Making the Case: Sophia Smith for BioSteel U.S. Soccer Female Player of the YearSmith Nominated For Player of the Year After Historic, MVP-Winning Campaign
After an historic 2022 campaign in which she led the U.S. Women’s National Team in scoring and became the youngest MVP in National Women’s Soccer League history, forward Sophia Smith has been named as one of five finalists for the 2022 BioSteel U.S. Soccer Female Player of Year.
For the second year in a row, fans will have the opportunity to vote on select Player of the Year Awards, with the fan vote comprising 15% of the total vote. Nominees for all awards are selected by U.S. Soccer’s technical staff. Voting for the awards starts Thursday, Dec. 15 at 11:00 a.m. ET and closes on Dec. 22 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced in the weeks that follow.
- VOTE NOW: Fan Voting for Player of the Year Awards
Looking back at Smith’s impressive 2022 campaign:
- Smith started a team-high 17 matches for the USWNT in 2022 and was second on the team with 1,192 minutes played.
- With a team-leading 11 international goals in 2022, the 22-year-old Smith became the youngest player to lead the USWNT in scoring in a calendar year since a 21-year-old Mia Hamm did so with 10 goals in 1993, seven years before Smith was born.
- The 22-year-old is the sixth player in USWNT history to score 10 or more goals in a calendar year prior to turning 23.
- She scored her first career hat trick on April 9 vs. Uzbekistan, becoming the youngest USWNT player since 2000 and the fifth-youngest to net a hat trick in in USWNT history. Smith, who showed a penchant for scoring in bunches with a total of four multi-goal games on the year, also scored against Colombia (2), Jamaica (2), Nigeria (2), England and Germany.
- She had a trophy-laden end to the NWSL season in which she was named the youngest MVP in league history after scoring 14 regular season goals.
- She also scored in the NWSL title game to earn Championship Game MVP honors while leading Portland Thorns FC to its third league title.
- Her 14 goals for the Thorns came in 18 appearances with 16 starts. She led Portland in points (31) and added a career-best three assists this season. Her 14 goals ranked second in the NWSL this season and set a new club single-season record, surpassing Lindsey Horan’s 13 goals during the 2018 season.
- 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).
This is Smith’s first nomination for BioSteel Female Player of the Year. Smith was nominated for and won U.S. Soccer’s Young Female Player of the Year award in 2017.