46 players who impressed me the most in the group stage. (23 players born in the nineties and 23 veterans).

I recently posted in my blog a list with “46 star players you do NOT want to miss at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015”. Several of these players were really a treat to watch in the group stage and other players were, well short of expectations.

For this reason I decided to create a new list (yep, me and my lists again!) with the 46 players who impressed me the most in the group stage (23 players born in the nineties and 23 veterans).

Note: Players and coaches who were not in the previous list are marked with an *.

The 90’s roster:

Goalkeepers: WANG Fei – Erin NAYLER* – Waraporn BOONSING*

Defenders: Maria THORISDOTTIR* – Kadeisha BUCHANAN – RAFAELLE* – Dominique JANSSEN* – Ngozi EBERE* – Julie JOHNSTON

Midfielders: ANDRESSA* – ANDRESSA ALVES – Yoreli RINCON* – Marta CORREDERA* – Melanie LEUPOLZ* – Danielle VAN DE DONK*

Forwards: Gaelle ENGANAMOUIT* – Lady ANDRADE* – Fran KIRBY – JI Soyun – Lieke MARTENS – Desire OPARANOZIE* – Ada HEGERBERG – Ramona BACHMANN

Coach: VALVERDE Amelia*

The Starting Lineup: WANG Fei – Kadeisha BUCHANAN – Julie JOHNSTON – RAFAELLE – Marta CORREDERA – ANDRESSA ALVES – Yoreli RINCON – Danielle VAN DE DONK – Lady ANDRADE – Ada HEGERBERG – Gaelle ENGANAMOUIT

WANG Fei

Age: 25 years old
Born: March 1990
Current club: Turbine Potsdam (GER)
Nationality: Chinese

Wang was the only goalkeeper who remained from my previous list. This is because Almuth Schult (GER) and Mackenzie Arnold (AUS) are on bench and Wang was one of most impressive goalkeepers in the group phase. She now plays at German club Turbine Potsdam becoming the first Chinese player to compete in the Frauen Bundesliga.

Erin NAYLER*

Age: 23 years old
Born: April 1992
Current club: Norwest United (NZL)
Nationality: New Zealand

The 23 year-old showed off her skills on several times, specially in the goalless draw match against Canada when the New Zealander goalkeeper earned the Live Your Goals Player of the Match honours.

Waraporn BOONSING*

Age: 25 years old
Born: February 1990
Current club: BG-Bundit Asia (THA)
Nationality: Thai

This was Thailand’s first appearance at a FIFA Women’s World Cup and Boonsing can be considered the best Thai player in the competition. The 25 year-old goalkeeper stood out in the group stage, particularly in the match against Germany, when she registered 12 saves.

Maria THORISDOTTIR*

Age: 22 years old
Born: June 1993
Current club: Klepp IL (NOR)
Nationality: Norwegian

The young center-back went through all Norwegian youth teams until reaching the senior team, where she is doing a great job. She performed in two of three matches of the group phase, against Côte D’ivoire and Germany, and she was particularly impressive against Germany where she made a great defensive job stopping Mittag and Sasic.

Kadeisha BUCHANAN

Age: 19 years old
Born: November 1995
Current club: West Virginia University (USA)
Nationality: Canadian

The 19 year-old Canadian defender has had a big hand in the hosts’ progress to the last 16. Not for nothing Buchanan is considered the Canadian newest star.

RAFAELLE*

Age: 24 years old
Born: June 1991
Current club: Brazilian permanent residency program
Nationality: Brazilian

After the injury of captain, Bruna Benites, the Brazilian coach Vadão surprised everyone by changing the Brazilian centre-back duo. Monica was expected to assume as a starting player of the Brazilian defense, as she had been showing great performances, the surprise was the lineup of Rafaelle as center back, who previously used to play in another position. But the newcomer like center back player did not disappoint, Rafaelle was strong, fast and confident in every match.

Dominique JANSSEN*

Born: January 1995
Current club: SGS Essen (GER)
Nationality: Dutch

The young Dutch defender came off the bench in minute 13 of the match against Canada to replace Van Lunteren and made a great impression with her solid and strong performance. Netherlands is showing not only have fantastic young players in attack, but also in the defense.

