Three US players — Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Julie Johnston — were named on Thursday among eight short-listed for the Golden Ball Award given to the best player at the Women’s World Cup. . The tournament concludes on Sunday with holders Japan playing the United States in Vancouver in a rematch of the 2011 final. Japan have two candidates for the award — captain Aya Miyama and defender Saori Ariyoshi — FIFA announced on Thursday. Germany forward Celia Sasic is also among the contenders along with England defender Lucy Bronze. Former two-time winners Germany take on England in the play-off for third place in Edmonton on Saturday. France’s Amandine Henry has also made the short-list, despite her team being eliminated in the quarter-finals by Germany on penalties. Midfielder Henry scored a superb goal against Mexico. Lloyd helped lift the United States past Germany in the semi-final with a penalty and a decisive cross for a 2-0 win. Sasic missed […]