Little playing for Scotland in September 2014
|Full name||Kim Alison Little|
|Date of birth||29 June 1990|
|Place of birth||Mintlaw, Scotland|
|Height||1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|Seattle Reign FC|
|2000–2004||Buchan Girls FC|
|2005–2006||Hibs Girls FC|
|2014–||Seattle Reign FC||47||(27)|
|2015||→ Melbourne City (loan)||12||(9)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 31 January 2016.
Kim Alison Little (born 29 June 1990) is a Scottish footballer who is a leading scorer on the Scotland women's national football team. She currently plays for Seattle Reign FC in the National Women's Soccer League and previously played for FA WSL club Arsenal Ladies and Melbourne City in the Australian W-League. During her time with Arsenal, the team won five league titles, two WSL Continental Cups, three FA Cups and one Premier League Cup. Prior to her six years with Arsenal, Little played for Hibernian L.F.C. in the Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL). During her 18 months with the club, they won the SWPL championship title, Scottish Cup, and the Premier League Cup.
Little has represented Scotland at the senior international level since age 16. She was one of two Scots selected for the Great Britain squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 London Olympics. In 2010, she was named the FA's Women's Player of the Year. In 2013, she became the first recipient of the PFA Women's Players' Player of the Year award. In 2016, she was named BBC Women's Footballer of the Year after being nominated for the second consecutive year.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Playing career
- 3 Style of play
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Honours
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Born in Aberdeen, Scotland and raised in Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire, Little began playing football at a young age with her father and brother. She played football for her primary school and local boys teams as a youth. From age 10 to 14, she played at the youth level for Buchan Girls before joining the Hibernian Girls in 2005. At age 13, she attended and played for Mintlaw Academy. During her time with Hibernian Girls, Little would travel about two and half hours each way from Aberdeen to Edinburgh for training. Of her youth, Little said, "Football gave me opportunities from a young age. Having the chance to travel, to play in different environments and to come up against really good players from all over Europe was fantastic and made me more determined to keep playing." Little attended the University of Hertfordshire when she obtained a degree in Sports Studies while playing for Arsenal L.F.C..
Hibernian L.F.C., 2006–2008
At the age of 16, Little made her debut for Hibernian L.F.C. of the Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL) during a UEFA Women's Champions League match against RCD Espanyol at Almondvale Stadium on 8 August 2006. Hibs had signed Little and other players from their youth team to replace veterans Pauline Hamill, Nicky Grant and Debbie McWhinnie who all left the club that summer. In her SWPL league debut, she scored a hat trick against Hutchison Vale L.F.C. During her time with Hibernian, Little helped the club win the SWPL championship title, Scottish Cup, and the Premier League Cup. She competed with the team in the UEFA Women's Champions League twice. During the 2006–07 season, Hibernian won every match with Little scoring 55 goals in her 30 appearances for the club. The following season, she scored 33 goals in 18 appearances with the club.
Arsenal Ladies, 2008–2013
FA Women's Premier League, 2008–2010
In March 2008 at the age of 17, Little joined Arsenal Ladies in the FA Women's Premier League National Division. She scored her first goal for the club in April, during a 4–1 win over Chelsea before 5,000 fans at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal manager Vic Akers told reporters: "Make a note of this kid, she's going to be a big player." She was not eligible to play in Arsenal's 4–1 FA Women's Cup Final victory over Leeds United on 5 May 2008.
Little played in every league match during the 2008–09 season bar one, scoring 24 goals. Arsenal finished at the top of the regular season table with a 20–1–1 record. She also played in the 5–0 Premier League Cup Final victory over Doncaster Rovers Belles and scored in the FA Women's Cup Final as Arsenal beat Sunderland 2–1 before almost 25,000 fans at Pride Park in Derby. Little later described 2008–09 as her most memorable season, as Arsenal won a treble despite the departure of several leading players to Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) in America.
