Megan Rapinoe has added another award to her collection after the United States star beat Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan to win the Ballon d'Or Feminin.

The 34-year-old became a World Cup winner for the second time in July, claiming both the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot in France as her six goals helped Jill Ellis' team retain their trophy.

That led to Rapinoe being named The Best FIFA Women's Player in September and she has now succeeded Ada Hegerberg by winning the second ever Ballon d'Or Feminin.

England and Lyon right-back Bronze finished second in the voting while Rapinoe's USA team-mate Morgan was third.

Rapinoe was not at the ceremony in Paris on Monday, but said she was shocked to be the winning the award.

"It's a bummer [not to be there]," she said.

"I congratulate all the nominees. I can't believe I'm the one winning it.

"I want to thank my team-mates, my coaches, my federation, to allow me to be the person who I am on the field and off the field.

"Thank you to my beautiful girlfriend Sue. I'm so sorry I can't be there, I know it's going to be insane but I'll do my best to get there next year."

Megan Rapinoe has added another award to her collection after the United States star beat Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan to win the Ballon d'Or Feminin.

The 34-year-old became a World Cup winner for the second time in July, claiming both the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot in France as her six goals helped Jill Ellis' team retain their trophy.

That led to Rapinoe being named The Best FIFA Women's Player in September and she has now succeeded Ada Hegerberg by winning the second ever Ballon d'Or Feminin.

England and Lyon right-back Bronze finished second in the voting while Rapinoe's USA team-mate Morgan was third.

Alex Morgan has revealed she is pregnant just three months after helping the United States to Women's World Cup glory.

The Orlando Pride striker is expecting her first child with husband Servando Carrasco, the LA Galaxy midfielder, with a daughter due in April 2020.

Galaxy congratulated the pair on their news with a Twitter post on Wednesday, before Morgan uploaded pictures and a message to her Instagram page.

"We are already in love and we haven't even met her yet," she wrote. "Newest member of the Carrasco family, coming soon."

Morgan scored six goals at this year's World Cup - five of them coming in a record 13-0 win against Thailand - as USA defended their title.

She was nominated this week for the 2019 Ballon d'Or Femenin.

The 30-year-old has not featured for Orlando since suffering an injury 13 minutes into a 2-1 victory over Chicago Red Stars in late August.

Morgan revealed last month the knee issue had ended her National Women's Soccer League season early.

Megan Rapinoe, Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan lead the nominees for the 2019 Ballon d'Or Femenin in the award's second year.

Publication France Football revealed their 20-woman shortlist on Monday, acknowledging the successes of Lyon and United States in particular.

Women's Champions League winners Lyon have six players in the running, including Bronze and 2018 winner Ada Hegerberg, though the latter is not thought to be among the favourites given her World Cup absence.

United States lifted the trophy in France and four of their squad have been nominated, with Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle, Morgan and Rapinoe flying the USA flag.

Rapinoe is regarded by many as the favourite, however, with the Reign FC star inspirational in the World Cup campaign, finishing joint top-scorer on six with Ellen White and Morgan, while she also added three assists.

She won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in France, before also taking home The Best FIFA Women's Player award, edging out Morgan. Bronze came third.

Full list of nominees:

Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Ellen White (Manchester City), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars), Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg), Amandine Henry (Lyon), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Dzenifer Marozsan (Lyon), Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg), Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC), Lieke Martens (Barcelona), Sari van Veenendal (Atletico Madrid), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Marta (Orlando Pride), Ada Hegerberg (Lyon), Kosovare Asllani, Sofia Jakobsson (both CD Tacon/Real Madrid), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns).

Megan Rapinoe has won The Best FIFA Women's Player award for the first time in her career, securing the prize ahead of fellow finalists Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan.

Rapinoe receives the individual honour after playing a starring role in the United States’ triumph at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

The 34-year-old scooped the Golden Boot after scoring six goals, while she was also lifted the Golden Ball after being judged the best player at the tournament.

Morgan also finished with the same number of goals in France, though missed out on the scoring crown by virtue of playing more minutes than her compatriot.

The 30-year-old striker – who has surpassed a century of goals in her illustrious international career – was the only one of the trio to previously be nominated, finishing third in 2012.

Meanwhile, the coach's award went to Jill Ellis, who made history at the Women’s World Cup.

The USA boss became the first coach to win the tournament for a second time, having also led them to glory in the 2015 edition in Canada.

