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Sophia Smith

Portland Thorns FC Extends Contract of Forward Sophia Smith, Establishing New NWSL Pay Benchmark

Portland, March 27, 2024, The Europe Today: In a landmark move within the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the Portland Thorns FC proudly announced the extension of forward Sophia Smith’s contract for an additional two years. This significant development, reported by ESPN, positions Smith as the highest-paid player in the league, marking a pivotal moment in the landscape of women’s soccer.

Smith’s renewed contract, spanning until the conclusion of the 2025 season, includes an option for an additional year, extending potential tenure with the Thorns through 2026. While specific financial details remain undisclosed, sources confirm Smith’s compensation exceeds that of any other player in the league, demonstrating the Thorns’ commitment to recognizing and rewarding exceptional talent.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the continued partnership, Sophia Smith conveyed, “I’m excited to call Portland home and extend my time with the Thorns. The support from the fans, city, and club have been tremendous, and I’m looking forward to being a part of its next chapter.”

This extension places Smith at the forefront of a wave of multi-year signings within the NWSL, reflecting a broader trend towards recognizing the value and prowess of elite athletes in women’s soccer. Notable players such as Mallory Swanson of the Chicago Red Stars, Racheal Kundananji of Bay FC, and Barbra Banda of the Orlando Pride have secured multi-year agreements, underscoring the league’s commitment to fostering stability and growth.

At just 23 years old, Smith has already left an indelible mark on the NWSL, leading the league in goals early in the current season with two strikes in as many games. Throughout her illustrious career, spanning five seasons with the Thorns, Smith has amassed a remarkable tally of 40 goals across all competitions, solidifying her status as a prolific scorer and integral member of the club.

Smith’s accomplishments extend beyond club play, as she earned the prestigious NWSL MVP award in 2022, becoming the youngest player to achieve this honor. Additionally, her stellar performances contributed to the Thorns’ championship victory in the same year, showcasing her ability to excel on the grandest stages.

A fixture in the United States women’s national team since 2020, Smith’s impact transcends club boundaries, with 16 goals in 44 international appearances. Her dynamic skill set and unwavering dedication continue to elevate both club and country, inspiring a new generation of aspiring athletes.

Selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Thorns in the 2020 draft, Smith’s journey from standout collegiate athlete at Stanford University to NWSL luminary exemplifies the league’s commitment to nurturing young talent and fostering their development on the global stage.

As the Portland Thorns FC embarks on a new chapter with Sophia Smith at the helm, the organization reaffirms its dedication to excellence, innovation, and inclusivity within the vibrant landscape of women’s soccer.