The following season Little's prolific goal scoring from the midfield helped Arsenal overcome the departure of Kelly Smith. After 47 goals in all competitions, the team finished the regular season in first place with a 20–1–1 record. Little was the league's leading scorer with 17 goals. She was named FA Players' Player of the Year in June 2010. Arsenal entered the 2010 FA Women's Cup Final hoping to lift the trophy for a fifth consecutive year. Despite Little's first half penalty, they were eventually upset 3–2 by Everton, after extra time.
FA WSL, 2011–2013
In 2011, the FA WSL was formed replacing the FA Women's Premier League as the top division of women's football in England. During the 2011 season, Little was the second-leading scorer in the league with nine goals. She scored a brace during a match against Doncaster Belles on 7 May 2011. Arsenal finished at the top of the league table with a 10–2–2 record.
At the 2011 FA Women's Cup Final, Little was named Player of the Match and scored the opening goal in Arsenal's 2–0 win over Bristol Academy. After the game Arsenal manager Laura Harvey described Little as "world class."
During the 2012 season, Little was the league's top scorer with 11 goals. Arsenal clinched the regular season title with an undefeated 10–4–0 record and claimed their ninth consecutive English title. During a match against Chelsea L.F.C. on 26 April, she scored a brace with goals in the 47th and 90th minutes helping Arsenal win 3–1. She scored another brace during a 2–0 win against Liverpool L.F.C. on 6 May.
Little was voted Women's Players' Player of the Year for 2012–13 by the Professional Footballers' Association, in the first year that the award was given to women. Upon receiving the award, Little said, "For years, I have watched this event on television, so to come here and win the first award is fantastic."
Prior to the 2013 season, Arsenal's head coach Laura Harvey left for Seattle Reign FC in the United States. Under new head coach Shelley Kerr, the Arsenal finished third in the regular season standings with a 10–3–1 record. In her 14 appearances for the club, Little scored three goals.
Seattle Reign FC, 2014–present
In November 2013, Little left deposed champions Arsenal after six years for American National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) club Seattle Reign FC. Laura Harvey had departed Arsenal to coach Seattle Reign the previous year and had made Little her top transfer target. Of the signing, Harvey said, "Kim is world-class. Her talent and proven experience will be a huge asset for our team in the coming seasons. Having coached Kim for nearly four years, I have no doubt that her creativity and goal-scoring ability will prove an exciting proposition for the NWSL."
During her first appearance for the Reign, she scored a brace against the Boston Breakers helping Seattle win 3–0. After scoring a league-high four goals during the month of April helping the Reign go undefeated in four games, she was named NWSL Player of the Month. She became the first player in the history of the National Women's Soccer League to be named Player of the Month twice after earning the honor for the month of May. Her five consecutive games with goals scored during the month tied the league record previously set by Abby Wambach during the previous season. She was named Player of the Month for a third time for the month of July after her three goals and four assists in six games helped Seattle secure a 4–1–1 record and clinch the 2014 NWSL Shield (regular season title) several weeks before the end of the season. The Reign finished the regular season with a 16–2–6 record and 54 points – 13 points ahead of the second place team, FC Kansas City. During the team's playoff semi-final match against Washington Spirit, Little scored one goal helping the Reign win 2–1 and advance to the championship final against FC Kansas City. The team was defeated by Kansas City 2–1. Little was named league MVP in her first season with the club. Her 16 goals during the regular season also earned her the league's Golden Boot award. Her seven assists tied for second highest in the league.
After returning to the Reign for the 2015 season, Little was the team's leading scorer with 10 goals (second in the league following Crystal Dunn with 15). Her seven assists ranked first in the league. The Reign finished the regular season in first place clinching the [NWSL Shield]] for the second consecutive time. After advancing to the playoffs, Seattle faced fourth-place team Washington Spirit and won 3-0, advancing to the championship final. Seattle was ultimately defeated 1-0 by FC Kansas City during the championship final in Portland. Little, along with teammates Lauren Barnes, Beverly Yanez, and Jess Fishlock were named to the NWSL Best XI team.
