Today it was announced that Portland Thorns star forward Sophia Smith was named the 2022 NWSL Most Valuable Player. She is the ninth player to receive the aware, and at 22-years-old she is the youngest player in league history to earn the honor. In just her second season in the NWSL she becomes the second Thorn to receive this accolade (after Lindsey Horan in 2018).
Smith’s season is highlighted by 14 goals, a season-high for her. She scored a goal in more than half of the Thorns’ matches, her 14 tallies is a new single-season club record for goals scored. Five of those goals served as the game opening goal as well.
The Colorado native not only tied the league record for braces with four but was also three for three from the spot in scoring penalty kicks. She also had the most shots in the league (76) and shots on goal (49).
Notably, the 22-year-old now has 21 career regular-season goals, making her the fourth player in Thorns’ history to reach the 20-goal mark.
Smith was also a part of the NWSL Best XI and finished second in the golden boot race behind San Diego’s Alex Morgan.
The newly crowned MVP now looks to lead the Thorns to their third NWSL Championship. They will play in their fourth title match in club history (2022, 2018, 2017, 2013) on Oct. 29 against the KC Current at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (Pacific) with a national broadcast on CBS.