Ngozi EBERE*

Age: 23 years old
Born: August 1991
Current club: Rivers Angels FC (NGA)
Nationality: Nigerian

The 23 year-old wingback played in all three matches of group stage and she was very effective defensively as well as in attack.

Julie JOHNSTON

Age: 23 years old
Born: April 1992
Current club: Chicago Red Stars (USA)
Nationality: American

The most impressive part so far of USWNT has been their solid defence. The debuting player in Women’s World Cups, Julie Johnston has been very consistent in the American defense, denying the best chance that Nigeria had in the match against USA, executing a perfectly timed tackle to interrupt the Asisat Oshoala’s shot.

ANDRESSA*

Age: 20 years old
Born: May 1995
Current club: Brazilian permanent residency program
Nationality: Brazilian

The youngest player of Brazil WNT was rewarded with the accolade of Live Your Goals Player of the Match against Costa Rica. She is showing a lot of maturity despite her young age leading the midfield beside Formiga, the oldest and most experient brazilian player.

ANDRESSA ALVES

Age: 22 years old
Born: November 1992
Current club: Brazilian permanent residency program
Nationality: Brazilian

Andressa Alves is an authentic number 9 player, she is a very skilled and soulful player. She already played in a wide variety of positions, having performed as a wide-midfielder, left-back and now as an attacking midfielder. The versatile 22-year-old scored the only goal of a 1-0 Group E win over Spain that guaranteed her team a place in the Round of 16.

Yoreli RINCON*

Age: 21 years old
Born: July 1993
Current Club: ASD Torres Calcio (ITA)
Nationality: Colombian

The midfielder and captain of Colombia is a well-known player in her home country. But now she is showing to world why she is honored to wear the number 10 jersey of Colombia. The 21 year-old and the talented Lady Andrade were responsible for leading her team to great achievements in Canada like the win over France.

Marta CORREDERA*

Age: 23 years old
Born: August 1991
Current Club: Barcelona (ESP)
Nationality: Spanish

When I created the first list, @retnonino sent me a tweet saying that I should have added Marta Corredera, since she stood out in the last Spanish league season playing for Barcelona. And I really should have put Corredera in my first list. Besides being a very skilled player, she is very fast (as her surname herself says). Her style of play reminds me a lot Rapinoe, both are very quick and skilled player who help a lot in attack.

Melanie LEUPOLZ*

Age: 21 years old
Born: April 1994
Current Club: FC Bayern Munich (GER)
Nationality: German

The young German was another player I missed on my first list, as pointed out by @BrunoBezAlm . Recently Leupolz was voted by fans as their German Allianz Frauen-Bundesliga ‘Player of the Season’. She also was rewarded with the accolade of Live Your Goals Player of the Match in the win over Thailand, in group stage.

Danielle VAN DE DONK*

Age: 23 years old
Born: August 1991
Current Club: PSV/FC Eindhoven (NED)
Nationality: Dutch

The 23 year-old didn’t score in the stage group. However she stood out with her skills in all three matches that she played so far in this World Cup.

Gaelle ENGANAMOUIT*

Age: 23 years old
Born: June 1992
Current Club: Eskilstuna United DFF (SWE)
Nationality: Cameroon

Gaelle Enganamouit is one of the top players in Sweden and already one of the best in Africa. She scored her first hat-trick for her country against Ecuador in the group phase, occasion when she earned the Live Your Goals Player of the Match award in recognition of these exploits.

Lady ANDRADE*

Age: 23 years old
Born: January 1992
Current Club: Generaciones Palmiranas (COL)
Nationality: Colombian

Colombia forward Lady Andrade has been stunning in this tournament with her skills. The 23 year-old led Colombia to make history after beating France 2-0 to record their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup victory. Andrade was named Live Your Goals Player of the Match in this occasion.

Fran KIRBY

Age: 21 years old
Born: June 1993
Current club: Reading FC (ENG)
Nationality: English

Kirby was in my previous list and didn’t disappointed me. The Reading forward showed her dribbling skills and scored England’s opener goal in a crucial 2-1 win against Mexico, occasion when she was rewarded for her efforts with the Live Your Goals Player of the Match award.

