all scores

Portland Thorns’ Sophia Smith shines in NWSL preseason


Sophia Smith finished the Portland Thorns’ preseason tournament as the team’s leading goal scorer, fielding a promising performance ahead of March’s NWSL Challenge Cup.

The Thorns forward scored an impressive hat trick against the USWNT U23 squad on Tuesday in the second match of the Portland Invitational, leading her side to a 3-0 victory.

Smith looked close to full form after a compelling USWNT SheBelieves Cup campaign, seamlessly exploiting space and linking up with Portland teammate Christine Sinclair in the final third.

The 21-year-old is coming off a successful 2021 season, ending the year with seven goals and one assist across 22 appearances. Without fellow forward Simone Charley, who was traded to Angel City, and with a new coach, Smith looks poised to step up as a foundational element of Portland’s attack.

The Thorns will begin Challenge Cup play against OL Reign at Lumen Field on Friday.