Horan, 24, was named NWSL MVP and earned Best XI honors, while helping guide Thorns FC to a second consecutive trip to the NWSL Championship match in 2018. In her third season with Portland, Horan finished the regular season ranked third in the NWSL in goals (13), while tallying two assists in 22 matches (22 starts). The U.S. international led the league in a number of key statistics, including touches (1,852), duels won (297), aerial duels won (141) and successful passes in the opponent’s half (493). With the USWNT in 2018, Horan has appeared in 15 matches (12 starts), recording two goals and five assists.
Sinclair, 35, was the only Thorns FC player to start all 24 games this season and to play every minute of every match. During the regular season, Sinclair set career-highs in goals scored (9) and assists (6), which ranked third in the NWSL in 2018. A NWSL Second XI selection in her sixth season with Portland, Sinclair became the third player in league history to tally 40 career goals. The Canada Women’s National Team captain, who currently ranks tied for second all-time on the international goal-scoring list (173), has appeared in eight games (6 starts) for Canada in 2018, registering four goals.
Awarded every year by France Football magazine since 1956, the Ballon d’Or is given to the best player of the year and will be awarded to a female for the first time in 2018. The players were selected by France Football and a panel of international journalists that specialize in women’s soccer will vote on a winner, which will be announced on Dec. 3.