Amidst the chaos of the transfer window, the highly anticipated 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has kicked off. The tournament is jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, making it the first Women’s World Cup to be hosted by more than one nation. Being one of the favourites of the tournament, USWNT kicked off their campaign with a convincing win, led by their young superstar, Sophia Smith.
As the USWNT aims to secure their third consecutive World Cup victory, they face fierce competition from high-caliber teams like Spain, France, and Germany. With challenging matches ahead, can the 22-year-old be the catalyst in leading the USWNT for yet another global triumph? Let us find out!
Who is Sophia Smith?
Born in the summer of 2000, Sophia Smith was inclined toward football from an early age, despite her father’s basketball background. After representing the Under 18s, Under 20s, and 23s, the American was named as the 2017 U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year. In 2020, Sophia Smith made her debut for the senior national team against the Netherlands and scored her first goal against Paraguay.
After her debut, she became the first player born after the USWNT’s 1999 World Cup win to start for the team. Later that year, the American was drafted by Portland Thorns FC, making her the first teenager to be drafted in league history. In 2022, Smith was adjudged the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year for scoring 11 goals in 17 appearances for the USWNT. She continued her scintillating form in club football as well, scoring 14 goals and securing the league MVP award.
Sophia Smith hits new FIFA Women’s World Cup debut record with her multiple goals
In a comfortable 3-0 win against Vietnam in their opening match of the World Cup campaign, Sophia Smith grabbed all the headlines after scoring two goals on her World Cup debut. The veterans Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan set her up for the opening goal in the 14th minute, and Smith tucked home the rebound to secure her brace just before half-time.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 22, 2023
Later in the second half, the Portland Thorns star impressively assisted captain Lindsey Horan in scoring the USWNT’s third goal. At just 22 years old, Sophia Smith became the youngest USWNT player to score multiple goals in her World Cup debut and the second-youngest player to score multiple goals in a World Cup game.
USWNT will be facing the Netherlands in their second group-stage game on Wednesday, July 26. With the 22-year-old player’s exceptional performance, there is now a big question: can the Dutch cook up some tactics to slow her down?