Melbourne City FC (loan), 2015–2016
In October 2015, it was announced that Little had signed with Australian W-League team Melbourne City along with Seattle Reign FC teammate Jess Fishlock on loan for the 2015–16 season. On 9 November, she was named the league's Player of the Match after her first start for the club following international duty for Scotland. On 6 December, she served an assist to the first goal of the match by Scottish national teammate Jennifer Beattie and then scored a goal in the 80th minute against Melbourne Victory solidifying City's 4–0 win over their rival and extending City's regular season record to 8–0–0. Little ended the season having played 12 games for Melbourne City and scoring 9 goals, ranking only behind Larissa Crummer. Melbourne City won both the regular season and Grand Final. Little earned Player of the Match Award honors in the Grand Final.
Little made her debut for the Scotland women's national football team in February 2007 at the age of 16 in a match against Japan coming in as a second-half substitute for Megan Sneddon. National coach Anna Signeul had no hesitation in promoting Little into the senior team at 16: "Kim is an exceptional talent. There's no limit to how far she can progress. She has technique, speed and power, and she reads the game extremely well." She scored her first international goal as Scotland lost to Russia in March 2008.
During her 50th cap, Little scored the game-opening goal in Scotland's 2–0 victory against rival England at the Cyprus Cup in March 2011. It was only the second time Scotland had ever defeated their rivals, and was the first time since 1977 – 13 years before Little was born.
On 16 June 2012, Little scored Scotland's first hat trick during the team's 8–0 win against Israel. In October 2012, she scored in both legs of Scotland's UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifying play-off against Spain. In the second leg Verónica Boquete scored in injury time of extra time to make the score 3–2 to Spain and eliminate the Scots, who were left "utterly disconsolate" at missing out on qualification for their first ever final tournament.
In February 2013, Little scored Scotland's only goal during a friendly match against the United States in which the U.S. won 4–1. During the 2013 Cyprus Cup, Little scored a goal and served an assist in Scotland's 4–4 draw against England during the group stage of the tournament. She scored another goal in the 11th minute of the team's fifth place match against the Netherlands resulting in a 1–0 win for Scotland.
Despite opposition from Scottish Football Association with regard to Scottish players playing on a British team, Little was strongly in favour of participating in the Great Britain team at the 2012 London Olympics: "I don't see why anyone would want to stop a player from playing at a massive tournament like the Olympics, it's the biggest sporting event ever. If I get the opportunity I'll grab it with both hands – I would definitely play."
Little was called up to the 18–player squad, one of only two non-English players chosen by team manager Hope Powell, the other being fellow Scot Ifeoma Dieke. Little chose not to sing the national anthem of the United Kingdom before the team's first competitive game, a 1–0 win against New Zealand. The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that the British Olympic Association were angered by this. Hope Powell said she was not concerned by this issue, however, as some players prefer not to interrupt their pre-match preparation by singing the anthem. Two male Welsh footballers also made personal decisions to not sing the anthem.
Little provided two assists in the team's second group stage match, a 3–0 win against Cameroon. After winning all three matches and finishing at the top of the table for Group E in the group stage of the tournament, Great Britain advanced to the quarter finals where they faced Canada in front of 28,828 spectators at City of Coventry Stadium. Little started the match and played for 82 minutes, but Great Britain lost 2–0 and were knocked out of the tournament.
- Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
Style of play
Little typically plays as the advanced midfielder in Laura Harvey's 4–3–3 formation, but occupies a deeper role when playing for Scotland. In an interview with FIFA.com in July 2012, Little said: "Nearly all my goals come from midfield. That’s my natural position. But I’m a player who always tries to make forward runs, be positive and to create and score goals."
