The U.S. women's national team endured an uneven 2016, and Hope Solo absorbed a highly controversial one, but that hasn't affected their standing when it comes to FIFPro's Women's World XI.
The 2016 edition of the team–just its second incarnation after the inaugural one was unveiled 13 months ago–was announced on Wednesday and features four U.S. women's players, including Solo. She's joined by reigning FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd, forward Alex Morgan and right back Ali Krieger.
Olympic champion Germany and newly minted SheBelieves Cup champion France each put two players on the FIFPro XI, while Brazilian stalwart Marta makes her first appearance after being omitted last year. Lloyd, Solo and France's Wendie Renard and Eugenie Le Sommer are the four holdovers from last year's squad.
Solo has not played since the USA's loss in the quarterfinals of the Olympics last August, after which she infamously called Sweden "cowards" for its approach against the Americans. She had her contract terminated by U.S. Soccer, and while she is eligible for reinstatement after a six-month suspension period, there have been no indications that will transpire. Solo remains under contract with the NWSL's Seattle Reign, though she is also coming off shoulder replacement surgery that she had in September. The Washington Post reported this week that Solo's rehab and recovery could take a year and that she isn't expected to rejoin her club this season.
As for those who didn't make the cut: Germany's Melanie Behringer, who was a finalist for FIFA's player of the year, was omitted, as were "The Best" semifinalists Camile Abily and Amandine Henry (France), Christine Sinclair (Canada), Saki Kumagai (Japan), Sara Daebritz (Germany) and Lotta Schelin (Sweden).
Voting was conducted by FIFPro through its member player unions, with 3,200 votes cast from female players across 47 countries. Voters had to choose, in their estimation, the best player at each position to make up an XI fit for a 4-3-3.
Here is the full FIFPro Women's World XI for 2016 (along with current club/country):
GOALKEEPER: Hope Solo (Seattle Reign/USA)
DEFENDERS: Leonie Maier (Bayern Munich/Germany), Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg/Sweden), Wendie Renard (Lyon/France), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride/USA)
MIDFIELDERS: Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon/Germany), Carli Lloyd (Manchester City/USA), Marta (Rosengard/Brazil)
FORWARDS: Alex Morgan (Lyon/USA), Ada Hegerberg (Lyon/Norway), Eugenie Le Sommer (Lyon/France)