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Saturday, October 31, 2009

WPS Features Five Nominees for FIFA World Player of the Year Award by Rob Penner

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by Rob Penner, Communications Director of WPS

Editor's Note

Marta Vieira da Silva of the Los Angeles Sol has won this award for the last three years, and was the runner-up in 2005.

FIFA World Player of the Year Awards

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 30, 2009) – FIFA announced its short list for the 2009 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Award from its headquarters in Zurich on Friday with five of the 10 players in contention for the award having played in WPS during the Inaugural Season. Nominees who played in WPS, all of them selected as WPS All-Stars, include (country/2009 team):

Sonia Bompastor FRA/Washington Freedom – Led the league in assists (6) while tallying four goals and was selected as WPS Player of the Month for May. Her slashing, exciting play at defensive midfield helped the Freedom bounce back from a slow start to finish third in the 2009 WPS Regular Season.

Cristiane BRA/Chicago Red Stars – The only player in WPS to notch a hat trick this season, her incredible long-range strike against FC Gold Pride in early July was one of the goals of the year this season in WPS. Finished with seven goals, fourth-best in WPS.

Marta BRA/Los Angeles Sol – Winner of the 2009 Michelle Akers Player of the Year Award as the league MVP, Marta notched 10 goals and 3 assists to lead the Los Angeles Sol to the regular season title and a spot in the WPS Championship final.

Kelly Smith ENG/Boston Breakers – Tallied six goals in just 15 games in WPS this year to lead the Boston Breakers early charge to start the season as one of the best teams in WPS and winning WPS Player of the Month honors for April. Finished among the top 5 in WPS in goals and was a consistent threat in the offensive third with her dangerous left foot.

Abby Wambach USA/Washington Freedom – After a slow start, Wambach finished tied for second in the league in scoring with eight goals and led her team to a strong finish down the stretch and a third-place finish in the regular season as WPS’s July Player of the Month. Notched her 100th career international goal with the U.S. National Team in July against Canada.

The five finalists for 2009 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year will be selected by head coaches and captains of the various national teams and will be announced in early December with the FIFA World Player Gala scheduled for December 21 in Zurich, Switzerland.

About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)

Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is the premier women’s soccer league in the world and the global standard by which women’s professional sports are measured. The Inaugural Season kicked off in March 2009 with seven WPS teams based in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The league’s eighth and nine franchises, Philadelphia and Atlanta, will begin play in the 2010 WPS Season, which begins March 2010. For more information, visit www.womensprosoccer.com.

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