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Megan Rapinoe, Christian Pulisic among nominees for U.S. Soccer awards

Megan Rapinoe shares an update on the USWNT's fight for equal pay and explains what an ideal resolution looks like from her point of view.

Megan Rapinoe and Christian Pulisic are among the nominees for a pair of year-end awards handed out by U.S. Soccer.

The list of nominees for the 2019 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year is comprised of six members of the U.S. national team that claimed last summer's World Cup, including midfielders Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle and Carli Lloyd, forwards Rapinoe and Alex Morgan and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.

On the men's side the list for the 2019 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year is comprised of defenders Aaron Long and Tim Ream, midfielders Weston McKennie and Pulisic, and forwards Jordan Morris and Gyasi Zardes.

A player's achievements for both club and country were taken into consideration in determining the nominees for both awards.

Three of the nominees for Female Player of the Year are prior winners, with Ertz claiming the award in 2017. Lloyd won in 2008 and 2015 while Morgan was so honored in 2012 and 2018. Ertz also previously won the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year award in 2012.

Rapinoe enjoyed an epic campaign and is the heavy favorite to win the award. She won both the Golden Ball as the MVP of the World Cup, as well as the Golden Boot, awarded to the tournament's top scorer. Rapinoe's six goals and three assists were the same as Morgan in the tournament, but she did so in fewer minutes played, giving her the honor.

Ertz played 1,755 minutes, third-most on the team, while Lavelle had a breakout year, scoring in the World Cup final vs. the Netherlands. Lloyd finished 2019 with a team-high 16 goals, the third-most she's ever scored in a calendar year. Morgan scored six goals at the World Cup, including the game-winner vs. England in the semifinal, and won the Silver Boot in France. Naeher recorded four shutouts in the tournament, and made a crucial penalty kick save in the semifinal victory over England to preserve the 2-1 U.S. victory.

The voting for the men's award figures to be more wide open. Long tied for the most starts (14) in 2019, recording three goals and one assist. His pair of tallies against Trinidad & Tobago in the Gold Cup marked the first multiple-goal game for a defender in USMNT history. Ream also started 14 matches while playing both left back and center back.

Morris completed a successful year for club and country, winning MLS Cup with club side the Seattle Sounders while also scoring five goals to go with four assists for the U.S. McKennie tallied five goals and two assists in 2019, registering the fastest hat trick from the start of a game in USMNT history in the 7-0 win against Cuba.

Pulisic recorded five goals and three assists in 11 appearances with U.S, while also breaking into the starting lineup at new club Chelsea. Zardes led all U.S. scorers with six goals, doubling his career total.

Voting for the awards starts on Tuesday and closes on Dec. 6, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced during the second week of December.

Votes for U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards are collected from respective national team coaches, national team players who have earned a cap in 2019, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes' Council, National Women's Soccer League head coaches for the USWNT and American soccer league (MLS and USL) head coaches for the USMNT, select media members and former players and administrators. In addition, select college coaches vote for the USWNT award.

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