Sophia Smith became the youngest NWSL MVP

Sophia Smith became the youngest NWSL MVP

Portland Trail Blazers forward Sophia Smith has been named the 2022 National Women’s Soccer League Most Valuable Player.

Smith had 14 goals in 18 games for the Thorns, setting a team single-season record. She scored on all three of her penalty kick attempts and had four double-goal games.

22-year-old Smith, who also plays for the US national team, is the youngest player to receive this award.

“I mean it really, it still hasn’t really hit me,” Smith said. “But it’s an honor because I know I was with great company that was ready for this award and I think there are a lot of other players in this league who can also win the MVP.”

The Thorns play Kansas City Current for the league championship Saturday night at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. The championship game ends the league’s 10th season.

The NWSL also announced Thursday that Naomi Germa of the San Diego Wave expansion earned the Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards. Wave coach Casey Stoney was named coach of the year, Wave and Canadian national team player Keelan Sheridan was named goalkeeper of the year. Wave forward Alex Morgan won the Golden Boot with 15 regular season goals.

Morgan finished second in MVP voting ahead of North Carolina Braves forward Debenha.

This season’s award winners are determined by votes from fans, owners, general managers, coaches, players and the media.

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