- FA Women's Player of the Year: 2010
- FA Women's Cup Final Player of the Match: 2011
- PFA Women's Players' Player of the Year: 2013
- NWSL Player of the Month: April 2014, May 2014, June 2014, June 2015
- NWSL Player of the Week: Week 19 (2015), Week 2 (2016),
- NWSL Golden Boot: 2014 Week 3 (2016)
- NWSL Most Valuable Player: 2014
- NWSL Best XI Team: 2014, 2015
- W-League Player of Grand Final award: 2016
- BBC Women's Footballer of the Year nominee: 2015 2016
- BBC Women's Footballer of the Year: 2016
- Premier League championship: 2008/09, 2009/10
- WSL championship: 2011, 2012
- FA Cup: 2008/09, 2010/11, 2012/13
- Premier League Cup: 2008/09
- WSL Cup: 2011, 2012, 2013
Seattle Reign FC
Melbourne City FC
- W-League Premiers (regular season winners): 2015–16
- W-League Champions (Grand Final winners): 2015–16
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- "Seattle Reign shuts out Washington Spirit, 3-0, in NWSL semifinal". The Seattle Times. 13 September 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
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- "our Seattle Reign players make NWSL Best XI squad". Sounder at Heart. 24 September 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- "Seattle's Kim Little and Jess Fishlock join Melbourne". BBC. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- "W-League: Little named player-of-the-match". Melbourne City FC. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- "Melbourne City continue dominance of W-League with derby win over Victory". The Guardian. 6 December 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- Cherny, Daniel (6 December 2015). "W-League Melbourne Derby: Melbourne City beat Melbourne Victory 4-0". The Age. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- Lynch, Michael (31 January 2016). "Melbourne City crown perfect season with W-League grand final win over Sydney FC". The Age. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- Lynch, Michael (31 January 2016). "Melbourne City star Kim Little wins player of grand final award". The Age.
- "Japan v Scotland". The Scottish FA. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
- "Kim, 16, is Miss match". Daily Record. 12 February 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Leighton, Tony (4 March 2011). "England 0–2 Scotland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- "U.S. Women's National Team Plays "2nd Leg" Against Scotland". United States Soccer Federation. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Lamont, Alasdair (24 October 2013). "Scotland suffer late loss to Spain in Euro 2013 play-off". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Leighton, Tony (8 March 2013). "Kim Little rallies Scotland for spectacular draw with England". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Leighton, Tony (13 March 2013). "Cyprus Cup: Scotland beat Netherlands to finish fifth". BBC. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Leighton, Tony (4 September 2011). "Scotland's Kim Little wants to play for Great Britain at 2012 Olympics". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- Drysdale, Neil (26 June 2012). "Kim Little realises her big ambition to compete at the Olympics". STV News. STV. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
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- Silverman, Rosa (27 July 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Team GB athletes in National Anthem singing row". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 11 December 2013.
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- Fletcher, Paul (28 July 2012). "Great Britain beat Cameroon 3–0 to progress". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Women's Olympic Football Tournament: Great Britain 0:2 (0:2) Canada". FIFA. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Campbell, Alan (5 April 2012). "Little takes on big responsibility with forward role". The Herald. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
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- "Inside Reign, Episode 2 "Little" (The second episode in a series on Seattle Reign FC, featuring personal interviews with the extraordinary players and behind-the-scenes footage of training)". Retrieved 16 June 2014.
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- "Reign FC Midfielder Kim Little Voted Player of the Week". National Women's Soccer League. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
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- "BBC Women's Footballer of the Year: Five vie for award". BBC. 24 April 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
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- "Little leaves Ladies for Seattle Reign". Arsenal.com. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "FA Women's Cup final: Arsenal Ladies beat Bristol Academy". BBC Sport. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Yew, Oliver (25 September 2011). "Birmingham City 1 – Arsenal 4". arsenal.com. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
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- "Kim Little of Melbourne City celebrates a goal with team mates during W-League grand final". ABC. 30 January 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
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