Do you realize how good you have to be for the internet trolls to not even bother to come out and play? She's hardly had time to break in her senior team jersey and she's already in a class of her own.
Naomi Girma is a 23-year-old dependable leader. She's also a defender with no shiny goal/assist stats to boost her profile. Just quiet, consistent strength that is so dominant it's impossible to ignore.
Realistically, there was only one option for player of the year, and thank goodness the USWNT got it right.
Naomi Girma can't help but stand out
Naomi Girma's first USWNT cap came on April 12, 2022. A year later she anchored the American backline at the World Cup.
Everyone had a beef with the USWNT about their World Cup performance, myself included. They even got very publicly dragged through the mud by former USWNT striker Carli Lloyd.
But through all the muck and mire, our USWNT sparkling diamond Naomi Girma, dazzled.
No one who watched her at Stanford, the youth national teams, or as a rookie/second-year in the NWSL is surprised she turned out to be someone worth draping with awards.
And now? Put through the test of battling the world's best strikers as the heart of the USWNT's defense on soccer's most highly watched and heavily scrutinized world stage?
Ain't nothing but a thing (besides the blood, sweat, tears, 20+ years of her life dedicated to the sport, missed birthday parties and proms, early morning workouts, aching muscles, ice baths, etc., etc., that it took to get to here, but that's beside the point).
The point is, she was unsurprisingly, indisputably the best USWNT player this year and she's tremendously deserving of the award. And the most exciting part? She's just getting started.