The Ballon d’Or (golden ball) is an annual award presented by French outlet France Football. In a weird way in which these things happen, think Michelin stars, it’s become one of the most coveted awards in the sport, complete with an extravagant and uber fancy gala. Today, they announced finalists for the award, a short list of just twenty names, AND TRINITY RODMAN WAS AMONG THEM!
Nominated for the 2022 Women’s Ballon d’Or… ✨ @trinity_rodman@WashSpirit#ballondor pic.twitter.com/sKc7lUvLzd— Ballon d'Or #ballondor (@francefootball) August 12, 2022
Of course these announcements often spark debate, and can sometimes seem an outsized portion of their purpose. However, Rodman fully deserves the recognition. Her first professional and rookie season last year was pure uncut outrageousness, and she was just 19 at the time.
Rodman’s counting stats from last year are impressive enough, dropping 7 goals and 6 assists throughout the year, but don’t measure the totality of her impact. She’s one of the most spectacular, must-watch players in the game. The chaos of a soccer match makes it nearly impossible for a singular player to control the entirety of it.
Great strikers prowl the final third, midfielders orchestrate from the center third, defenders and ball-winners ruin dreams in front of their own goal. Rodman, many times throughout the year, did all three.
Watching Rodman is often a surreal experience that makes you question your understanding of time and space. She presses high and hard while somehow also being a defensively solid winger who can take the ball from an opposition’s attacker deep in her defensive area. Then there are the moments the ball is at her feet and anything feels possible.
She’s nearly impossible to stick with 1v1 thanks to her control, agility and acceleration, but backing off allows her to use her exceptional vision and passing range to put the ball in dangerous areas. There’s no better illustration of that than the game winning back post assist she dropped on Kelley O’Hara’s forehead in the NWSL Championship.
TRINITY RODMAN ➡️ KELLEY O'HARA— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) November 20, 2021
WHAT A TIME TO SCORE HER FIRST GOAL OF THE SEASON pic.twitter.com/9sDm0EYL5q
Actually, it’s hard to tell, because she also did this.
That assist (Rodman) That finish (Hatch) ( ️ @NWSL)pic.twitter.com/7uK1O0545e— AllForXI (@AllForXI) October 9, 2021
Rodman is truly a unique talent, and it’s not just her attacking prowess that makes her fun — which would be enough. It’s the way she can, like so few in world soccer, completely take control of and change a game from anywhere on the pitch. Congratulations to Trinity Rodman on an unreal rookie season, and this much deserved nomination!
You have just three more chances to watch Trinity Rodman and the Washington Spirit at Audi Field this season:
Washington Spirit vs. San Diego Wave FC
Washington Spirit vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC
Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash