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Alyssa Thompson adds to NWSL teenagers’ shattered goals record

(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Alyssa Thompson continues to have a standout rookie season, adding to the record number of goals scored by teenagers in the NWSL this year with her strike over the weekend.

Her fourth goal of the season kickstarted Angel City’s 2-1 comeback win over Gotham FC on Sunday, and it was also the 13th scored by players 18 and younger in NWSL competitions this year. Prior to 2023, players in that age group had scored just eight total goals in the NWSL’s 10 seasons combined, according to soccer stats provider OptaJack.

Leading the charge has been Jaedyn Shaw, whose five goals make her San Diego’s second leading scorer behind Alex Morgan. Portland’s Olivia Moultrie (two) and Washington’s Chloe Ricketts (one) have also found the back of the net this season.

Following the game, Angel City interim head coach Becki Tweed applauded Thompson’s ability to change the momentum of a game at just 18 years old.

“She came in and changed moments of the game for us tonight,” Tweed said. “Really important that we have that quality, and a really important moment for her as well. She showed her true quality tonight. Her ceiling is so high and she still has so much to grow, but to come on and be a game-changer at the age of 18 is a big ask in a big game and that’s what she did.

“Really proud of her, really proud of how the team always believed. We always believed, and I think that’s massive.”

Angel City (7-7-7) sits in eighth place in the NWSL standings, with one regular season game remaining against the No. 1 Portland Thorns next Sunday. The Los Angeles club is looking to make its first postseason appearance since joining the league via expansion last season.