Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan headline a Ballon d'Or shortlist that features 4 US Women's National Team stars

AP Photo/Francisco SecoMegan Rapinoe celebrates a goal at the 2019 World Cup.

The shortlist of nominees for the Ballon d’Or – the most prestigious individual honour in all of soccer – was recently released, and it features some of the biggest stars from the 2019 World Cup.

US Women’s National Team (USWNT) co-captains Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan – who were the first and second leading goal scorers at the World Cup this summer – headline the list. Teammate and World Cup breakout star Rose Lavelle and footwork virtuoso Tobin Heath round out the representation from Jill Ellis’ 2019 World Cup roster.

Along with the USWNT stars on the list, legendary Brazilian striker Marta and prolific Australian scorer Sam Kerr, and are among the favourites to take home the award. Last year’s winner, Ada Hegerberg, will once again look to capture soccer’s top prize after enjoying yet another fantastic year for French club Lyon.

Check out the entire list of nominees below:


Kosovare Asllani — Sweden

AP Photo/Armando FrancaKosovare Asllani.

Club: CD Tacon

Position: Forward

One thing to know: Asllani scored one of the penalty kicks that helped send Sweden to the semifinals and knock the US out of the 2016 Summer Olympics.


Sarah Bouhaddi — France

Martin Rose/Getty ImagesSarah Bouhaddi.

Club: Lyon

Position: Goalkeeper

One thing to know: Bouhaddi boasted a 0.765 save percentage for France during the 2019 World Cup and has posted seven shutouts through Lyon’s first nine games of the 2019-2020 season.


Lucy Bronze — England

Alex Caparros/FIFA/FIFA via Getty ImagesLucy Bronze.

Club: Lyon

Position: Defender

One thing to know: Widely regarded as the world’s best right-back, Bronze became the first English footballer and first defender to win the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Award. Though she’s from the UK, the 27-year-old took her talents to the states and won a national championship with the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2009.


Nilla Fischer — Sweden

Patrick Smith/Getty ImagesNilla Fischer.

Club: Linköpings

Position: Defender

One thing to know: At 35 years old, Fischer has competed at two Women’s EUROs, three Olympic Games, and three Women’s World Cups, amassing a whopping 182 caps for Sweden.


Pernille Harder — Denmark

Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport/Getty ImagesPernille Harder.

Club: VfL Wolfsburg

Position: Forward

One thing to know: Harder currently leads the entire Bundesliga with eight goals through seven matches for the undefeated VfL Wolfsburg this season.


Tobin Heath — United States

Ira L. Black – Corbis / Getty ImagesTobin Heath.

Club: Portland Thorns

Position: Forward

One thing to know: Heath is one of the most technically gifted players in soccer and is known to elude defenders with fancy footwork or a not-so-occasional nutmeg.


Ada Hegerberg — Norway

VI Images/Getty ImagesAda Hegerberg.

Club: Lyon

Position: Forward

One thing to know: At just 23 years old, Hegerberg is one of the prolific scorers in the world. Still, she does not play for the Norwegian national team, citing disrespect and inequitable conditions for the women’s squad.She won the first women’s Ballon d’Or last year and made headlines after presenter Martin Solveig asked her to twerk on stage.


Amandine Henry — France

AP Photo/Francisco SecoAmandine Henry.

Club: Lyon

Position: Defensive midfielder

One thing to know: A crucial member of the French women’s national team’s 2019 World Cup squad, Henry registered two goals and an assist for the Blues in there run to the quarter finals.


Sofia Jakobsson — Sweden

AP Photo/Alessandra TarantinoSofia Jakobsson.

Club: CD Tacon

Position: Forward

One thing to know: Jakobsson is a fierce competitor and a true threat in front of the goal and on the flank. The 29-year-old scored two goals for Sweden during the 2019 World Cup.


Sam Kerr — Australia

Harry How/Getty ImagesSam Kerr.

