Carli Lloyd wins FIFA World Player of Year award

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

U.S. women's national team star Carli Lloyd, who helped the U.S. to the 2015 World Cup title, was named FIFA Women's World Player of the Year on Monday.

Lloyd's 13-minute hat trick in the final -- including a shot from the halfway line in a 5-2 rout of Japan -- made her the top contender. Lloyd was a finalist for the first time at 33 after a decade of national team duty, more than 200 appearances and two Olympic titles.

Lloyd got more than 35 percent of votes made by national team captains and coaches, plus invited journalists, on a 10-player ballot.

"Wow, it truly is an honor," Lloyd said. "This has been a dream of mine ever since I started my journey with the national tam. Celia and Aya both are amazing footballers and are truly deserving of this award.

"I want to thank [U.S. coach] Jill [Ellis], the coaching staff and all of our support staff. I wouldn't be standing up here if it wasn't for my teammates. To James [trainer James Galanis], we started this journey 13 years ago and you told me I could become the best player in the world. Now I can thank you for that."

She was up against Aya Miyama of Japan and Germany's Celia Sasic. The latter's six World Cup goals in Canada matched Lloyd, earning her the Golden Boot because they were scored in less playing time.

The 2015 @FIFA Women's and Men's World Player of the Year: Carli Lloyd and Lionel Messi. #BallondOr

- U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) January 11, 2016

Ellis was named the top coach for women's football.

"It's amazing to be part of an amazing football family," Ellis said. "This certainly represents a whole lot of people, to our players, our captains, our staff back in the United States. It's my sincere gratitude to your effort and your belief in this team. To my friends and family, my parents are here tonight -- my dad was my first coach -- it's a thrill to have him here tonight. To FIFA, our own federation, to Sunil Gulati, thank you for your belief and investment and continued belief in women's football."

Americans swept the 2012 awards when forward Abby Wambach and coach Pia Sundhage were rewarded for the team's Olympic title.

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