14. Carli Lloyd
Carli Lloyd was part of perhaps the biggest transfer story of 2017, the 35-year-old leaving the USA for the first time in her career to spend the first half of 2017 with Manchester City.
The USA star took no time in making an impact, scoring a crucial away goal in City’s Champions League quarter-final against Fortuna Hjorring.
Lloyd also scored away at Lyon to bring Man City back into their semi-final encounter, before an impressive performance was capped by yet another Wembley goal in May’s FA Cup final triumph.
Lloyd blotted her copybook with a red card for an elbow against Yeovil Town, but her return to the US with Houston Dash coincided with an upturn in form for the NWSL side.
Off the back of a six-match run of defeats, Lloyd opened the scoring in a 2-0 win at Orlando Pride, before a penalty brought them briefly level against Portland Thorns.
Her year for the USWNT was quieter, scoring in a friendly against Russia before scoring another in the final friendly of the year against rivals Canada.
Jill Ellis, USA head coach says:
“Carli has as much experience in big games as any player in the world. She has a tremendous work ethic and is a world class goal-scorer, especially from distance.”
Heather O’Reilly, former USA international says:
“Carli is an extremely driven and hard working player and raises the level of those around her. She challenged herself with the move to Manchester City Women and won the FA Cup and competed well in the Champions League. Carli always (ALWAYS) scores big goals, she is basically a beast. A great teammate because she takes care of herself and is never satisfied.”
Randy Waldrum, former Houston Dash manager says:
“I think all has been said about Carli. She’s a goal scorer who can play in midfield, but I see her playing in the #9 or as a false #9 in her remaining years. She’s not always the most technical player on the ball, but extremely dangerous running at the defence and inside the box. She’s very good in the air and is an unbelievable competitor. She is a really good pro, as she leads by example and has a fantastic work ethic.”
Lori Lindsey, former USA international says:
“One of the hardest workers I have met and the hard work shows in the longevity of her career. In my opinion, not a true midfielder, more of a withdrawn number 9. One of the best at dribbling and taking players on to open her up for a scoring opportunity and no doubt does she come up big in important games.”