Study projects sharp growth in solar generation across southeast U.S. through 2022

first_imgStudy projects sharp growth in solar generation across southeast U.S. through 2022 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Times Free Press:Solar power generation is projected to more than double across the South by 2022 from last year’s level, but one of the early leaders in turning to the sun a generation ago won’t be one of the major players, according to a new study of solar power in the Southeast.In its second annual study on solar power released Thursday, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) projects electric utilities in the seven states of the Southeast will boost solar generation above 10,000 megawatts this year and should reach 19,000 megawatts by 2022.“As solar continues to improve, we’re very bullish and excited about the growth of solar generation,” said Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which compiled the figures from industry and utility data across the region.But the Tennessee Valley Authority, which was an early promoter of solar power in the 1970s and ’80s with its Green Power Switch and other research programs, is lagging most other Southern utilities, with its solar power output totaling only 81 watts per customer last year. That represents a mere 30 percent of the average solar power wattage provided per customer by all utilities in the Southeast in 2018, which was 269.States and businesses are pushing utilities in much of the South to turn to more renewable sources for energy, which should continue to get cheaper, even with the phaseout of federal investment tax credits, SACE officials said. “Corporate procurement is driving a lot of solar,” said Bryan Jacob, solar program director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, who helped author the 39-page report.Five major corporations — Facebook, Google, Target, Walmart and Johnson & Johnson — are collectively projected to account for more than 1 gigawatts of solar generation, including 675 megawatts of solar in Tennessee and Georgia.More: Although solar power generation is expected to double by 2022 in the South, TVA is still a ‘solar blocker’ in the region, study sayslast_img read more

