Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo Deserving Winners Of Golden Ball, Gloves At Women’s World Cup

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To the victors go the spoils, so the saying goes. Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo and their fans should have no problem with that.

Lloyd won the Golden Ball Award at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFA announced Sunday following the United States’ 5-2 win over Japan in the final. Lloyd scored a record-breaking hat trick against Japan to finish as joint top scorer (tied with Germany’s Celia Sasic with seven goals) of the competition.

FIFA’s technical study group made the right choice in voting her the Golden Ball winner. Lloyd started the tournament slowly but steadily grew into an unstoppable force when the stakes increased. Lloyd scored in each of the United States’ four knockout-stage games, including scoring the goal of the tournament in the final.

Her scintillating performance in the final and Team USA’s win gave her the edge over runner-up Amedine Henry of France and Aya Miyama of Japan.

Solo scooped the Golden Gloves Award for back-stopping the United States’ defense to near record-setting levels. Solo conceded her first goal of the tournament 27 minutes into Team USA’s tournament-opening win over Australia. Solo didn’t concede again until the 27th minute of victory over Japan in the final — an astonishing 539-minute shutout streak, which was seconds shy of equaling the World Cup record Germany set in 2003. Team USA’s back line was superb throughout the tournament, and Solo performed her job to near perfection when called upon.

Solo now has won the Golden Gloves Award at two consecutive World Cups, but something tells us this one might be dearer to her than the honor she won in 2011, who the U.S. fell to Japan.

Lloyd, Team USA embody sports’ high ideals >>

Review our USA-Japan live blog >>

Solo, Lloyd nominated for World Cup awards >>

Thumbnail photo via Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports Images

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