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The Rise of Sophia Smith


Sophia Smith is one of the brightest young stars in women’s soccer, after impressing the world in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. But how did a little girl from Colorado end up playing for her country on the biggest stage in world soccer?

After dominating her leagues as a small girl, Smith won two state cups with her early team, Arsenal Colorado. Later she moved to Real Colorado, which often meant three to four hour drives every day to get to practices. Her dedication paid off though, when Smith earned a call-up to the U-14 National Team in 2013. At the age of 16, she earned a call up to the US Senior National Team, firmly establishing herself as a rising talent.

Smith attended Stanford University, guiding her team to two Pac-12 Championships, and a NCAA Championship, and winning multiple awards throughout her two year college experience before permanently moving to playing professional soccer. She was the top college draft pick when she chose to join the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League), and ended up being selected for the Portland Thorns, winning awards and even a national championship with them.

Then came the biggest moment of her career, earning a spot on the roster for the 2023 Fifa World Cup as one of the youngest players. Despite the US being knocked out in the round of sixteen by Sweden, and the World Cup generally being a disappointment for the national team, Smith shone individually, playing in every single game, and proving herself despite her relative lack of experience.

After the World Cup the reigning NWSL MVP, and the league’s top scorer with 11 goals and five assists, returned to the Portland Thorns, and promptly made an impact, with her 69th-minute goal the winner in a 2-1 victory over North Carolina Courage. Smith’s strike came just one minute after she came onto the field as a 68th-minute sub. This bright young talent seems to be well on her way to becoming yet another star-studded legend.

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About the Contributor
Maddie Ng, Writer
My name is Maddie Ng, I'm in 8th grade, and I play competitive soccer. I like to ski, read, and write in my free time. I enjoy writing about sports, particularly soccer, because I like to stay caught up in what's happening.

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