Gravel Grindin’ at GRUSK

first_imgIt was 11 o’clock Friday night before we rolled into camp. Rows of cars sat idle in a grassy bald atop Experience Learning’s Spruce Knob Mountain Center. Bikes glimmered under the headlights, their owners fast asleep. Devious clouds loomed overhead, threatening to overtake the night sky.The drive in had been uneventful, but long. The slow and winding climb up the very gravel roads we would soon be racing felt interminable in the blackness of night. Still, it hadn’t rained like the forecast was calling for, and I silently thanked the universe for sparing us thus far.“Let’s slide in over there,” Adam said, pointing to a gap between two campsites.I backed in, rolling down the window to get a better view. Brisk mountain air flooded the van, and I cursed myself for not bringing more layers. We’d be spending the weekend above 4,000 feet. I knew firsthand West Virginia’s reputation as ‘Wet Virginia,’ and that Spruce Knob, the Mountain State’s highest point (and the pinnacle of GRUSK, or Gravel Race Up Spruce Knob), was notoriously cold, wet, and windy even in the dead of summer. Maybe central Virginia’s heat and humidity had fried my brain.Shaking off my questionable packing skills, I donned my warmest layers and settled in for the night. Just a few hours later, the crack of a tent pole sprung me from my sleeping bag. Rain poured from the sky, whipping every which way in the wind. I pulled the bag closer up under my chin, mind spinning, convinced I was ill-prepared and unequipped to go race 52 miles up to Spruce Knob in soggy conditions. I had a pair of shorts, a short-sleeved jersey, and a rain jacket. That’s it.What was I thinking?My alarm woke me some five hours later, feeling more tired than I had the night before. It was still raining, but just light enough that you questioned whether it was worth bringing a rain jacket. Fog hung low in the trees, clouding out the view of Spruce Knob.Despite my gnawing hunger, I had to force an egg burrito down. The coffee, I couldn’t even touch. What was making me feel so anxious? I wasn’t in it to win it. Was it the weather? My layers? The course? The 5,286 feet of climbing ahead?A stormy start to GRUSK 2017. Photo by Jacob RitterPhoto by Rick MorrisonBy the time our mass of 100+ cyclists peeled away from the starting line, all of those inhibitions evaporated. Maybe it was the insulated Giro vest that my friend Shane just-so-happened to bring along in case I was interested in buying it for an upcoming trip (Shane, you’re a gahdamn hero). Maybe it was the glorious descent on hard-packed gravel right out of the gate. Maybe it was the supportive kindness of everyone, racer and course marshall alike.Whatever it was, I felt good. And the weather was good, too. The thick canopy sheltered us from the early morning rains, and by the time we spilled out into Whitmer, the weather was sublime (minus the headwind-on-pavement). I bypassed the first aid station, then the second. The miles came blissfully fast. Riding along Gandy Creek felt like a dream.“You don’t look like you’re in my age group. Wanna ride my wheel?”A woman just a few years my senior smiled at me behind a neat row of braces as she pedaled past. I chugged in line, and we chatted back and forth while churning out the eight-mile Dry Fork climb from the valley floor. She was a GRUSK veteran, and assured the few riders we came upon that we were still on course, despite the scant signage.My company was short-lived. She left me in the dust. I pedaled alone again until the third aid station, where I downed my remaining water and filled up on Swedish Fish and peanut M&Ms. I would need the fuel. From here, it was a steady 10-mile climb gaining over 1,100 feet to the summit of Spruce Knob.Cruising past Sinks of Gandy, my favorite part of the ride. Photo by Rick Morrison.I rode out of the aid station with a local who lived in Seneca Rocks. As we passed through one mystical boreal forest after another, I couldn’t help but envy him. On any day of the week he could ride from his front door to Spruce Knob’s stunning summit.My legs were feeling remarkably fine, but not nearly as strong as the lead Epic 73-mile course riders’. The top five easily blew past me on their road bikes and skinny tires, despite having already ridden 20 more miles and tackled a helluva lot more elevation than me.Slowly, I gained on the few 52-milers ahead of me. The sun had finally broken through the clouds, and the day was cool and beautiful. Long, paved, and steady, the climb wasn’t terrible. Bordered on all sides by thick spruce and fir with clear blue sky above, I almost forgot about how hard the climb was, until the last few miles. In the distance, the summit parking lot rose high above, looking ever-so-faint between the trees. Talk about despair.Racers on the final push to the summit. Photo by Rick MorrisonI’m riding up to there?I sighed, trying to nudge away the frustrated exhaustion creeping in. On any other day, watching the top riders zip back down the ascent might have sunk me further into the pit of despair, but on this day, it had quite the opposite effect. Most everyone I passed smiled and shouted words of encouragement. The relief in their voices was contagious, reenergizing.And that’s when something struck me—I had seen very few women coming down from the summit. The volunteers working the last aid station had said they hadn’t seen many riders yet, so I knew I was toward the front of the pack, but I hadn’t been keeping close tabs on the other racers. I was just out for the ride.The grade stiffened, and I leaned forward, gritting through the final hump. Thank gahd for granny gears. Jacob was at the top working the volunteer aid station, and the sight of him, and the knowledge that I was now through with the most difficult part of the race, empowered me. I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins as I stood out of the saddle and sailed through the last push.“YEW!” I shouted, giving Jacob a high-five and grinning from ear to ear.“Dude, you’re killin ‘it!” he said.“I might be able to podium!” I said, still unsure how possible that really was. I looped through the parking lot and circled back. “And now I cruise!”Or, so I thought. The descent off of Spruce Knob was not nearly as effortless as I had imagined. Small and deceptively punchy climbs snuck up on me. But still, I was ecstatic. Just as the lead riders had done before me, I whooped and hollered and tried to keep the climbing racers’ spirits up as they made the long slog to the summit.Adam (right) making easy work of this grassy descent early in the race. Photo by Bobbie Swan.I passed by the third aid station again, catching Adam and his plaid shirt out of the corner of my eye. Having signed up for the Epic 73-miler, he was just about to begin his ascent.“How ya doin’?!” he yelled at me as I flew past.I smiled, blowing kisses and doing my best princess wave as I pedaled on. There was no stopping now. At last, I was on the home stretch.By the time I cruised the short, grassy descent to the finish line, my legs were feeling sufficiently fatigued (the climb back up to the center is demoralizing!). I collapsed down in the grass beside my bike and drank nearly an entire bottle’s worth of Skratch.“Daddio, you’re first!” said Don Parks, the event timekeeper.“Bull!”“Jess Daddio, 4:29, first place Classic, women’s open. Says it right here.”Ladies’ Open Classic podium! Photo by Adam RitterThe finished cyclists clapped and gave me high fives, even though it took them less time to finish 73 miles (some of them on singlespeeds) than it did for me to ride my 52. Adam came cruising through an hour later, averaging 18 miles per hour for 73 miles and over 8,200 feet of elevation gain. We both were spent, but the Chaga Tea Project tunes and spaghetti dinner brought us back to life. I still had a hard time believing I had won my category, but as the afternoon wore on and the race day stories trickled in, the day became so much more than the podium.Bull chases and cowboys, too many flat tires to count, glorious gravel, out-of-this-world scenery, perfect weather, lasting camaraderie. The race was an adventure in and of itself, and the caliber of athletes that showed (and the wide range of ages on the podium) was awesome to witness. If you ever have the desire to go ride the gravel roads of West Virginia, make sure you let GRUSK race director Travis Olson show you how it’s done.Congrats to everyone who finished and to Travis for putting on a stellar event! We’ll be back next year. You can check out more amazing images from Rick Morrison and Bobbie Swan here.Best campsite this side of the Mississippi.Adam (left) and Jacob (right) post-race.Adam in all of his post-race hot and stinky glory.The most spectacular setting for one tough gravel race!last_img read more

