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4 US Olympic champions nominated for FIFA award

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ZURICH (AP) -After winning Olympic gold medals, four United States players are chasing the title of FIFA Women's World Player of the Year for 2012.

FIFA named Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe from the victorious U.S. team at the London Games among 10 candidates on Thursday for the most prestigious individual honor in football.

No American has won since Mia Hamm in 2001 and `02, the first years that FIFA made the women's award.

Wambach placed third last time behind Homare Sawa, of 2011 World Cup winner Japan, and Brazil forward Marta.

Wambach scored five goals at the Olympics and Lloyd scored twice as the U.S. beat Japan 2-1 in the final at Wembley Stadium. Morgan and Rapinoe both scored three times at the tournament.

Japan has three candidates, including Sawa, goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto and Aya Miyama. Five-time winner Marta and Camille Abily of France have also been nominated.

Christine Sinclair of bronze medalist Canada was nominated after leading the Olympics with six goals, including a hat trick in a tense 4-3 semifinal loss in extra time to the Americans. FIFA has since banned Sinclair for four matches for her conduct after the match.

Pia Sundhage, who coached the U.S. Olympic team, and Norio Sasaki of Japan are among 10 candidates for the best coach of a women's team. Sasaki will defend his title.

Another man nominated for the award is Steve Swanson, who guided the U.S. under-20 team to win their World Cup in Japan last month.

The nomination lists were chosen by FIFA committee members and France Football magazine, which co-organizes FIFA's annual awards.

Three-candidate shortlists are to be announced Nov. 29 in Sao Paulo after voting by national team coaches and captains, plus invited journalists. Winners are to be named at FIFA's annual gala in Zurich on Jan. 7.

FIFA will announce nominees for the Ballon d'Or and other men's awards on Monday.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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