Born Into a Record Breaking Basketball Family Sophia Smith Breaks Soccer Records Instead

Born Into a Record Breaking Basketball Family Sophia Smith Breaks Soccer Records Instead

The crowd is silent, you’re sprinting down the field trying to get open for a pass. The ball is coming toward you and it is you versus the other team’s last defensive player, they try to stop you from getting the ball but are too late. You’ve already gotten around them and are one on one with the Kansas City keeper, Adrianna Franch who you fake out and the ball slides into the goal as the crowd erupts. Afterwards Sophia Smith celebrated with a Micheal Jordan shrug that was instantly meme worthy. Her goal and meme creation are just one of many highlights from her past season.


Growing Up

Sophia Smith was born to Kenny and Mollie Smith on August 10th, 2000 and she grew up in Northern Colorado. Smith grew up with two older sisters, Savannah and Gabrielle and into a family of basketball players. Her dad, Kenny Smith played basketball for the University of Wyoming and one of her older sisters, Savannah starred on the University of Northern Colorado basketball team. At the age of ten Smith wanted to be either a physical therapist or an interior designer, little did she know soccer was in her future.


Before Thorns

Smith played soccer for her highschool team, Fossil Ridge, in Fort Collins, Colorado where she was named First-Team All-Conference her freshman year and went on to be one of the captains later, in 2017. Then Smith went on to play forward for Stanford University and during 2019 helping her team win the national title.


Portland Thorns

In 2020 Sophia Smith was part of the Portland Thorns draft and in 2022 she was the number one pick for the NWSL Portland Thorns draft. Smith scored 14 goals this past season, one of which was in the NWSL championship game and helped Portland win its third league title.


Breaking Records

Smith has broken many records this season, she became the youngest MVP of the Portland Thorns and won the vote for the NWSL female player of the year by getting 50.8% of the votes to the next highest voted player, Alex Morgan, with 18.4% of the votes. Smith was the fourth player to win U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year and the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. Smith scored 14 goals for the Thorns this past season and 11 goals for the USWNT team. She is only the fourth player that has scored more than ten goals on the USWNT and during her NWSL club team season in one soccer season. She is also the youngest player to lead the most goals scored, since 1993.


Season Recap

“‘Obviously this is surreal, and I’m super humbled,’ Smith said. ‘It’s been a very exciting year, and certainly there’s been some challenges, but just being able to grow and develop in the environments with the national team and the Thorns, and being surrounded by such amazing players, players that I have looked up to for so long, has pushed me to become a better player and person.’” (Sophia Smith wins U.S. Female Player of the Year; Jaedyn Shaw wins Best Young Player, Carlisle). Sophia Smith starred on the field this past season and played a big part in the Portland Thorns offense.

Smith’s coaches are very proud of her as well and look forward to coaching her in the coming seasons. ‘”This was a big year for Sophia, and she deserves this recognition, but I’m just excited about where she can take her game from here,’ U.S. women’s national team manager Vlatko Andonovski said. ‘She is a special player with special qualities, but the best thing is that has the humbleness, work ethic and drive to keep developing all aspects of her game… As coaches, she’s a joy to work with because she’s always looking for that edge to become better and more productive. As a person, she’s a wonderful part of our team, a fantastic teammate and we’re looking forward to her having another great year in 2023.’” (Sophia Smith wins U.S. Female Player of the Year; Jaedyn Shaw wins Best Young Player, Carlisle).


Overall, Sophia Smith did incredibly well this past season, breaking many records, winning NWSL female soccer player of the year, and scoring a lot of goals. Keep the name, Sophia Smith in mind as it’s bound to come up again.