H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Summer camps; nurses’ mask complaint; Australia, Chile top 10K cases; first case in Tonga

first_imgAmerican Lung Association recommends closing affiliated summer campsThe American Lung Association (ALA) has asked about 50 summer camps with which it is affiliated with to close, after four children who attended one of the camps were diagnosed with H1N1 flu, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday. An ALA spokeswoman said she wasn’t sure how many ALA camps would follow the advice. Patients who have asthma and other chronic conditions are at greater risk for flu complications. In June the Muscular Dystrophy Association canceled its camps for similar reasons.California nurses detail complaint about masksThe California Nurses Association yesterday detailed the complaints of nurses at a Vallejo hospital about inadequate respiratory protection to care for patients with novel flu. They said the hospital had too few N95 masks, and the masks were not properly fitted. Also, they said they were asked to reuse masks repeatedly and to wear surgical masks over the N95s. A hospital official told the Associated Press that only one employee had confirmed H1N1 flu and that the masks could be safely reused.[Jul 14 California Nurses Association press release]Australia and Chile each exceed 10,000 H1N1 casesAustralia and Chile have both counted more than 10,000 H1N1 flu cases, according to reports today from Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Reuters. In Australia, which has had 22 deaths, patients’ average age is 19, and authorities are worried about a growing number of serious cases in young, otherwise healthy people, according to AFP. Chile has had 33 deaths, and its case count is the highest in South America, according to Reuters.Tonga reports first H1N1 casesThe South Pacific archipelago of Tonga has reported its first two cases of novel H1N1 flu, according to a report today from Radio Australia News. Blood tests conducted in Australia confirmed the illness in two women, one a resident and the other a visitor from Brisbane, Australia, the report said.[Radio Australia report]last_img read more

