Morgan, Rapinoe headline USWNT player of the year nominees

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Streeter Lecka
U.S. Soccer nominated a strong group of candidates after an outstanding year for the women's national team

Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe were among the five finalists for the 2018 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday. 

The veteran duo were joined by Lindsey Horan, Tobin Heath and Julie Ertz as nominees for the prize. 

The USWNT enjoyed a stellar 2018, posting an unbeaten 18-0-2 record while winning the Tournament of Nations, the SheBelieves Cup and the Concacaf Women's Championship, qualifying for next year's World Cup in the process. 

Morgan was a major part of her team's success in 2018, as the 29-year-old scored 18 goals in 19 appearances while leading the U.S. in minutes with 1,500. 

Rapinoe returned to her place as one of the world's premier attacking players in 2018, leading the U.S. with 12 assists and also adding seven goals in 16 games. 

The 24-year-old Horan is the youngest of the nominees, as the midfielder enjoyed a breakout campaign by becoming a vital cog for the USWNT and also winning the NWSL MVP award with the Portland Thorns. 

Ertz continued her successful transition from center back to defensive midfield in 2018, chipping in with four goals while starting 15 of the USWNT's 20 matches.

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Finally Heath, like Rapinoe, was one of the team's most dangerous attacking threats from out wide, tallying seven goals and eight assists in 2018.

Three of the five nominees have won the award in the past: Ertz in 2017, Heath in 2016 and Morgan in 2012.

This year's winner will be announced during the first week of December. 

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