The national women's team captain was joined on the 10-player list by five-time award winner Marta of Brazil and Americans Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan.
Wambach won the award last year, becoming the first American winner since Mia Hamm in 2002.
Sinclair, from Burnaby, B.C., guided the Portland Thorns to a National Women's Soccer League title this past season. She also had two goals in seven games for the national side.
Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, who won the European award this year, is also on the early list along with teammate Lena Goessling. Also nominated are Saki Kumagai and Yuki Ogimi of Japan and Nilla Fischer and Lotta Schelin of Sweden.
A three-player shortlist will be announced next month. The winner will be announced on Jan. 13 at the FIFA Ballon d'Or event in Zurich.
Candidates were chosen by a panel from the FIFA women's football committee and France Football magazine.
Voting is by national team coaches and captains, and selected journalists.
With files from The Canadian Press.Suggest a correction