Norway’s SWF falling short on sustainability, says think tank

first_imgThey said that although the mandate assigned to Norges Bank looked strong on environmental policy and sustainability, the finance ministry was undermining this by asking the manager to use the FTSE Global All Cap Index as the benchmark.The ministry should shift to ethical benchmarks, as insurer Swiss Re has done, or low carbon indices, according to the report.It described the mandate as restrictive, but said that Norges Bank could still do more within it, such as by taking a stance on carbon pricing or perform carbon stress tests on its portfolio.NBIM should also apply the same standards it expects of third party asset managers to itself, according to the authors. They referred specifically to NBIM “Expectation Documents” on human rights, children’s rights, climate change, water management and tax and transparency.Other policy recommendations set out in the report include that the ethical council take a less restrictive stance when applying conduct criteria, and that the GPFG join investor coalitions that have been formed to address different social, environmental and governance challenges, such as excessive use of antibiotics.The report was published in anticipation of domestic elections this year and subsequent renewed discussions about how the GPFG is run.It comes after a government commission set up to review Norges Bank presented its conclusions in June, recommending that GPFG be managed separately from the country’s central bank now that it had grown so big and NBIM be set up as a separate statutory entity. In their report, Kapoor and Zeilina said that if the Norwegian parliament adopted a recommendation to set up an independent professional board for GPFG, then at least one board member should have expertise in sustainable investing.Sustainability should be incorporated into the Pension Fund Act as a core criterion for the fund’s investment strategy, as well as “the principle of diversification”, they said.In explaining why it was a good and important time to carry out a “reality check” on the oil fund’s sustainable investing, the authors also noted that the finance ministry and parliament are due to debate whether GPFG should be allowed to invest in illiquid assets such as infrastructure, reducing exposure to fossil fuel assets, and investing in renewables and developing economies.The report is not the first time that Re-Define’s Kapoor has sharply criticised the GPFG. In 2013, the think tank produced a stinging report with Norwegian Church Aid after a new government broadened the mandate of the fund.The new report was commissioned by several non-governmental organisations, including Amnesty International Norway and Norwegian Council for Africa.In a response to the report, a spokesperson for NBIM told IPE that “the development of principles and standards for market participants is important for the management of the fund”.“We engage in dialogue, make submissions and launch initiatives to promote good practices and well-functioning markets,” he said.The spokesperson also said that NBIM assesses environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks across the fund and that these risk assessments and related monitoring were integrated into the fund’s overall risk management.It has divested from 210 companies on the grounds of ESG risk, he noted, also pointing out that a separate climate risk framework was set for NBIM last year. Norway’s NOK7.75trn (€829bn) sovereign wealth fund has strong policies on sustainability and climate change but falls short on putting these into action, according to a critical report from think tank Re-Define.Produced by Sony Kapoor, managing director at Re-Define, with assistance from Linda Zeilina, special adviser at the think tank, the report argued that the oil fund needed “to learn from its peers and significantly enhance its approach to managing climate risk and investing sustainably, based on rigorous risk/return considerations”.“A cohort of investors, who are savvier than the oil fund, have made far greater strides on sustainability, in almost all cases based on rigorous risk/return calculations rather than on ethical or political gorunds,” the report said.The authors’ criticism was aimed both at the government mandate for Norges Bank, whose investment management arm manages the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), as well as how the mandate is implemented by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) itself. The Council of Ethics could also do more, they argued.last_img read more

Meatballs and Greens on Ciabatta

first_img Sharing is caring! Share Food & DiningLifestyle Meatballs and Greens on Ciabatta by: – September 16, 2011 Tweet 46 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Share Meatballs and Greens on CiabattaThis quick and easy meatball sandwich is made on a toasted ciabatta roll and seasoned with a lemon and garlic mixture.Romaine lettuce is added for fresh crisp flavor to this main-dish sandwich.Ingredients:1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil1/4 cup lemon juice1 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, large stems removed2 cloves garlicSalt and ground black pepper1 16- to 18-ounce package frozen cooked Italian-style meatballs, thawed*1/2 of a small head romaine, cut-up or torn6 ciabatta rolls, split and toastedDirections:1.In a food processor or blender combine oil, lemon juice, parsley, and garlic; cover and process until finely chopped. Add salt and pepper to taste.2.Transfer parsley mixture to a large skillet; add meatballs and heat through, covered, over medium heat, stirring and spooning sauce over meatballs occasionally.3.Place one ciabatta roll, toasted side up, on each plate. Top with shredded romaine. Remove meatballs from skillet with a slotted spoon; place atop romaine. Drizzle warm parsley mixture over meatballs. Makes 6 servings.Recipe Source: Better Homes and Gardenslast_img read more

Indy 500

first_imgThis weekend is the annual Indianapolis 500.  Unless you like Indy car racing, I would be willing to bet that you can’t name 10 drivers in this years field.  It sure wasn’t that way 30 years ago.  In those days, the whole month of May this race was the focus of most sports programs not only in the United States but around the world.   Today you are lucky if it appears in anything besides the Indianapolis Star and the Indianapolis Media.Where are the Foyts, Unsers, Andretti’s (there is Marco who is still racing), Mears, etc.?  I haven’t looked at the complete list for this year, but when I glanced at it there were only about 5 names that I knew.I will still watch it on Sunday, but not with a lot of enthusiasm.  Even Jim Nabors is no longer there.last_img read more

