The BBC announced its first ever Women's Footballer of the Year award this morning, and Seattle's own Kim Little was included among the five nominees. The winner is decided by two weeks of public voting through their website and via SMS (to a UK number). So yes, it's a popularity contest.
The other nominees are perennial award candidate Marta (of Brazil, Tyreso, and Rosengard), Vero Boquete (of Spain, Portland, and now Frankfurt), Nadine Keßler (of Germany and Wolfsburg), and Asisat Oshoala (of Nigeria and Liverpool). The candidate list is notably better than the recent lists for the prestigious FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, which have included late-era Abby Wambach and Nadine Angerer, who actually won the award in 2013 thanks almost entirely to saving two penalties for Germany in the Euro final. And notoriously didn't include Little last season despite her dominating MVP performance in the most competitive women's league in the world.
Being a public vote and therefore being susceptible to the usual ballot-stuffing will probably prevent the BBC award from ever gaining as much prestige as the FIFA award, despite the more reasonable candidate list. But winning it would still be quite an honor, especially for a player who grew up with the BBC.
You can do your part to stuff the ballot by voting on the BBC's website. The SMS option requires texting to an international number. Check with your carrier, but that'll probably be something like a quarter a text.
Voting closes on May 11 and the winner announced on May 26, leading into the Women's World Cup.