85. Alanna Kennedy
At just 22, Alanna Kennedy showed why she is one of the best young players in world football this year with both Orlando Pride and Australia.
Kennedy was a regular for the Pride in NWSL as her side reached the end of season play-offs, playing 24 matches and chipping in with four goals along the way after being moved further up the pitch by Tom Sermanni this season.
For Australia, Kennedy was part of a Matildas squad which had an incredible 2017, and the defender/midfielder scored against soon-to-be Euro 2017 winners Netherlands in the Algarve Cup.
Her impressive form throughout the year earned her a move to W-League champions Melbourne City at the end of the US season.
Tom Sermanni, Orlando Pride manager says:
“Alanna has the potential to be one of the best midfield players in the world. She’s got all the skill; very comfortable on the ball, strong in possession, a range of passes – whether short or long she’s technically outstanding – and what she added in 2017 was the ability to score goals. Outstanding in the air but as I said, technically good to score goals either from set pieces or in general play from inside and outside the box.”
Alen Stajcic, Australia national team manager says:
“Alanna has had a big year, both in America and in Australia. She’s signed with Melbourne City, the most successful team here in Australia, but she’s had a great year with Orlando, playing both centre back and holding midfield.
“She’s become one of the key players for them in their semi-final run and she’s been virtually an ever-present for us this year too.”
Caitlin Foord, Australia team mate says:
“Her technique with both her left and right foot is by far one of the best in Australia, along with her awareness and understanding of the game. In my opinion, she is one of the best defenders in the world already.”
Kathryn Gill, former Australia international says:
“A technically sound player with a great range of passing, Alanna has exceptional game awareness and a good turn of pace. Recognises when to drive out from the back, break through lines and can execute from the dead ball, both delivery and shots on goal. She’s great in the air defensively whilst offering a threat in the attacking third. Excellent body position defensively which makes her great one and one, intercepting and breaking down opposing teams attacking movements.”