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Sept. 28, 2007
Lilly only U.S. player eligible for Golden Ball

Shanghai, China -- U.S. forward Kristine Lilly was the only player on the list of players selected by the FIFA technical study group that is eligible for the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament.

Lilly, 36, who has experienced a disappointing tournament on the production end, is playing in her fifth consecutive WWC.

U.S. striker Abby Wambach, who leads the team with four goals, was not chosen for the list.

The media is eligible to vote for the Golden Ball.

Marta, whose overall play and two goals helped destroy the Americans' hopes for a third world championship in a 4-0 romp Thursday night, was one of three Brazilian players selected.

Formiga and Cristiane also were on the list.

Three players from Germany -- Birgit Prinz, Kerstin Stegemann and Renate Lingor also were selected, as were China's Li Jie, England's Kelly Smith, a one-time Seton Hall standout, and Norway's Ingvild Stensland.

Each accredited member of the media is entitled to vote for the top three players in the competition. A first-place vote is worth five points, a second-place vote three points and a third-place vote garners one point.

The winner will be announced during the awards ceremony after the final between Germany and Brazil at the Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium Sunday.

The players coming in second and third place in the voting will receive the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball, respectively.

-- Michael Lewis

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