Who should announce ‘Monday Night Football’ on ESPN? Ranking the top broadcast options

first_imgAs expected, ESPN is shaking up the “Monday Night Football” booth for the 2020 NFL season. The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch reported Saturday that Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland are out as the broadcast team, although they will continue to have prominent roles at the network.The two were often criticized last season, and it was no secret ESPN wanted to replace them with bigger names. The network reportedly offered to make Tony Romo the highest-paid broadcaster ever, which he later became when he re-signed with CBS. Then it reportedly offered Peyton Manning more money than Romo, tried to trade for Al Michaels from NBC and showed a willingness to wait for Drew Brees to retire to secure him for the booth. All three declined. He was electric on the call of a meaningless Week 17 game between the Lions and Packers for [email protected] calling a kicker TD pass is everything we’ve ever wanted 🙌@MattPrater_5— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 30, 20185. Steve LevyLevy is the other name that continuously comes up as a 2020 “MNF” booth candidate. He also appears to be the most likely to be chosen. Two of ESPN’s prominent football broadcasters, Tessitore and Sean McDonough, have already been the play-by-play announcer for the series. Maybe ESPN would consider someone like Jason Benetti or Dave Pasch, but Levy has been on the call in recent years when ESPN has had two Monday night games in a week. Unless the network reaches across sports for someone like Dan Shulman or moves Rece Davis or Chris Fowler off college football, Levy is the probable choice. IYER: The 7 worst prime-time games on the 2020 NFL scheduleIt should be noted, however, that Tessitore and McFarland didn’t have a great slate of games to work with in 2019. Ten of the 17 matchups were decided by 13 points or more, and the starting quarterbacks during the first eight weeks included Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum (against Mitchell Trubisky), Ryan Fitzpatrick and Mason Rudolph (twice). The 2020 “Monday Night Football” schedule, on the other hand, is the best in recent memory. Week 2 will showcase the Raiders’ debut in Las Vegas, followed by the most anticipated game of the season in Week 3 when the Chiefs visit the Ravens. 2020 NFL SCHEDULE RELEASE:Strength of schedule rankings | Best “revenge” gamesESPN wants to pair that improved schedule with an improved broadcast team, but can it be done? The network is exploring internal options, according to Deitsch’s report. Shelling out millions to an outsider would be a tough look with ESPN asking 100 of its highest-paid commentators, as well as top executives, to take a temporary pay cut because of the coronavirus pandemic. After looking at the narrowed list of options, Sporting News ranks the best choices:Who should ESPN promote to the ‘Monday Night Football’ booth?1. Dan OrlovskyOrlovsky seems like a random choice at first glance. If his NFL career is remembered at all, it’s for obliviously running out of the back of the end zone for a safety during the Lions’ winless 2008 season. He retired from the NFL just in 2017, but his young broadcasting career has already exceeded his career as a player.He started by breaking down game tape on social media, which led to guest appearances on multiple networks. Then ESPN offered him a job as a main contributor to shows like “Get Up” and as a color commentator on college football games. He has turned into a star. Entertaining and analytical, he makes viewers smarter with his football insights and easily digestible breakdowns. He has even had “multiple teams” reach out to him about joining their offensive coaching staffs. There is zero doubt who should be in the booth for Monday Night Football. It’s my boy @danorlovsky7. He played the game at the highest level, he talks the game at the highest level and he’s one of the best dudes I know! #nobrainer— Matt Leinart (@MattLeinartQB) May 9, 2020Fans will likely respond with Orlovsky’s lack of NFL success, which is true. He went 2-10 as a starter in the NFL, with 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. But some of ESPN’s most renowned broadcasters weren’t stars during their playing days. Kirk Herbstreit had five touchdowns and 11 interceptions in his entire college career at Ohio State, yet he’s the face of ESPN’s college football coverage. Jay Bilas averaged less than seven points and five rebounds his senior year at Duke, but every college basketball fan knows him.The move wouldn’t excite fans like an acquisition of Romo, Manning or Brees would have, but it wouldn’t take long for the audience to appreciate the improvement Orlovsky would represent in the booth.2. Louis RiddickRiddick is another contender who doesn’t have the name recognition of those star QBs who’ve turned down the role. He does, though, bring experience on multiple levels. He had a six-year NFL career as a defensive back and then found more success as a scout and director of pro personnel for the Redskins and Eagles. He was a finalist for the 49ers’ GM job in 2017 before John Lynch was hired. Riddick was also a finalist for a spot in the “MNF” booth in 2018, but McFarland got the nod. “This is something that has been a goal of mine and ESPN is very well aware that I am very interested in it,” Riddick said on the SI Media Podcast that year. “It is the pinnacle of broadcasting as far as I am concerned, the most iconic position in broadcasting. To be involved with ‘Monday Night Football,’ either as a play-by-play person or analyst, is something I am hoping I can achieve.”Riddick was disappointed he didn’t get the job then, but he said in a 2019 interview with The Athletic that the “ultimate goal” is still calling “a big, prime-time National Football League game on a regular basis.”This could finally be Riddick’s shot. 3. Dan Orlovsky and Louis RiddickThe last three-man “Monday Night Football,” with Tessitore, McFarland and Jason Witten in 2018, was a disaster. That might make ESPN hesitant to pair Orlovsky and Riddick with a play-by-play announcer, which is why the duo comes in at No. 3 on this list. It still might be the best option, however. Orlovsky brings the mind of a quarterback and Riddick brings the mind of a defensive player and front office member. They also have communication skills that can run circles around Witten and McFarland. They seem to be the candidates who are mentioned the most often, so why not give them both a shot?4. Pat McAfeeMcAfee himself said Saturday that the chances of him getting in the “MNF” booth in 2020 are slim.I think we’re 10 yrs away from said job that everybody is currently tweeting me about right now.Think it’s gonna have to be the next batch of executives.All good btw, I’m enjoying the hell out of the YouTube daily show life.Would I dominate in that booth?ABSOLUTELY.. BUT— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 9, 2020That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a great option. McAfee is different from the other candidates because he appears to place entertainment at the top of his priority list, which might sound like a negative but isn’t. McAfee could have thrived during the continuous Monday night blowouts in 2019. last_img read more

