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Sophia Smith ‘humbled’ by US Soccer Player of the Year award

Sophia Smith celebrates her goal against Jamaica in the USWNT's second game of the Concacaf W Championship. (Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)

Sophia Smith is adding another accolade to her résumé.

The NWSL MVP and NWSL championship MVP was tabbed as the 2022 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.

The 22-year-old forward became the youngest player to lead the United States in scoring since Mia Hamm in 1993. She is the 19th different player to win the award since its creation 38 years ago and the youngest since a 22-year-old Hamm in 1994. She is also the first Black player to win the award.

Smith won the award for the first time, beating out fellow nominees Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle, Mallory Pugh Swanson and 2021 winner Lindsey Horan.

Smith joins an elite group of players to win both the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year Award and the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year Award. She won the first in 2017. Horan, Tobin Heath and Julie Ertz also took home the duo of awards, with Ertz winning POY twice.

“Obviously this is surreal, and I’m super humbled,” Smith said in a press release. “It’s been a very exciting year, and certainly there’s been some challenges, but just being able to grow and develop in the environments with the national team and the Thorns, and being surrounded by such amazing players, players that I have looked up to for so long, has pushed me to become a better player and person.”

Smith scored 11 goals for the USWNT during the 2022 calendar year. She scored 15 for the Thorns during the season, finishing just one short of Golden Boot winner Morgan.

Jaedyn Shaw was named the Young Female Player of the Year. The 18-year-old joined the San Diego Wave in July and finished her first NWSL season with three goals. She also helped lead the youth national team at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in August.

“All of this makes me even more excited to get going with this NWSL season and to get back into camps with the youth national teams,” Shaw said.