Fuel Soccer Talk: Horan honored by BBC; U.S. refs heading to France: MLS Around the League

Lindsey Horan nominated for BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2019

USA and Portland Thorns midfielder Lindsey Horan is among five nominees for BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2019. In 2018, Horan was named the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) most valuable player, reached the NWSL Championship final with Portland Thorns and finished as their top scorer for the season, and was named on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.

And she’s more than ready to represent her country starting June 7 in France.
“The U.S. mentality never changes,” said Horan in an interview with Fuel Soccer in April. “It’s always the same every year. It’s a very, very competitive atmosphere with a high level of play and you have to bring your best every practice and every game or someone will take your spot.”

The other nominees for the award are Pernille Harder (VfL Wolfsburg), Ada Hegerberg (Olympique Lyonnais), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars) and Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais).

You can vote for your winner on the BBC Sport website until Thursday, 2 May at 09:00 BST (08:00 GMT). The result will be revealed on Wednesday, 22 May on BBC World Service.

Who should win this prestigious award?  

Three U.S. referees heading to 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Franc

U.S. Soccer FIFA Referee Katja Koroleva and Assistant Referees Kathryn Nesbitt and Felisha Mariscal have been selected as match officials for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. FIFA announced 74 match officials from all six confederations will officiate the competition, which begins June 7 in Paris.

“Katja, Kathryn and Felisha’s selections to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup represent another major accomplishment in their careers,” said Rick Eddy, U.S. Soccer Director of Referee Development. “From their early days as U.S. Soccer match officials, all three demonstrated unlimited potential. I’ve had the privilege to watch them rise through the ranks of refereeing to the professional and international level. We wish Katja, Kathryn and Felisha a successful World Cup experience.”

Koroleva and Nesbitt have previously refereed FIFA Youth World Cup tournaments, but this summer will mark Mariscal’s debut on the world stage. The trio were three of the 24 U.S. Soccer referees named in January to the 2019 FIFA Panel, the world’s highest level of officiating. Selection grants the 24 officials the opportunity to referee at the highest levels of international soccer.

MLS News & Notes from around the league

Chicago Fire 4, Colorado Rapids 1: Any doubts over whether Nicolas Gaitan, the former Benfica star and Argentine international, would be able to quickly acclimate to MLS following his most recent stint in China, should be silenced after he completed his first full 90-minute shift for coach Veljko Paunovic. Meanwhile, it’s getting increasingly difficult to envision a way back this season for Colorado and coach Anthony Hudson, who removed one of the cornerstones in his squad, Kellyn Acosta, at halftime.
Ian Quillen

San Jose 4, Sporting KC 1: After starting the season with four straight losses and leaking goals at a high rate, San Jose has now had three straight solid outings — including two wins by three-goal margins. Sporting Kansas City had come from behind to earn points in three of their last four matches, but the hole tonight was too deep. – German Sferra

NYCFC 2, D.C. United 0: For the third straight match, D.C. United failed to secure all three points and were held scoreless at Audi Field. This 0W-2L-1D home stretch is the club’s worst at their new soccer stadium. Meanwhile, NYCFC put forth their best performance of 2019 with the win giving the Cityzens their first of the season, leaving the Colorado Rapids as the only winless club in MLS. – Jonathan Sigal

For more excellent coverage of this weekend’s MLS action  

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Horan photo courtesy of Portland Thorns