October 29, 2010 > FC Gold Pride recognized internationally
FC Gold Pride recognized internationally
By Giovanni Albanese Jr.
Last month FC Gold Pride topped the Philadelphia Independence in the Women's Professional Soccer Championship, becoming the top team in the United States. Behind strong performances throughout the entire 2010 campaign, four members of the club have been recognized worldwide.
On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA, or soccer's international governing body) released its shortlist of nominees for its prestigious annual award of World Player of the Year, as well as its inaugural World Coach of the Year. Players Camille Abily, Christine Sinclair and Marta, as well as coach Albertin Montoya - all members of the 2010 Gold Pride - made the cut.
FIFA puts together a list of 10 players for its annual World Player of the Year; Sinclair and Marta are regular fixtures on that list. For Marta - a two-time WPS MVP; two-time WPS Golden Boot winner (most goals); two-time all star; and Brazilian national team striker - she is looking to win the honor for a fifth consecutive year, claiming it each year since 2006. Sinclair - a high-scoring Canadian national (100 international goals) who topped WPS in assists in 2010, as well as being named to her second all-star team - has been named to the shortlist by FIFA for a fifth time.
Abily, a French national, scored a goal and notched six assists for the Pride in 2010. After winning the championship, Abily and Pride mutually agreed to terminate her contract so she could return to France to play with her former club, Olympic Lyonnais, as she prepares for the upcoming 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Montoya, a Mountain View resident, coached the Gold Pride to the 2010 WPS Championship in his second year with the club, going from last place to arguably the most elite club in women's soccer. Under the watchful eye of Montoya, in only his second year of professional coaching, the Pride went 16-3-5 while setting a bevy of records along the way - most consecutive wins (5, which they did twice), most goals in a single game (6, Aug. 28 at Atlanta), most wins (16), most goals (46) and largest goal differential (plus-27).
FIFA will shorten the lists from 10 to three finalists for both awards before ultimately selecting a winner on Jan. 10 of next year.