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USWNT’s Alex Morgan among three finalists for FIFA Best Player

(Photo by Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Alex Morgan is one of three finalists for 2023 Best FIFA Women’s Player.

She joins England’s Beth Mead and Spain’s Alexia Putellas on the shortlist, with the winner set to be announced on Feb. 27.

Morgan was the lone U.S. women’s national team player to be nominated for the award, despite teammate Sophia Smith being named 2022 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. The 22-year-old Smith had a team-high 11 goals for the USWNT last year, becoming the youngest player to lead the team in scoring since Mia Hamm did so at 21 years old in 1993.

Morgan won the 2022 NWSL Golden Boot, scoring 15 goals for the San Diego Wave during the regular season. She also scored the game-winning goal for the USWNT in the Concacaf W Championship final and was awarded the Golden Ball for the tournament.

The Best FIFA Women’s Player award has been presented annually by soccer’s international governing body since w016, when it replaced FIFA’s previous Player of the Year award. USWNT players have won the award twice in the six years of its existence: Carli Lloyd in 2016 and Megan Rapinoe in 2019. Morgan finished second to Rapinoe in 2019.

Mead, meanwhile, is a finalist for the award for the first time after helping England to the Euros title last summer. Putellas is a finalist for the second consecutive year and could become the first player to win Best Women’s Player in back-to-back years.