Seattle Reign midfielder Kim Little has won their 2016 Women's World Footballer of the Year Award, the BBC announced today. The Scottish national beat out Americans Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn, French midfielder Amandine Henry, and Cameroonian forward Gaelle Enganamouit in fan voting to win the second edition of the award.
Little's award-winning year included dominant performances in two consecutive club seasons — first leading the Reign to the NWSL Final for the second year in a row while leading the league in assists and finishing tied for second in goals, then leading the expansion Melbourne City in the Australian W-League to a league championship after a perfect regular season.
In the meantime she was the key player on a Scotland team that's on the verge of qualifying for Euro 2017 — which would be their first ever appearance at a major international tournament.
"I think women's football is in a great place and I think especially in terms of the USA and where I'm playing right now, it is leading the way," Little told the BBC. "I'm proud to have won this award and to stand up here for women's football and hopefully it will progress further."
According to Scotland coach Anna Signeul, "[Little is] a role model. She's perfect in everything she does on and off the pitch, and I think it will take a long time before Scotland gets another player like this."
Little was presented the award at training today by former USWNT great Shannon MacMillan. The Reign player was also a finalist for last year's award, but lost out to Nigerian Asisat Oshoala, who's now with Arsenal. The two award winners will be facing each other this Thursday in a friendly between Seattle and the Gunners at Memorial Stadium.