Africa could host Olympics as soon as 2032 – IOC boss

first_imgIn a separate statement about Africa for the YOG, Bach said that the IOC “will proactively approach a number of African (countries) to evaluate the feasibility of such a project”.The IOC hopes to elect a host city at the next IOC session, to be held in October 2018 in Buenos Aires.Rio de Janeiro in 2016 became the first South American host of the Olympic Games.Share on: WhatsApp Pyeongchang, South Korea | AFP | International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday that Africa could host the Olympics for the first time as early as 2032.It came after the IOC approved plans to target Africa to host the fourth Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2022.“This Youth Olympic Games we hope can inspire one of the African countries to come up with a feasible candidature for 2032 or 2036,” said Bach, speaking in Pyeongchang two days before the start of the Winter Olympics.“But we have enough confidence in Africa that we said we do not want to wait so long, let’s go in 2022 with the Youth Olympic Games (YOG),” added Bach, declining to name which African country he had in mind for the full Olympics.last_img read more

Rapinoe named but Modric, Neymar miss out on Ballon D’Or shortlist

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Ballon D’OrParis, France | AFP | While Megan Rapinoe is the leading candidate for the second ever women’s Ballon D’Or, the holder of the men’s award, Luka Modric, and the world’s most expensive player Neymar missed out as France Football unveiled nominees in four categories on Monday.Modric, fresh from guiding Croatia to a World Cup final, broke the 11-year Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi, who are both included, stranglehold on the men’s award last year.Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar, who cost the French club 222 million euros ($247 million) in 2017, failed to make the 30-man shortlist after a year overshadowed by injury, suspension and controversy for both club and country.Messi has just collected the FIFA Best award, as did Rapinoe, which split from the Ballon D’Or in 2016.Rapinoe dominated the Women’s World Cup, on and off the field, in the summer.She was joint top scorer and was voted player of the tournament as she led the United States to victory in France in July.The 34-year-old Reign FC playmaker, already a campaigner for LGBT rights and gender equality, made headlines during the tournament by publicly taking on US President Donald Trump.Last year, Norwegian Ada Hegerberg was the first women’s winner. The Lyon forward did not play in the World Cup but is among the 20 nominees as are stars who were present at the competition, such as Australia striker Sam Kerr, England’s Lucy Bronze and France captain Amandine Henry.Virgil Van Dijk, 28, who has had an impressive six months with Liverpool lifting the Champions League, could become a rare defensive winner of the men’s award.Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to win in 2006, and only the fourth since the award began in 1956.Another nominee, Kylian Mbappe, the top goal scorer in Ligue 1 last season, would represent a genuine change of the guard.The Paris Saint-Germain striker is inelgible to defend his Kopa trophy for the best player under 21 last year as he celebrates his 21st birthday on December 20.This year also sees the introduction of the Yashin trophy, named after the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon D’Or, Lev Yashin of the Soviet Union, to give that ignored minority a chance to get their hands on a prize of their own.The award winners will be unveiled on December 2 during a ceremony in Paris after a voting process including journalists from 180 different countries.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more