Bronze, meanwhile, was a key member of the England squad that reached the last four, following on from an outstanding season for Lyon that included helping the French club lift the Women’s Champions League for a fourth successive season.

Rapinoe and Morgan were joined by compatriots Kelley O'Hara, Rose Lavelle and Julie Ertz in the FIFA FIFPro Women's World11.

As well as Bronze, there were also places for Brazil legend Marta, Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, Sweden's Nilla Fischer and France duo Wendie Renard and Amandine Henry.

 

FIFA FIFPro Women's World11: Sari van Veenendaal, Lucy Bronze, Nilla Fischer, Kelley O’Hara, Wendie Renard, Julie Ertz, Amandine Henry, Rose Lavelle, Marta, Alex Morgan

Women's World Cup star Alex Morgan will not play again this year due to a knee injury, she has announced.

The United States forward Morgan, 30, made the announcement on Instagram, calling an end to her season with the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League.

"This year has had the highest of highs but along with that comes challenges and sometimes even falling short of my goals I set for myself in 2019," Morgan wrote.

"I'm disappointed I won't be able to compete with the Pride for the remainder of 2019 due to a knee injury I've been managing since the World Cup, and that I can't be there to help my team-mates and my club have more success.

"I have already started physical therapy in LA and am eager to get back on the field doing what I love."

The Pride said in a statement Morgan had "a patella stress reaction in her right knee" stemming from an injury sustained while with the national team.

"It's obviously difficult to lose a player of Alex's calibre due to injury," Pride general manager Erik Ustruck said.

"However, after consulting with the club’s medical team at Orlando Health and U.S. Soccer, we felt it was in the best interest of Alex's long-term health to shut her down for the season to focus on the rehabilitation process and take the appropriate time to recover from the lingering knee injury."

The striker has been nursing the injury since she was substituted during USA's group game against Sweden at the World Cup in June.

She returned to play in the remaining games of the tournament, won by USA as they defended their title, even scoring a goal in a semi-final victory over England.

Morgan, who has played six games with the Pride this season, four before the World Cup and two since, has a history of knee injuries.

She suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament as a teenager in high school and also underwent keyhole surgery on her right knee in 2015.

Morgan, along with USA team-mate Megan Rapinoe, has been nominated for The Best FIFA Women's Player award, with the winner to be announced at a ceremony in Milan on September 23.

United States stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan will battle England international Lucy Bronze for The Best FIFA Women's Player award after nine names were trimmed from the original shortlist.

Lyon right-back Bronze was named UEFA Women's Player of the Year last week but faces stiff competition from Rapinoe and Morgan to claim the global accolade.

Rapinoe, 34, looks to be the frontrunner after spearheading her country to Women's World Cup glory earlier this year.

The winger scooped the Golden Boot with six goals from five games and completed a triumphant individual double by claiming the Golden Ball.

Team-mate Morgan netted the same number of goals in France, including the winner in the 2-1 semi-final defeat of England, and only missed out on the goalscoring crown by virtue of playing more minutes than Rapinoe.

Bronze's hopes could hinge on a strong club campaign as she helped Lyon to the treble, although two of the previous three winners - Carli Lloyd and Marta - have been based in the NWSL in America.

Similar battle lines have been drawn for the title of The Best FIFA Women's Coach, with England manager Phil Neville in contention against Jill Ellis, who has won back-to-back World Cups with USA.

Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman is the other contender after leading her country to the World Cup final.

Christiane Endler, Hedvig Lindahl and Sari van Veenendaal are the finalists for the goalkeeper's gong.

All award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Milan on September 23.

United States star Megan Rapinoe and three of her international team-mates are among 12 nominees for the Best FIFA Women's Player Award for 2019.

A first-time recipient will be named in Milan on September 23 after former winners Marta, Lieke Martens and Carli Lloyd all failed to make the shortlist.

Reign FC forward Rapinoe shapes as a strong contender after inspiring USA to glory at the Women's World Cup in France.

The 34-year-old scored six goals in five games, including one in the 2-0 victory over Netherlands in the final, to claim a Golden Ball-Golden Boot double.

Rapinoe's compatriots Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle and Julie Ertz are also in contention, as are England pair Ellen White and Lucy Bronze, who claimed the Silver Ball.

