US STAR CARLI SCOOPS WORLD AWARD
WORLD CUP winner and hat-trick hero Carli Lloyd scooped the Women’s World Player of theYear award at the Ballon d’Or this week.
The 33-year-old scored three of the USA’S five goals as they lifted the world title in a dominant performance last summer, beating Japan 5-2 in the final.
She beat hot competition to scoop the award, with Germany’s Celia Sasic and Japan’s Aya Miyama also contenders.
The USA’s No. 10 boasts more than 200 caps and scored six goals at the World Cup. She was emotional when picking up the award.
“Wow. It’s been a dream of mine,” she said. “I want to thank everyone that voted for me and everyone at US Soccer for their support.
“I want to thank Jill (Ellis) and her coaching staff. I also want to thank my incredible teammates as we all know it took 23 players to win the World Cup.”
Lloyd made histor y by becoming the first woman to score three goals in a World Cup final and, in turn, became the third American to win the prestigious award.
With 35 per cent of the votes, her win was emphatic and her USA coach Jill Ellis was also victorious, picking up the Women’s World Coach of theYear award.
England coach Mark Sampson came in a respectable third, having guided England to a bronze medal in the World Cup, while Japan coach Norio Sasaki finished second. WHITLEY BAY are already running out of Sundays this season, but the added congestion of a cup-tie with Everton would be no problem for manager Phil Cross.
Bay are gearing up for the biggest game of their season this afternoon, when they welcome Stoke City, high-fliers in the Women’s Premier League Northern Division, to Hillheads in the second round.
The prize on offer is a third-round clash with Everton, FA Cup winners as recently as 2010 and finalists just two years ago.
ForWhitley Bay, who play their league football three tiers below the Toffees, this afternoon’s clash is their sixth in the FA Cup already.
That is equal to the number of North East Regional Premier League games they have played as torrid weather in the region continues to plague the schedule.
Cross, though, is looking on the bright side.
“We have 20 Sundays left between now and the end of May and we have an FA Cup game, a county cup game and 16 league games,” said the manager.
“It’s going to be a bit of a manic end of the season. If we beat Stoke, it would be more congestion – but that’s a congestion I would be happy to have!
“Pretty much like the rest of the country, we have had a horrendous spell of wet weather and on Thursday morning we woke up to the white stuff.
“We just have to keep our fingers crossed. It is not ideal preparation for such a big game.
“When the draw was made, I think Stoke were joint top of the Northern Premier, so arguably the best side we could have faced. If we were to progress, we would have probably the best WSL 2 side – we have done pretty well with the draws.
“Up to now it has been a good cup run. The players all know that’s the next draw, but there is no pressure. I’m just going to say ‘go out there and see what you can get’.”
Victory today would not be Bay’s first upset of the competition, though it would be the most significant for the young side.
Cross took 14 players to Tranmere in the first round last month, seven of whom were under 18, while the oldest squad member is 29 and Molly Turnbull regularly turns out at the age of 16.
A 3-2 win over the Northern Division One side set up the Stoke clash, and Cross believes his young side showed their nofear approach that day.
“As we found out, it is a bit of a leveller if you can get your own team up for it,” he added.
“If we can perform anywhere near our best, we can give Stoke a good game.
“We are talking about long travel for them. Being located where we are, a home draw is ideal.
“I can’t imagine the pitch being fantastic at this time of year and, with a cold north east wind blowing, you never know!”
WOW FACTOR: Carli Lloyd with her Ballon d’Or trophy