on votes from three different panels, with each country’s captain and coach getting a vote along with a selected media member. Lloyd proved especially popular with countries that are not regulars at the major tournaments, perhaps reflecting how strong her brand is.
The award is nominally awarded for play at both club and international level, but Lloyd had few appearances at club level in 2016. Lloyd was only able to play seven matches for the Dash, but proved vital as Dash went 4-3 in those matches compared to 2-7-4 without her, while their scoring output more than doubled.
The influence Lloyd had on the Dash’s results may well have been a factor for those who did the research in their voting. With the United States Lloyd scored 17 goals, two of them at the Olympic Games, while providing 11 assists.
Lloyd finished ahead of German Melanie Behringer who had a phenomenal year, including winning a gold medal in Rio. Also finishing behind Lloyd was Brazilian legend Marta who was just unable to cap a stunning career with the win in her home country.
The win for Lloyd makes her the only player to have won the award while under contract with an NWSL side (Abby Wambach won while unattached). She is also the first to win the award in consecutive seasons since Marta’s five in a row, which ended in 2010.