CanWNT's Bev Priestman, Jessie Fleming nominated for FIFA's 'The Best' awards
Canada Soccer's Women's National Team head coach Bev Priestman and star midfielder Jessie Fleming have been nominated for FIFA's The Best awards for 2022 – an award celebrating the world's top coaches and players in a given year across men's and women's world football.
Priestman has once again been nominated for this year's Women's Coach of the Year award (vote here), having finished fourth behind Sarina Wiegman, Lluis Cortes and winner Emma Hayes of Chelsea FC in 2021. Her fellow nominees in 2022 include Wiegman and Hayes once again, alongside Sonia Bompastor of Olympique Lyonnais, Pia Sundhage of Brazil, and Martina Voss-Tecklenburg of Germany.
The English-born Canada coach can be credited with plenty of on- and off-field successes in 2022, leading to a 11-3-3 (W-D-L) record in 2022. Boasting a 5-game winning streak spanning September through November and having lost just three matches all year, Priestman's tactical work also saw Canada's shape and attacking play transformed over the year, too.
In particular, it was Priestman's decision to implement a two-player midfield pivot that saw Canada finally shed some of their scoring burdens, as Juventus star Julia Grosso emerged as a critical starter, alongside, perhaps, the team's most important player these days – Jessie Fleming.
Fleming, 24, has been instrumental to Canada's successes in 2021-22, and has played an important role at Chelsea, too, where she amassed 32 appearances and scored eight goals across all competitions. Now joined by fellow Canadian international Kadeisha Buchanan at the Blues, Fleming continues to play a vital role in Hayes' lineup, making 14 appearances and scoring two goals thus far in the 2022-23 season.
For her exploits – which included a Best XI all-star nod at the Concacaf W Championship where she featured in all five Canada matches and co-led the tournament with three goals – Fleming was named Canada Soccer's Women's Player of the Year for 2022, the second year in a row that the young midfield star has taken home this individual accolade.
In total, Fleming made 17 appearances for Canada in 2022, scoring five goals.