Sophia Smith named US Soccer Female Player of the Year

Jan 5, 2023, 8:16 PM | Updated: Jan 6, 2023, 11:13 am
FILE - U.S. forward Sophia Smith (11) plays against Colombia during the first half of an internatio...

FILE - U.S. forward Sophia Smith (11) plays against Colombia during the first half of an international friendly soccer match Saturday, June 25, 2022, in Commerce City, Colo. Forward Sophia Smith was named the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, after leading the national team with 11 goals and starting in a team-high 17 matches. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Forward Sophia Smith was named the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year on Friday after leading the national team with 11 goals and starting in a team-high 17 matches.

The 22-year-old Smith is the youngest player to win the award since Mia Hamm won it, also at 22, in 1994. Smith is also the youngest player to lead the United States in scoring since Hamm had 10 goals in 1993.

Smith, who plays for the Portland Thorns, was also named the National Women’s Soccer League Most Valuable Player after scoring 14 goals in 18 regular-season matches. She scored for the Thorns in the league’s title game.

Smith is just the fourth player in history to win both player of the year and young player of the year honors, joining Lindsey Horan, Julie Ertz and Tobin Heath.

The awards are decided through votes cast by national team coaches and players, member of the U.S. Soccer board of directors, the federation’s athletes’ council, NWSL coaches, select media members, college coaches and fans.

Smith won with 50.8% of the vote, ahead of Alex Morgan with 18.4%.

Jaedyn Shaw, 18, a midfielder and forward who was a standout at the under-20 Women’s World Cup, was named U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year. Shaw, who plays for the San Diego Wave, won with 35.1% of the vote, followed by forward Alyssa Thompson with 34.4%.

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Sophia Smith named US Soccer Female Player of the Year