Right-back Bronze and striker Ada Hegerberg, last year's inaugural Women's Ballon d'Or winner, feature among four players from the Lyon side that won the Women's Champions League.

The list of contenders has been expanded to 12 from the usual 10 due to a tie in the number of votes received by some nominees.

 

The Best FIFA Women's Player nominees:

Lucy Bronze (Lyon & England)
Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars & United States)
Caroline Graham Hansen (Barcelona & Norway)
Ada Hegerberg (Lyon)
Amandine Henry (Lyon & France)
Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars & Australia)
Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit & United States)
Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal & Netherlands)
Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride & United States)
Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC & United States)
Wendie Renard (Lyon & France)
Ellen White (Manchester City & England)

Megan Rapinoe struck a 61st-minute penalty before Rose Lavelle netted a fine solo goal as the United States beat Netherlands 2-0 to become Women's World Cup winners for the fourth time.

Reign FC forward Rapinoe plundered her sixth goal of the tournament to ensure Jill Ellis' side successfully defended their title at the expense of a Netherlands team that fought bravely to overcome their underdogs tag but ultimately came up short.

The goal, which came after a VAR review highlighted Stefanie van der Gragt's foul on Alex Morgan, drew Rapinoe level with Morgan and England's Ellen White in the goalscoring stakes, while Netherlands forward Lieke Martens cut a frustrated figure as the Dutch struggled to create chances.

Lavelle provided the best moment of an entertaining clash in Lyon when she carried the ball from the centre circle to the edge of the box before producing a classy finish, the quality of which reflected everything crowds at this World Cup have come to expect from its dominant team.

The European champions certainly played their part but, perhaps fittingly after a tournament marked by the use of technology, the contest hinged on a challenge that might have gone unnoticed without it.

Sherida Spitse was booked for a late sliding challenge on Lavelle in a cagey opening spell that saw the United States fail to score inside the opening 12 minutes of a game for the first time at this year's tournament.

The USA struggled to break down a compact Dutch defence until Julie Ertz thundered a volley towards goal after 28 minutes but Sari van Veenendaal was equal to it, parrying the ball away from danger.

Van der Gragt's superb interception prevented Morgan from latching onto a long ball forward and Van Veenendaal then made two excellent saves to deny the forward before Netherlands ended a battling first-half performance with a dangerous spell of pressure.

Netherlands continued to frustrate USA until Van der Gragt's high challenge on Morgan prompted a VAR review and, after a penalty was correctly awarded, Rapinoe side-footed the ensuing spot-kick low to Van Veenendaal's left and into the net.

Vivianne Miedema tore through the USA defence with a mazy dribble but could not get her shot away and moments later Lavelle provided a finishing lesson, making space for herself on the edge of Netherlands' box before stroking a left-footed shot into the corner of the net.

Van Veenendaal made an excellent save to deny Crystal Dunn when the left-back burst clear but there was no time for her team-mates to mount a comeback as the world champions deservedly secured back-to-back titles.

Count Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner among those not offended by Alex Morgan's tea-sipping celebration against England.

United States captain Morgan's reaction to her Women's World Cup semi-final winner against the Lionesses on Tuesday sparked outrage, with England international Lianne Sanderson among those critical.

Some saw it as a shot against the English, where the hot beverage has links to American independence after colonists dumped a shipment in the sea in an event known as the Boston Tea Party.

Morgan launched a staunch defence of the celebration on Friday, saying it was not a jibe at England but rather a homage to Turner - who played Sansa Stark in the hit television series Game of Thrones and is known to sign off social media videos by drinking tea.

Striker Morgan also accused her critics of "double standards" when "you see men celebrating all around the world in big tournaments, grabbing their sacks", with Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Simeone having both received fines, but comparatively less attention, for crotch-grabbing celebrations in last season's Champions League.

And Turner, born in Northampton, England, has supported Morgan in an Instagram story she posted while on honeymoon.

"I feel like this deserves a mention," she said. "Unfortunately the UK [England] Women's football team lost at the World Cup, and of course I'm incredibly sad and incredibly proud of that team. But I am so honoured that we lost to such an incredible team - the US Women's football team.

"Alex Morgan, all those haters that are saying that this was disrespectful, I'm honoured that you thought of me and all those people that are hating on you are probably sitting at home, millennials, drinking kombucha, and I'm really f****** proud of you, Alex Morgan.

"Congratulations on your win - and that's the motherf****** tea."

