PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Thorns FC forward Sophia Smith has been named the 2022 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.
Smith also plays for the United States Women's National Team. She led the U.S. with 11 goals in 2022. At the age of 22, that makes her the youngest player to lead the national team in scoring since 1993.
The Colorado native started a team-high 17 matches and logged the second highest number of minutes played with 1,192 for the U.S. in 2022.
Smith reflected on the past year in a statement released by the Thorns Friday. She called the year "exciting" while acknowledging there were challenges.
“I’ve said many times, if you embrace these environments, you have no choice but to get better and grow, and that’s a testament to the players, coaches and all of the staff," Smith said. "I appreciate everyone holding me to such high standards day in and day out. This award wouldn’t be possible without all those people, and the best thing about it, is that it’s fun too. The journey is so much better when you are doing something so fun and something you love.”
Soccer fans were able to vote for the award and the votes weighted at 15% of the total. Smith, who was one of five finalists, received 50.8% of the overall votes.
Adding to her lengthy lists of accomplishments, Smith is the youngest USWNT player to earn the honor since 1994 when Mia Hamm was the recipient at 22 years old.
Smith is also only the fourth player to win both U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year (2017) and U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year awards.
In October 2022, Smith earned the title of the NWSL's Most Valuable Player, making her the youngest recipient of the award.
The women's national team is scheduled to play New Zealand on Jan. 17.