The undeniable case for Sophia Smith as U.S. Soccer Player of the Year

Every nominee on U.S. Soccer’s Female Player of the Year list is a strong contender, but Sophia Smith should be the one to walk away with this honor.

U.S. Soccer released its nominees for the 2022 Biosteel U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year and the lineup is impressively strong as usual. The nominees this year include Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Mallory Pugh, and Sophia Smith. While it’s easy to make a case for any of these remarkable women, the strongest contender lies in U.S. Soccer’s young upstart, Sophia Smith. The young athlete has had an exceptional year for both club and country, consistently making waves for both.

Smith led her club, the Portland Thorns, to their third NWSL championship this year. She also broke the Thorns scoring record, netting a total of 15 goals for the club and finishing in second place in the NWSL golden boot race. She won the MVP, making her the youngest MVP in NWSL history. And that was before she scored in the championship game with one of the season’s most iconic post-goal celebrations.

She’s also a playmaker, contributing to the goals of the other nominees with assists and passes all over the pitch for both club and country teams. She recorded four braces during the NWSL season and was named to the NWSL Best XI First Team.

Sophia Smith deserves more recognition

During her time with the national team this year, she led the team in goals, scoring 11 for her country. She also started 17 matches this year, leading the team and playing the second most minutes with 1,192. All of this is remarkable, but it’s also worth noting Smith is accomplishing this at an impressive 22 years old. U.S. Soccer points out in their description of Smith:

With 11 goals for the USWNT and 14 goals for the Thorns in 2022, Smith is just the fourth player to score 10 or more goals for the USWNT and her NWSL club in a single year, joining Abby Wambach (2013), Sydney Leroux (2013) and Christen Press (2015).

Smith has had a uniquely accomplished year, leading the USWNT out of some dark places this year. She scored the lone goal in their Wembley match against England and opened the scoring against Germany at Red Bull Arena. Smith is more than just her statistics; she plays with boundless energy and excessive joy. This award is deservingly hers this year.

Denise T. Jones

Denise T. Jones is a passionate sports enthusiast with a knack for capturing the electrifying essence of the sporting world. As a dedicated sports news writer for, Denise brings her unparalleled love for sports and her adept storytelling skills to deliver captivating and insightful content to readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of various sports disciplines, Denise ensures that her articles provide comprehensive coverage of the latest events, matches, and developments in the sports realm. Whether it's the thrill of the game-winning goal, the drama of a nail-biting finish, or the heartwarming stories of triumph against all odds, Denise encapsulates it all with eloquence and precision. Denise's journey in sports journalism has been marked by her unwavering commitment to accuracy, integrity, and excellence. Her ability to blend statistical analysis with compelling narratives sets her apart as a trusted voice in the industry. From the adrenaline-pumping action on the field to the strategic maneuvers off it, Denise brings every aspect of the sporting world to life through her writing. With a finger on the pulse of the sports scene, Denise T. Jones continues to inspire and inform readers with her dynamic and engaging sports coverage on

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