Megan Rapinoe, three other USWNT stars on shortlist for Best FIFA Women's Player

Megan Rapinoe (right) and Alex Morgan are on the shortlist for Best FIFA Women's Player, along with U.S. teammates Rose Lavelle and Julie Ertz and eight other stars. (Getty)

Megan Rapinoe and fellow United States women’s national team stars Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz and Rose Lavelle, have been included on the 12-woman list for the Best FIFA Women’s Player award.

FIFA unveiled the full list on Wednesday:

Rapinoe is coming off an instant-classic Women’s World Cup during which she helped lead the USWNT to victory while also winning the Golden Ball as top player and the Golden Boot as top scorer.

She also helped Reign FC of the National Women’s Soccer League reach the playoffs in 2018, and those accomplishments are listed as her criteria on FIFA’s official voting page. The time frame for the award is May 25, 2018 through July 7 of this year.

Fans can rank their top three, and the votes will be weighed “equally” alongside the votes of national team coaches and captains and also journalists.

Morgan played a key role in helping the USWNT repeat as World Cup champions, and she was named CONCACAF Player of the Year. Lavelle, meanwhile, was the breakout star in France this summer and scored the clinching goal in the final.

Ertz didn’t draw as much attention on the field as the others, which means she was doing her job well. The fulcrum of the squad, Ertz was able to drop into the back line when asked and offered threat going forward. She also helped lead the Chicago Red Stars to the NWSL playoffs last season.

The rest of the field is stacked, too. Lucy Bronze helped lead England to the World Cup semifinals and was dubbed the “best player in the world” by her coach, Gary Neville. Australian Red Stars striker Sam Kerr is perhaps the best forward on the planet, while Amandine Henry and Wendie Renard were the best players for France, which despite losing in the quarterfinals was widely regarded as the second-best team at the World Cup.

Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg, the reigning Ballon d’Or winner (a different award than this one), skipped the World Cup for personal reasons but led Lyon to the Division 1 Féminine and UEFA Women’s Champions League titles, recording a hat-trick in the final of the latter competition.

The three finalists will be announced at a later date, and the winner will be revealed on September 23 in Milan.

Fans can also vote on men’s Player of the Year and other awards.

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