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Sophia Smith signs three-year contract extension with Portland Thorns

Sophia Smith will be in Portland until at least 2024. (Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Sophia Smith has signed on with the Portland Thorns for three more years on a contract extension that will run through the 2024 season, the team announced Monday.

“It was important to sign Soph to a long-term contract to show her that we are invested in her and committed to her,” said Thorns FC general manager Karina LeBlanc. “What she brings to the game on the field is an ability to score goals, but she also adds so much more. It is what she brings to our team culture, the community, who she is as a person, that is what we want from a Thorns player.”

LeBlanc added that keeping Smith in Portland was “a top priority.”

The extension comes ahead of her third season with the club after being selected first overall in the 2020 NWSL Draft. At 19 years old, she was the first teenager to be drafted in league history.

In her first two seasons with the Thorns, Smith has appeared in 31 matches, tallying eight goals and one assist. The 2021 season was Smith’s first full NWSL season, with the forward leading the team with seven goals and ranking amongst the top 10 in the NWSL. Through 21 games she also added one assist, helping the club win the 2021 NWSL Shield, Challenge Cup and the Women’s International Champions Cup.

In speaking with The Oregonian, Smith said she feels “blessed” to be able to sign with Portland long term.

“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be, and this is the best place to play in NWSL and the world,” she said. “I’m excited and really looking forward to helping this team in any way I can.”

Smith earned her first cap with the U.S. senior national team in 2020 and since then has made 13 appearances for the USWNT, tallying one goal and three assists. She recently started in all three matches of the 2022 SheBelieves Cup which was won by the USWNT.

“Her explosiveness and dynamism on and off the ball is exciting, it is clear when watching her play, that she loves the game and always leaves everything out on the pitch,” said Thorns FC head coach Rhian Wilkinson. “There are many more goals to come from Soph this season, as well as a step forward for her in her leadership role on the team.”

Smith added that she looks forward to continuing to learn and be “challenged every single day” from teammates, including veterans like Christine Sinclair, Becky Sauerbrunn, Meghan Klingenberg and Crystal Dunn. Sinclair is an Olympic gold medalist with Canada while the rest have each spent significant time with the USWNT.

“Every vet on this team — Sinc, Becky, Kling, Crystal — I just have the best people to look up to and learn from,” Smith said. “Sinc is the best goal-scorer in the world, so there’s no one else I’d rather learn from on how to be a better forward and player. All of them embrace me with open arms and are willing to help and share their tips. I look to them and try to grow around them.”