9: Julie Ertz
A first year inside the top 10 made all the more impressive given the NWSL’s reduced scheduled, but that’s just how impactful Julie Ertz’s performances have become. Impactful may literally be the right word given she is now up there as one of the best in the world for her tackling, her ability to shield her defence and win the ball back with her energy and agility. Few have perfected the art of the defensive midfield role as Ertz, while she is still capable of playing centre back and still does so on occasion. Ertz remained a key player for the US in 2020 and was as ever a vital figure for Chicago Red Stars during the Challenge Cup, but decided to opt out of the Fall Series. Ertz truly is now starting to get the recognition she richly deserves for becoming one of the best in the world.