Club: Chicago Red Stars

Position: Forward

One thing to know: Perhaps the most prolific scorer on the planet, Kerr has led the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in scoring for each of the past three seasons and often celebrates goals with high-flying backflips. This year, her Chicago Red Stars made the NWSL title game for the first time in franchise history.


Dzsenifer Marozsan — Germany

Clive Brunskill/Getty ImagesDzsenifer Marozsan.

Club: Lyon

Position: Midfielder

One thing to know: Marozsan led Germany to its first-ever gold medal in soccer at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro and scored the game-winning goal in the final match of the tournament.


Marta — Brazil

Associated PressBrazil’s Marta shoots a penalty kick to score the opening goal during the Women’s World Cup Group C soccer match between Australia and Brazil at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, France, Thursday, June 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Club: Orlando Pride

Position: Forward

One thing to know: One of the greatest strikers to ever play the game, Marta scored her 17th World Cup goal in France this summer to become the the outright leading scorer in either the men’s or women’s tournament.


Vivianne Miedema — Netherlands

AP Photo/Michel SpinglerVivianne Miedema.

Club: Arsenal

Position: Forward

One thing to know: Miedema debuted for the Dutch national team at just 17 years old. In the six years since, Miedema has recorded 82 international caps and 61 goals.


Alex Morgan — United States

AP Photo/Laurent CiprianiAlex Morgan.

Club: Orlando Pride

Position: Forward

One thing to know: Morgan scored her 100th international goal back in April and tacked on six more during the World Cup to finish second behind Megan Rapinoe in the tournament’s Golden Boot race. The 30-year-old recently announced that she is expecting her first child in April of 2020. It remains to be seen whether she’ll rejoin the USWNT in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


Megan Rapinoe — United States

AP Photo/Francisco SecoMegan Rapinoe.

Club: Reign FC

Position: Forward.

One thing to know: Rapinoe stole the show at the 2019 World Cup in more ways than one. In addition to earning the Golden Boot and Golden Ball after leading the USWNT to its fourth World Cup victory, the striker also got caught in a Twitter feud with President Trump after declaring “I’m not going to the f—— White House” should the team win the World Cup.


Ellen White — England

AP Photo/Michel SpinglerEllen White.

Club: Manchester City

Position: Forward

One thing to know: England’s star striker has scored 34 goals in her 88 international caps, but perhaps her most notable was her wonder goal against Japan at the 2011 World Cup in Germany.


Lieke Martens — Netherlands

Soccrates Images / Getty ImagesLieke Martens.

Club: Barcelona

Position: Midfielder

One thing to know: An expert ball handler and playmaker, Martens scored the first World Cup goal in the Netherlands’ women’s national team history in 2015. Since then, the 26-year-old has scored 43 more goals in 110 international caps.


Sari van Veenendaal — Netherlands

AP Photo/Patrick PostSari van Veenendaal.

Club: Atletico Madrid

Position: Goalkeeper

One thing to know: Van Veenendaal owns an 0.842 save percentage through her eight World Cup starts for the Netherlands.


Wendie Renard — France

AP Photo/Alessandra TarantinoWendie Renard.

Club: Lyon

Position: Defender

One thing to know: In her 114 international caps, Renard has become an undeniable force on the Blues’ back line. The 6-foot-1 defender is a lethal weapon on set pieces and in the box.


Rose Lavelle — United States

Gary A. Vasquez/ReutersRose Lavelle.

Club: Washington Spirit

Position: Midfield

One thing to know: A 24-year-old former Wisconsin Badger,Lavelle has scored 10 goals in 33 caps for the United States, the most famous of which was her stunning left-footed strike to put the USWNT up 2-0 in the 2019 World Cup final.


Now check out how Aussie legend Sam Kerr reacted to winning the NWSL 2019 MVP award:

AP Photo/Kamil KrzaczynskiSam Kerr.

International soccer star Sam Kerr didn’t know her league’s MVP award was being announced until minutes before she won it

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