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Inaugural 'Women's International Champions Cup Best XI Presented by Ally' Team Announced

Inaugural 'Women's International Champions Cup Best XI Presented by Ally' Team Announced

Esteemed advisory board selects those doing the most to advance women's soccer

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Relevent Sports Group (RSG) announced the inaugural Women's International Champions Cup Best XI Presented by Ally team today, which is comprised of the athletes, executives, journalists, coaches, and other individuals who are doing the most to advance women's soccer.  The announcement was made during a panel presentation hosted by The Female Quotient. This new initiative is the latest addition to RSG's growing WICC platform.

The inaugural Best XI list includes three players - Megan Rapinoe, Marta Vieira da Silva, and Wendie Renard; one coach - Jill Ellis; one referee - Bibiana Steinhaus; one owner - Jean-Michel Aulas; three executives - Kelly Simmons, Moya Dodd, and Sarai Bareman; one journalist - Meg Linehan; and one activist - Khalida Popal.

The 2020 Best XI list was selected by an advisory board comprised of the following soccer and sports icons:  Vero Boquete, Laura Gentile, Nadine Kessler, Heather O'Reilly, Briana Scurry, Danielle Slaton, and Grant Wahl.

RSG has created an original short film on each Best XI honoree.  Today's announcement will be accompanied by an introductory film providing an inside look into the advisory board discussions.  Following the introductory video, RSG will highlight one Best XI honoree each weekday, sharing each person's film on RSG's social and digital channels as well as on a dedicated page on the ICC website.  WICC Best XI footage will also be distributed by Sky Sports News in the United Kingdom, DIRECTV in South America (excluding Brazil), PPTV in China, and OneFootball globally. 

"The eleven individuals selected have played a large role in the recent explosive growth of women's soccer around the world," said Susie Fiore, Head of the WICC. "The achievements of the Best XI warrant recognition and we are honored to share their stories with sports fans globally."  

In October, Ally, a long-term partner of the men's and women's ICC tournaments, signed on to be the presenting partner of the Best XI.  "By coming onboard as presenting partner, Ally continues to demonstrate its commitment to the women's game," said Fiore.  "We are thrilled to have this powerful brand help elevate the profile of our new platform."

"The Best XI Presented by Ally brings well-deserved recognition to these amazing individuals who do so much to support women in soccer," said Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer, Ally. "We hope young men and women are inspired by their stories to make sports even more inclusive in the future."

In future years, RSG plans to incorporate the Best XI into its WICC tournament.  The honorees will be recognized at the WICC tournament and will be incorporated into various fan experiences, including panel events, giving fans the opportunity to both watch world class matches and also interact with the champions of the game.

WICC Best XI Presented by Ally Honoree Bios


Megan Rapinoe

  • American professional soccer player who plays as a winger and midfielder and captains OL Reign (NWSL) and the USWNT (alongside Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan).
  • Winner of the 2019 Ballon d'Or Feminin and awarded the Best FIFA Women's Player for 2019.
  • Won gold with the USWNT at the 2012 Olympics and won the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, winning the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot in the latter. She also played for the USWNT in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, where the US finished in second place.
  • Author of her memoir, One Life.

Marta Vieira da Silva (commonly known as Marta)

  • Brazilian football player who plays for the Orlando Pride (NWSL) and the Brazil Women's National Team as a forward.
  • Won silver with the Brazilian Women's National Team at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
  • First football player of either gender to score in five different editions of the World Cup.
  • Often regarded as the greatest female player of all time and has been named the FIFA World Player of the Year six times, five of them being consecutive (from 2006 through 2010) and the latest award coming in 2018.

Wendie Renard

  • French football player who plays as a central defender for the French Women's National Team and is the captain for Olympique Lyonnais.
  • Has won fourteen French league titles and seven UEFA Women's Champions League titles with Olympique Lyonnais.
  • Scored the winning goal against PSG in the 2019-20 UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final.
  • Won the Golden Ball in the 2019 Women's ICC tournament.


Jill Ellis

  • English-American soccer coach who coached the USWNTfrom 2014 through 2019.
  • Coached the USWNT toFIFA Women's World Cup victories in 2015 and 2019, making her only the second coach in the history of the men's and women's game to win consecutive FIFA World Cups.
  • During her tenure at UCLA, led the team to eight NCAA Women's College Cups, including seven in a row from 2003-2009, and won six straight Pacific-10 Conference titles from 2003-2008.