Morgan posted Turner's video to her own Instagram account with the message "ILYSM! [I love you so much]. PS - CONGRATS!!"

Alex Morgan hinted the United States will snub Donald Trump's White House invitation and is confident Jill Ellis' team will not be split on the issue.

It is customary for champions to visit the US president after winning a sporting title, with Morgan and her team-mates congratulated by Barack Obama when they won the Women's World Cup in 2015.

However, since Trump succeeded Obama following the 2016 election, teams like the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and NBA's Golden State Warriors have had their White House offers withdrawn after numerous players from both teams declared they had no intention of making the trip for political reasons.

Morgan's outspoken team-mate Megan Rapinoe has already she said is "not going to the f****** White House" and though Trump responded to that by inviting Ellis' squad regardless of whether they beat Netherlands in Sunday's final, it appears the offer will be rejected.

"I think we'll make that decision after we finish Sunday's game," USA captain Morgan said.

"I think there's been a lot of talk prematurely about the White House and about Trump.

"First we have to do business and then I think you guys know the answer to the question anyway."

The White House pulled the plug on the Eagles' scheduled visit following their Super Bowl LII victory in 2018 because "the vast majority of the team" wished to stay away.

Morgan believes there will be no factions in Ellis' squad when it comes to their decision.

"I can't say 100 per cent but this team is very close and we've always made decisions together so I can't really see us deciding to part in that way," she added.

"But at the same time, if someone feels strongly then who are we to tell them to do or not do something?"

Trump took to Twitter last week to express his disapproval of Rapinoe's comments, telling the striker to "WIN first before she TALKS!"

Yet Rapinoe was unrepentant when speaking ahead of the semi-final victory over England, which she missed with a slight hamstring strain.

"I don't think that I would want to go [to the White House] and I would encourage my team-mates to think hard about lending that platform or having that co-opted by an administration that doesn't feel the same way and doesn't fight for the same things that we fight for," said Rapinoe, who expects to be fit for the final.

Alex Morgan has accused her goal celebration critics of "double standards", with the United States striker perplexed at why her tea sipping caused such a stir when men are "grabbing their sacks".

USA captain Morgan celebrated scoring a Women's World Cup semi-final winner against England by lifting her little finger and pretending to sip tea, a popular beverage in the country of her opponents and one linked to American independence after a shipment of the drink was dumped in the sea by colonists in an event known as the Boston Tea Party.

She was called "distasteful" and "disrespectful" by her former Orlando Pride team-mate and England international Lianne Sanderson, who is working at the tournament as a pundit for beIN SPORTS, while television presenter Piers Morgan said her celebration was "bordering on a declaration of war".

Yet the forward hit back on Friday, saying it was not a shot at England and suggesting that those lamenting her were sexist given the lack of comparative uproar over Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Simeone's crotch-grabbing celebrations in last year's Champions League, which did result in fines for both.

"My celebration was actually more about, 'That's the tea', which is telling a story, spreading news," Morgan said.

"Sophie Turner does it quite often, she's one of my favourite actresses, so it wasn't a hit to England in any way.

"I feel that there is some sort of double standard for females in sports to feel like we have to be humble in our successes and have to celebrate, but not too much, and have to do something but it always has to be in a limited fashion.

"You see men celebrating all around the world in big tournaments, grabbing their sacks or whatever it is, and when I look at sipping a cup of tea, I'm a little taken aback. You have to laugh about it to see all of the criticism."

Morgan was particularly unimpressed with Juventus forward Sanderson's opinion, given they played together in 2016.

"I'm a little disappointed in that and obviously we were team-mates at Orlando Pride so I have the utmost respect for Lianne and all of my team-mates that I've ever played with," Morgan added.

"So, it's a little disappointing to see that."

USA face Netherlands in Sunday's World Cup final and, should Morgan add to her six goals at the tournament, the celebrations are unlikely to be muted.

"I don't think we'll be deterred by a couple of naysayers," she added.

Megan Rapinoe has leapt to Alex Morgan's defence after the United States captain was accused of being "disrespectful" for her tea-sipping celebration in the Women's World Cup semi-final win over England.

Morgan headed in her sixth goal of the tournament in Lyon on Tuesday to seal a 2-1 victory for USA, who advanced to a third-straight final, and she celebrated the winner by pretending to drink tea with her little finger raised.

