No. 1 NWSL Draft Pick Sophia Smith Scores in Her Portland Thorns Debut

Sophia Smith, the No. 1 pick in last year’s NWSL draft, scored a stunning header in her NWSL debut as the Portland Thorns cruised past the Utah Royals 3-0.

Smith missed the NWSL Challenge Cup due to a knee injury. Sunday’s game was both her first in a Thorns uniform, as well as the team’s first game in Providence Park in nearly a year. An earlier game against OL Reign had to be rescheduled due to poor air quality from the forest fires.

Smith came on as a second half substitute, scoring in the 73rd minute off a Meghan Klingenberg cross.

Smith left college early after leading the Stanford Cardinal to an NCAA championship last year. She made history as the first ever teenager to be selected in the NWSL draft. (Read our interview with Smith following the draft here.)

Simone Charley opened the scoring for Portland in the 35th minute with a sensational individual run through the Royals defense. Lindsey Horan later added a third in the 81st minute.

Seeing those three find the back of the net, and spotting USWNT legend Becky Sauerbrunn rocking a Portland jersey in Providence Park for the first time, had to leave Thorns fans giddy about what’s to come. Like owner Merritt Paulson, they’re also likely hoping that they’ll get to see the next Sophia Smith goal in person.