Bibiana Steinhaus

  • German football referee.
  • In 2007, became the first female referee in German men's professional football.
  • One of the sixteen referees chosen for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, where she officiated two group stage matches and the final between Japan and the US.
  • Refereed the 2012 Olympics final, which was also played between Japan and the US.


Jean-Michel Aulas

  • French businessman and founder and CEO of Cegid (Compagnie Europeenne de Gestion par I'lnformatique Decentralisee).
  • Serves as the owner and president of Olympique Lyonnais, which he has owned since 1987. He is also the chairman of OL Reign (NWSL) since January 2020.
  • Under his leadership, the women's club at Olympique Lyonnais has won the Division 1 Feminine ten times, the Coupe de France seven times, and the UEFA Women's Champions League title seven times.


Kelly Simmons

  • Director of the Women's Professional Game at the English Football Association since September 2018.
  • Has helped transform women's soccer from semi-professional to professional in England. She oversees The FA Women's Super League, FA Women's Championship, FA Women's National League, and the Women's Pyramid of Football.
  • Figurehead for women's soccer, who was responsible for the implantation of the FA's "Game Changer", which outlined plans for women's football in England.

Moya Dodd

  • Australian soccer official, lawyer and former Australian Women's National Team player. In 1988, she played in the first-ever FIFA world tournament for women.
  • Former executive committee member of the Asian Football Confederation and a former member of the FIFA Council.
  • In 2015, she submitted a proposal for gender reform to the Chair of FIFA Reform Committee with the main goal for women to have more inclusion in the decision making process and for there to be a larger investment in the women's game. In 2016, FIFA passed the proposal and made it mandatory for every continent to have a seat filled by a woman.

Sarai Bareman

  • New Zealand born former football player of Samoan and Dutch descent who represented the Samoa Women's National Team.
  • Currently the Chief Women's Football Officer for FIFA.
  • She played a key role in the delivery of the FIFA Women's World Cup in France in 2019 and also led the development of FIFA's first ever global strategy for women's soccer which launched in October 2018.


Meg Linehan

  • National staff writer for The Athletic focusing on women's soccer, including the NWSL and USWNT.
  • Host of The Fixture by Women's International Champions Cup – a digital show on domestic and international women's soccer.
  • Host of the weekly soccer podcast Full Time with Meg Linehan.


Khalida Popal

  • Former captain of the Afghanistan Women's National Team. Former coach of the U-15 and U-17 women's football teams in Afghanistan.
  • In 2007, she formed the Afghan women's soccer league with her friends.
  • Current Program and Event director of the Afghanistan Women's National Team.
  • She is the founder and director of Girl Power Organization, which uses sport as a way to motivate and empower female minority groups in Europe.

About Relevent Sports Group

Relevent Sports Group (RSG) is one of the most influential privately-owned international soccer companies, with a focus on growing the popularity of the sport in North America and Asia. RSG delivers exceptional multi-platform experiences and access for fans across the International Champions Cup, Women's International Champions Cup, and the International Champions Cup Futures tournaments featuring the world's top soccer clubs. RSG also invests in and develops platforms to accelerate the growth of soccer, including the first-of-its-kind joint venture with LaLiga to grow the popularity and value of the league in North America.

About Ally Financial Inc.

Ally Financial Inc. is a leading digital financial-services company with $185.3 billion in assets as of September 30, 2020. As a customer-centric company with passionate customer service and innovative financial solutions, we are relentlessly focused on "Doing it Right" and being a trusted financial-services provider to our consumer, commercial, and corporate customers. We are one of the largest full-service automotive-finance operations in the country and offer a wide range of financial services and insurance products to automotive dealerships and consumers. Our award-winning online bank (Ally Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender) offers mortgage lending, personal lending, and a variety of deposit and other banking products, including savings, money-market, and checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Additionally, we offer securities-brokerage and investment-advisory services through Ally Invest. Our robust corporate finance business offers capital for equity sponsors and middle-market companies.

For more information and disclosures about Ally, visit

Media Contact:

Ben Sosenko             

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SOURCE Relevent Sports Group

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