Some construed that as a shot fired at her opponents given the beverage's popularity in Britain, with England forward Lianne Sanderson, who is working as a pundit for beIN SPORTS at the tournament, calling it "distasteful" and "disrespectful", and television presenter Piers Morgan saying it was "bordering on a declaration of war".

USA players had also come under fire for their goal celebrations in a 13-0 win over Thailand earlier in the tournament, long after the game had already been won, and Rapinoe appeared sick of the latest round of criticism.

"Wah-wah-wah. I mean, it's like, we're at the World Cup – what do you want us to do?" Rapinoe said.

"This is the biggest stage, the biggest moment. I don't think anyone truly believes that we disrespect the game or disrespect our opponents. We have the utmost respect for England and every team that we've faced and every team that we will face forever and ever, that's just part of the DNA of this squad.

"With that said, we work hard, we like to play hard and we like to have fun and enjoy ourselves, and these are the absolute biggest moments to do that."

Rapinoe was one of three players conducting interviews on Wednesday when Jill Ellis' squad were leaving their hotel, with Morgan curiously spotted hot drink in hand as she walked past the cameras to the team bus.

Despite the storm in a teacup that has followed, Morgan had suggested the pose Rapinoe pulled after her first goal in the quarter-final win over France was the best celebration of the tournament.

"I think I might have been upstaged," Rapinoe said when asked about that comment.

"That was next level from Alex. Maybe we will have to do it at the same time and we'll duke it out!"

Steph Houghton missed a controversial late penalty as holders the United States beat England 2-1 to reach a third successive Women's World Cup final, despite the absence of inspirational co-captain Megan Rapinoe.

The Lionesses had the opportunity to at least force extra-time with an 84th-minute spot-kick, but Houghton's poor effort was saved and Millie Bright saw red late on as USA held on to ensure their title defence goes to the final stage.

Rapinoe's absence, said to be due to a hamstring issue, provided a pre-match shock, but Christian Press made a swift impact as her replacement when heading in the opener, before Ellen White's equaliser was cancelled out by Morgan nodding in just past the half-hour mark on her birthday.

England produced a good response in the second half and White had a second goal ruled out for straying marginally offside, before Alyssa Naeher easily saved Houghton's penalty and a frustrated Bright earned a second booking, providing a disappointing end for Phil Neville's side.

Megan Rapinoe was the United States' match-winner for the second game running as she netted another brace to help the holders beat hosts France 2-1 in Paris and set up a Women's World Cup semi-final clash with England.

Reign FC forward Rapinoe, who scored twice in the USA's victory over Spain on Monday, showed no signs of distraction after her war of words with American president Donald Trump as she put her side into an early lead from which a France team featuring six players from Champions League-winning Lyon never recovered.

USA have made a habit of scoring early in this competition and France knew all about the attacking threat of Alex Morgan and Rapinoe. However, France nevertheless fell behind after just five minutes when Morgan won a free-kick that experienced forward Rapinoe converted.

An expectant crowd at a sold-out Parc des Princes awaited the response from France's talented front four but could only watch as a USA defence marshalled masterfully by Abby Dahlkemper and Becky Sauerbrunn repeatedly slammed the door in their faces.

France had won 17 of their previous 18 matches in all competitions but there was no way back for Corinne Diacre's players after Rapinoe slid home her second after 65 minutes, despite Wendie Renard's late consolation, and the USA will take some stopping on current form.

Rapinoe's opener came when a low free-kick from the left bounced through a crowd of bodies and evaded Sarah Bouhaddi's left hand before bulging the net.

Shaken by the early goal, France steadied themselves and stemmed the flow of USA attacks but failed to muster a shot on target themselves as they struggled to compete with the physicality of Samantha Mewis and Julie Ertz in midfield.

Bouhaddi was called into action early in the second half to make a double save from Mewis and Tobin Heath, before Eugenie Le Sommer snatched at a close-range chance at the other end and blazed wide.

USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was finally tested when Valerie Gauvin's header threatened to loop over her head but she dived backwards to claim it.

France were still in the game until Renard was caught napping as Morgan's pass fed Heath, who had a clear run to the box where she dragged the ball back to Rapinoe for an easy finish.

Heath thought she had scored one of her own 10 minutes later but an offside flag ruled otherwise.

Renard set up a tense finish when she headed Gaetane Thiney's free-kick home from 10 yards, but the bullish USA defence held firm.

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