Tuesday night marked the first of what will likely be many international goals for Sophia Smith.
In the sixth minute, Smith slotted one past Paraguay goalkeeper Alicia Noemi Bobadilla Aguilera to make it 2-0 for the USWNT.
Fellow Thorns teammate and USWNT winger Crystal Dunn was quick to congratulate the 21-year-old on Twitter.
So proud of you!! @sophsssmith 👏🏾🤩 https://t.co/LUDPAy8LuD— Crystal Dunn | Soubrier | (@Cdunn19) September 22, 2021
So proud of you!! @sophsssmith 👏🏾🤩 https://t.co/LUDPAy8LuD
Smith is one of many young players expected to make an impact as the roster begins to turn over, starting with the retirement of Carli Lloyd.
So far, Smith, Andi Sullivan and Mallory Pugh have been making the most of their call-ups and impressing head coach Vlatko Andonovski. Pugh has been a major factor, assisting on multiple goals, while Sullivan scored her first international goals last Thursday. Catarina Macario also turned heads during Tuesday’s game, scoring twice – including one of the best strikes of the year.
Smith has been having an exceptional season in the NWSL as well, something which hasn’t gone unnoticed. She currently sits fifth in NWSL standings with six goals on the season, just two behind league leaders Bethany Balcer and Sydney Leroux. She’s been creating chances for herself and her team, leading the league in shots and shots on goal.
While a majority of the roster’s veterans aren’t past their prime – Alex Morgan had a hat trick in Tuesday’s win – the emergence of young stars gives hope for both the present and the future.