JI Soyun

Age: 24 years old
Born: February 1991
Current club: Chelsea Ladies (ENG)
Nationality: South Korean

The 24-year-old made headlines in England when she won the FA Women’s Player’s Player of the Year award in her debut season and now she made headlines again to lead her team to secure their first ever win at FIFA Women’s World Cup to progress to knockout stages in a 2-1 victory over Spain. La Roja was holding their advantage until eight minutes into the second half when Korea’s captain Cho tied the match, capping an incisive attack which started with Ji So-yun, who was adjudged the ‘Live Your Goals’ Player of the Match and scored the winning goal of Korea Republic in the match.

Lieke MARTENS

Age: 22 years old
Born: December 1992
Current club: Göteborg FC (SWE)
Nationality: Dutch

The 22-year-old is one of the most promising Dutch players. She led her team to a 1-0 victory over New Zealand in their debut match with a stunning strike.

Desire OPARANOZIE*

Age: 21 years old
Born: December 1993
Current Club: EA Guigamp (FRA)
Nationality: Nigerian

Despite scoring the own goal that gave the lead to Sweden in the opening match, the 21 year-old forward managed to bounce back and gave the assistance of the goal that would put the Super Falcons back in the match. Indeed, the African team is full of skilled and promising players as Oparanozie, Oshoala, Okobi and Ordega, the four O’s.

Ada HEGERBERG

Age: 19 years old
Born: July 1995
Current club: Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
Nationality: Norwegian

Another player who was in my previous list and is not disappointing me. Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, earned a Live Your Goals Player of the Match award after scoring a brace in the victory over Côte d’Ivoire and also got on the scoresheet in the 4-0 defeat of Thailand.

Ramona BACHMANN

Age: 24 years old
Born: December 1990
Current club: FC Rosengard (SWE)
Nationality: Swiss

The 24-year-old Swiss is for sure one of the most electrifying players in the World and was also in my previous list and didn’t let me down. She scored a hat-trick against Ecuador in group stage.

VALVERDE Amelia*

Age: 28 years old
Born: January 1987
Nationality: Costa Rican

The 28 year-old was not born in the nineties, but she is the second youngest coach of this tournament and led Costa Rica to an excellent campaign, although they have not advanced to the next stage. In addition, Valverde can also be considered the most well dressed coach in group stage.

The Veterans roster:

Goalkeepers: Dominique THIAMALE* – Hedvig LINDAHL – Hope SOLO

Defenders: LI Dongna* – Abby ERCEG* – Becky SAUERBRUNN – Ali KRIEGER – MONICA* – Nilla FISCHER

Midfielders: FORMIGA – Shirley CRUZ – Karen CARNEY* – Amandine HENRY* – Aya MIYAMA* – Caroline SEGER – Megan RAPINOE*

Forwards: Lisa DE VANNA* – Gabrielle ONGUENE* – Madeleine NGONO MANI* – Natalia PABLOS* – Eugenie LE SOMMER – Anja MITTAG* – Isabell HERLOVSEN*

Coach: NEID Silvia

Starting Lineup: Hope SOLO – LI Dongna – MONICA – Ali KRIEGER – FORMIGA – Aya MIYAMA – Karen CARNEY – Amandine HENRY – Lisa DE VANNA – Gabrielle ONGUENE – Anja MITTAG

Dominique THIAMALE*

Age: 33 years old
Born: May 1982
Current club: Omness de Dobou (CIV)
Nationality: Ivorian

Thiamale had to pick the ball out of her own net ten times in the match against the the top-ranked team, Germany, but unlike what appears she did not perform poorly. The Germans had several chances to make the final scoreline even higher, but the 33-year-old thwarted them with a string of impressive saves. She also stood out for her stylish pink outfit as has been reminded by my friend Roberta Nina Cardoso, in her fantastic podcast Dibradoras (in Portuguese). – http://www.central3.com.br/programa/dibradoras/

Hedvig LINDAHL

Age: 32 years old
Born: April 1983
Current club: Chelsea Ladies (ENG)
Nationality: Swedish

The Chelsea’s goalkeeper shown in the match against USWNT why she made my previous list. She earned Live Your Goals Player of the Match honour after keeping a clean sheet against the Americans in the second Swedish match in group stage.

