U.S. Soccer has announced the nominees for its 2022 Player of the Year awards and a number of Thorns FC players are included. Forward Sophia Smith is nominated for the BioSteel Female Player of the Year along with midfielder Lindsey Horan (on loan to Olympique Lyon) while midfielder Olivia Moultrie is up for the Chipotle Young Female Player of the Year Award.
The awards, which recognize the top performers across all the U.S. National Teams, include an opportunity for fans to have a say in the Female and Young Female Player of the Year awards. The fan vote will account for 15 percent of the overall vote tally with the rest coming from National Team players, coaches, media, and other constituents.
Voting begins on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 8 a.m. PT and concludes on Dec. 22 at 8:59 p.m. PT. The winners will then be announced in January 2023.
- VOTE NOW: 2022 Player of the Year Fan Vote
With a team-leading 11 international goals in 2022, the 22-year-old Sophia Smith became the youngest player to lead the USWNT in scoring in a calendar year since a 21-year-old Mia Hamm did so with 10 goals in 1993. She scored her first career hat trick on April 9 vs. Uzbekistan, becoming the youngest USWNT player since 2000 and the fifth youngest to net a hat trick in in USWNT history. Smith also scored against Colombia (2), Jamaica (2), Nigeria (2), England (in the USA’s match at a packed Wembley Stadium) and Germany (in the USA’s 2-1 win to end the year). Smith had a trophy-laden end to the NWSL season in which she was named the youngest MVP in league history after scoring 14 regular season goals. She then scored in the NWSL title game to earn Championship Game MVP honors while leading Portland to its third league title.
GOAL | Sophia Smith scored in the fourth minute of the NWSL Championship
Olivia Moultrie, who was age-eligible to play in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, was one of the USA’s most consistent players at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica where she started all three games in the midfield and had one assist. At the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, she started five matches and had two goals and one assist as the USA outscored its opposition 49-0 en route to winning the tournament. Moultrie finished the year with 10 U-20 caps, which included playing in her first FIFA youth World Cup. Moultrie, who holds a place in history as the youngest player to play in the National Women’s Soccer League, helped the Thorns win the NWSL Championship this year. The now 17-year-old midfielder played 708 minutes over 15 matches for PTFC this season, starting eight of them, and had three goals and four assists. She was a late sub in the 2022 NWSL Championship Game, coming on in Portland’s 2-0 victory over the Kansas City Current.
GOLAZO | Olivia Moultrie pings a perfect upper 90 goal against Gotham
As the reigning BioSteel U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, Horan earned another nomination for the award after a stellar year highlighted by her USWNT accomplishments as well as winning the UEFA Women’s Champions League while on loan from the Thorns to Olympique Lyon. For the USWNT, Horan continued to distinguish herself as a key midfielder and leader for the USA. She started all 14 matches in which she played in 2022, going 979 minutes and scoring one goal, that coming on a slick dribbling move against Nigeria in a friendly.