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Will EA Sports put a woman on the cover of FIFA 16?

Elaine Thompson / AP

In the days and weeks ahead, EA Sports will announce the various local soccer stars who will appear on the regional covers of FIFA 16, alongside international sensation Lionel Messi.

This year's FIFA game is the first to include women players, a feature that EA recently stated it has wanted to include for some years.

With the enormous success of the recent World Cup in Canada, and the exciting victory of the U.S. team, the time could not be better for EA to splash a top female player on the cover of the U.S. version of the game.

EA has used a public voting system to determine who will grace the covers of FIFA 16 in countries like Britain, France and Mexico, as well as Latin America. The winners will be announced soon, for the game's launch in September. Japan's Shinji Kagawa, an attacking midfielder with Borussia Dortmund, has been named as the co-cover star for Asia.


Interestingly, the Australian voting options are entirely made up of women players. Tim Cahill was the Australian cover star for the last five years, but is now in the twilight of his career, playing in the Chinese league and winding down his sterling service for the Socceroos.

But there is no public vote for the U.S. cover, suggesting that EA has a plan in place already.

Last year's FIFA game in the U.S. carried Clint Dempsey alongside Messi. Previous games have been pitched at North America in its entirety and have featured a mixture of players from the U.S. and Mexico or have opted for European players alone.

EA is expected to make its announcement in the near future, right in the full swell of U.S pride in its players' achievements. Polygon has been told by a well-placed source that the company is going to make a big deal of this year's reveal, with more fanfare than a general press release.

fifa 16 EA Sports

There is no shortage of potential candidates for the cover, including strikers Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux, winger Megan Rapinoe, longtime star Abby Wambach (who is the world's leader in international goals scored) or Carli Lloyd, whose hat trick in the final helped the U.S. to the championship.

It's possible that the cover star was locked in by EA well before the World Cup, and that it's an MLS player, but such a reveal would surely be received with disappointment by jubilant U.S. soccer fans, as well as being a missed opportunity for EA.

The final was the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history, and was seen by 2 million more TV viewers than the last game of the recent NBA Finals. Clearly, the status of women's soccer has changed significantly, even since EA announced a limited number of players and teams in its new game.

If the company wants to show its commitment to women's soccer, while riding the success of the national team, now is the perfect time.

An EA spokesperson declined to comment on its plans for cover stars.

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