Hope SOLO

Age: 33 years old
Born: July 1981
Current club: Seattle Reign FC (USA)
Nationality: American

Many of the victories achieved by the Americans is due to the skill of this player. Solo is capable of fantastic saves and was one reason for the solid USWNT defence in the group phase.

LI Dongna*

Age: 26 years old
Born: December 1998
Current Club: Suwon FMC (KOR)
Nationality: Chinese

The Chinese player was very solid and strong in the defense and played in all three matches of group stage. The 26 year-old was rewarded with the accolade of Live Your Goals Player of the Match in the victory over Netherlands.

Abby ERCEG*

Age: 25 years old
Born: November 1989
Current Club: Chicago Red Stars (USA)
Nationality: New Zealand

Football Ferns captain Abby Erceg has a century of caps for New Zealand women’s national team and led her team to two ties matches and one defeat in group stage. Although the team did not advance in the competition, they have nothing to be ashamed of by their performance in Canada.

Becky SAUERBRUNN

Age: 30 years old
Born: June 1985
Current club: FC Kansas City (USA)
Nationality: American

The 30 years-old center-back started in all three matches of group stage and she is one of the reasons USWNT has one of the best defences in the world. It is difficult for any player to score against a team which has Sauerbrunn, Johnston and Solo in defence.

Ali KRIEGER

Age: 30 years old
Born: July 1984
Current club: Washington Spirit (USA)
Nationality: American

Krieger is a reliable wingback who started in all three matches of US group phase. The 30 year-old is a regular in defence for USA and was in my previous list.

MONICA*

Age: 28 years old
Born: April 1987
Current club: Brazilian permanent residency program
Nationality: Brazilian

After the injury of the Brazilian captain and defender, Bruna Benites, Monica became a starting player and she has not disappointed. The center-back has been very consistent and confident in the Brazilian defence, which has not being much required in this championship. I hope Monica and Raffaele can maintain their good performance against Australia in the knockout phase.

Nilla FISCHER

Born: August 1984
Current club: VfL Wolfsburg (GER)
Nationality: Swedish

Fischer is an absolute rock in defence, but unfortunately Sweden is not playing well as a group. While I write this text, Sweden has just been beaten by Germany in the knockout phase.

FORMIGA

Age: 37 years old
Born: March 1978
Current club: Brazilian permanent residency program
Nationality: Brazilian

Miraildes Maciel Mota, known as Formiga (Ant), holds many international records, being the only player present in all Olympic Games tournaments of women’s football since the first edition at the 1996 Summer Olympics, and sharing with Homare Sawa a record six appearances at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She break another record recently, by finding the back of the net in Brazil’s Group E opener against Korea Republic at Canada 2015, a strike that has given her the distinction of being the oldest goalscorer in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The 37 year-old has been wearing the No20 jersey since December 2014, in recognition of her two decades of dedicated service to Brazil women’s national team.

Shirley CRUZ

Age: 29 years old
Born: August 1985
Current club: Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
Nationality: Costa Rican

The Costa Rica’s captain and midfield led Las Ticas to a great performance in group stage. Unfortunately two draws (1-1 with Spain and 2-2 against Korea Republic) together with a narrow 1-0 defeat were not enough to apply Costa Rica into the knockout phase. Cruz also was voted by WSU followers the Best Player of the Women’s World Cup Group Stage!

Karen CARNEY*

Age: 27 years old
Born: August 1987
Current Club: Birmingham City LFC (ENG)
Nationality: English

The English midfielder played a key role for her team in the group stage. The 27-year-old scored two goals so far in the competition, in two victories 2-1 against Colombia and Mexico.

Amandine HENRY*

Age: 25 years old
Born: September 1989
Current Club: Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
Nationality: French

I can not explain how Henry was out of my first list. But it’s not too late to fix the mistake. The 25 year-old earned Live Your Goals Player of the Match honour in the victory over Mexico after scoring one of the most stunning goals so far in the competition.

