United States women’s national team and Portland Thorns FC star striker Sophia Smith was named to the 30-person shortlist for the Ballon d’Or Feminin on Wednesday. She was the only American nominated for the award, which is an honor given to the best player from the previous season.
Smith had an outstanding 2022 campaign with the Portland Thorns. She was named the NWS’s Most Valuable Player after scoring 14 goals in 18 appearances for the Thorns, which was a new single-season record for the club, and earned MVP honors in the 2022 NWSL Championship game, which Portland won 2-0 over the Kansas City Current.
Smith was also named U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year in 2022 following a year in which she led the national team in scoring. She was — and still is — the first Black woman to win the award since its creation in 1984.
Smith, 23, recently represented the United States at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. She scored two goals in the United States’ opening group stage match.
The winner of the Ballon d’Or Feminin will be announced on Oct. 30 at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony in Paris.
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