Thorns FC forward Sophia Smith named 2022 NWSL Most Valuable Player

Smith is the youngest MVP in league history and finished a record-breaking 2022 season with 14 goals scored in 18 appearances.

Portland Thorns FC and the National Women’s Soccer League today announced that forward Sophia Smith has been named the 2022 NWSL Most Valuable Player. Smith, a 2022 NWSL Best XI selection, earns her first MVP award in her second professional regular season and is the second Thorns FC player to be named MVP after Lindsey Horan in 2018.

Smith—the youngest MVP in league history—finished her record-breaking 2022 season with 14 goals scored in 18 appearances (16 starts). The Windsor, Colorado native led Portland in points (31) and added a career-best three assists this season. Her 14 goals ranked second in the NWSL and set a new club single-season record, surpassing Horan’s 13 goals during the 2018 season. Smith finished the regular season tied for the most non-penalty goals (11) and the most goals plus assists (17) in the league. Notably, she now has 21 career regular-season goals for Portland, making her the fourth player in club history to reach the 20-goal mark.

During the 2022 campaign, Smith recorded four braces, which is tied for the most braces in a single season in NWSL history. She also led the league in dribbles completed (46) and shots on target (49). A two-time NWSL Team of the Month honoree (June, September/October), Smith nabbed the Player of the Month award in June.

The No. 1 pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft, Smith has scored 25 goals and tallied four assists in 53 appearances across all NWSL competitions for Thorns FC. The 22-year-old striker made her professional debut for Portland in the 2020 NWSL Fall Series, scoring her first professional goal just three minutes after subbing into the match against the Utah Royals FC on Sept. 20, 2020. Since joining the club, Smith has helped Portland claim the 2020 Community Shield, 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup title, the 2021 Women’s International Champions Cup title and the 2021 NWSL Shield.

Smith and Portland have made two consecutive postseason runs (2022, 2021). Thorns FC will play in their fourth title match in club history (2022, 2018, 2017, 2013) on Sat., 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.

The award was voted on by club officials, players, media that cover the league on consistent basis and fans.

All-Time NWSL Most Valuable Players

2022: Sophia Smith – Portland Thorns FC
2021: Jess Fishlock – OL Reign
2019: Sam Kerr – Chicago Red Stars
2018: Lindsey Horan – Portland Thorns FC
2017: Sam Kerr – Sky Blue FC
2016: Lynn Williams – Western New York Flash
2015: Crystal Dunn – Washington Spirit
2014: Kim Little – Seattle Reign FC
2013: Lauren Holiday – FC Kansas City