Aya MIYAMA*

Age: 30 years old
Born: January 1985
Current Club: Okayama Yugono Belle (JPN)
Nationality: Japanese

Another player that I can not understand how I could leave out of my first list. Miyama not just was rewarded with the accolade of Live Your Goals Player of the Match one time, but she was rewarded with this prize all the three Japan’s matches in group stage! What an amazing player!

Caroline SEGER

Age: 30 years old
Born: March 1985
Current club: Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
Nationality: Swedish

The 30-year-old is in my opinion the Swedish version of Formiga. She never gives up and makes a fantastic work both defensively as in attack.

Megan RAPINOE*

Age: 29 years old
Born: July 1985
Current club: Seattle Reign FC (USA)
Nationality: American

In my opinion she is currently the best player of USWNT. She scored a brace against Australia and earned the Live Your Goals Player of the Match in this occasion.

Lisa DE VANNA*

Age: 30 years old
Born: November 1984
Current Club: Melbourne Victory FC (AUS)
Nationality: Australian

De Vanna has so far been one of the brightest and expressive players of this championship. She scored so far two goals and gave an assist. She is the most dangerous forward of the Matildas team and Brazilian defenders need keep an eye on her.

Gabrielle ONGUENE*

Age: 26 years old
Born: February 1989
Current Club: Louves Minproff (CMR)
Nationality: Cameroon

The Cameroon’s dynamo (Thanks @danwenhuang !), Gabrielle Onguene, has been a standout player so far in the competition and I hope we will have the delight to see her playing in one of the main leagues soon. She scored two goals and gave two assists up until now.

Madeleine NGONO MANI*

Age: 31 years old
Born: October 1983
Current Club: Claix FF (FRA)
Nationality: Cameroon

The experienced player has been a force in the Cameroon’s attack. By the way, the two African teams that stood out in this competition have fantastic attacking players. Mani has scored two goals so far in the competition.

Natalia PABLOS*

Age: 29 years old
Born: October 1985
Current Club: Arsenal Ladies (ENG)
Nationality: Spanish

It is true that she did not score in this competition, but she took danger to Brazilian net several times and she impressed me greatly with her talent. In fact, Spain has a very talented and skillful squad currently and was a shame they have not qualify to the knockout stage.

Eugenie LE SOMMER

Age: 26 years old
Born: May 1989
Current club: Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
Nationality: French

The petite footballer is the principal power of French attack. Her stunning first-half strike was the difference as France edged England 1-0 to open Group F in group stage. She also scored a brace in a 5-0 win over Mexico.

Anja MITTAG*

Age: 30 years old
Born: May 1985
Current Club: Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
Nationality: German

Anja Mittag netted a hat-trick to defeat the Ivorians, scored a goal in a 1-1 tie against Norway and was the top scorer in group stages with four goals. While I typed this text she scored a goal against Sweden in knockout phase and continuous leading the statistics with 5 goals and 2 assists so far.

Isabell HERLOVSEN*

Age: 26 years old
Born: June 1988
Current Club: LSK Kvinner FK (NOR)
Nationality: Norwegian

With almost a century of caps for Norway since debuting in 2004 Herlovsen is almost averaging a goal-per-game for the national side. She was recently rewarded with the Live Your Goals Player of the Match award after score a brace against Thailand in group stage.

Silvia NEID

Age: 51 years old
Born: May 1964
Nationality: German

She only just got lead Germany to a very impressive 4-1 win over Sweden. I have no doubt that Germany are the team to beat at this tournament and the favorite team to win Canada 2015.

What did you think of my list? Leave your comments below and share the text with your friends! Thanks for reading!

3 Comments
  1. Danwen Huang 4 years ago

    Brilliant list. The credit goes to a BBC comment regarding Onguene being the Dynamo of the team xD. I’d love to see her in a major league as well, would watch all her games!

  2. WSU 4 years ago

    Another great article! Thank you Izzy.

  3. Asa 4 years ago

    Thank you Izzy

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