Japan midfielders Homare Sawa and Aya Miyama were shortlisted for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year by soccer’s world governing body on Tuesday.
Norio Sasaki, coach of Women’s World Cup champion Japan, was also nominated for the women’s coach of the year award.
The list of 10 nominees will be reduced to three on Dec. 5 before the winners are announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich on Jan. 9.
No Japanese has won either award.
Sawa, the MVP and top scorer of this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Germany, and Miyama are among a select group that includes Brazil’s Marta who has won the award the last five years.
Forward Abby Wambach and goalkeeper Hope Solo of the United States, which Japan beat on penalties in the World Cup final, are also candidates.