NWSL FIFA23: 7 most egregious player-ranking errors

Jun 8, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Wave FC defender Naomi Girma (4) kicks the ball against the Portland Thorns FC during the first half at Torero Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 8, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Wave FC defender Naomi Girma (4) kicks the ball against the Portland Thorns FC during the first half at Torero Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports /

The National Women’s Soccer League was finally added to FIFA23 this week, but there are some players who didn’t get their deserved ranking in the game. 

NWSL players and teams finally made their long-awaited appearance in FIFA23 and well-founded criticism of the questionable face scans immediately started rolling in. Despite these grievances, adding the NWSL is a huge step forward for women’s soccer in FIFA and fans can only hope that one day all features will be applicable to the women’s teams and players.

For now, we’ll overlook the graphics and just focus on the handful of players who deserved a much higher player score. You can see all of the NWSL rankings for FIFA23 here. 

Here are some of the NWSL players who were robbed of a higher overall score from FIFA23:

KC Current’s Kristen Hamilton: 75

While one of the Current’s strengths lies in their ability to work as a team instead of relying on star power, striker Kristen Hamilton deserves a little more star power from FIFA. One of the Current’s leading goal scorers with eight goals for their 2022 season and five during the 2022 Challenge Cup — Hamilton is a leader with the numbers to back it up, playing over 2,000 minutes for the Current last season. She’s a seasoned NWSL player, leading the league with five championship game appearances, and is well deserving of a better score.

Houston Dash’s Diana Ordóñez : 79

FIFA seems to be seriously punishing players based on experience, hence all three 2022 Rookie of the Year nominations making this list. But while experience and talent can go hand in hand, there’s no denying that Ordóñez is something special even with just one year in the league so far.

She scored 11 goals in her rookie season, successfully breaking the record. She made the second-best XI at the end of the season. Not to mention her success with the Mexican national team, scoring a brace in her debut. Now part of the Houston Dash, maybe FIFA will reconsider her ranking after what is likely to be a phenomenal sophomore season.

NJ/NY Gotham’s Lynn Williams: 82

Now an 82 isn’t terrible, but it’s impossible to be satisfied with that number for a legend like Lynn Williams. With the national team, she’s scored 15 goals and tallied 11 assists in just fifty-two appearances. Not to mention she scored on New Zealand this year just seven minutes after making her return to the national team from injury.

Even though she was out for the 2022 season, that doesn’t negate the fact that she’s a goal-scoring machine, often in the running for the golden boot, and winning it back in her sophomore season of 2016. She’s likely to tear it up for Gotham this year and add even more highlights to her already brilliant career.

OL Reign’s Bethany Balcer: 77

Affectionately dubbed boats by OL Reign fans, Bethany Balcer is an unconventional success story. After going undrafted she was signed by the Reign and went on to become the 2019 rookie of the year, scoring six for the Reign in her rookie season. Her success carried into the 2021 season, where she finished second in the golden boot race with nine goals. Not the mention the seven she scored for them in 2022. T

The point here is that Balcer is always underestimated and underappreciated, and FIFA is no exception. But Seattle knows how special she is and will continue to show love to Boats throughout her time with the Reign.

Portland Thorns’ Sam Coffey: 79

Seeing Sam Coffey under 80 was a shock considering her place as one of the best defensive midfielders in the league. Coffey started 20 matches for the Thorns during the 2022 season and played over 1,700 minutes. During all those minutes, she had 40 interceptions, and an 82 percent pass success rate. Her impressive season earned her a rookie of the year nomination and a spot on the NWSL best XI. Coffey plays with a strong field presence and guiding hand over the Thorns midfield, consistently setting them up for success. All of this and more should push her over the threshold into at least the lower 80s.

San Diego Wave’s Naomi Girma: 80

2022 NWSL Rookie and Defender of the Year Naomi Girma deserves better than an 80 overall rating. It’s possible to present any number of impressive statistics for Girma, but if FIFA is justifying this number based on experience, clearly no one there has watched Naomi play.

She’s shown incredible promise and growth with the national team, maintaining a cool head under pressure and playing beyond her years. She forces chances and has stopped many a charge from opponents. She’s a leader on San Diego’s backline and has amazing chemistry in any national team center back pairing. In short, justice for Girma.

Washington Spirit’s Trinity Rodman: 83

Eighty-three isn’t bad but it still feels too low for a player of Trinity’s caliber. She was the youngest player nominated for the 2022 Ballon d’Or Féminin at just 20 years old. She scored eight goals for the Spirit between their regular season and Challenge Cup last year. Not to mention her success with the national team, scoring two goals and tallying two assists across 15 appearances.

She’s a previous NWSL Rookie of the Year as well, earning the honor in 2021. Trinity Rodman is something special, and we’re likely to watch her score bangers for many years to come, during which FIFA will hopefully come to their senses and up her score.

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