Sophia Smith becomes youngest ever NWSL MVP

Portland Thorns striker Sophia Smith was named the National Women's Soccer League's (NWSL) Most Valuable Player on Thursday, becoming the youngest to earn the regular-season honor days before their championship match against Kansas City.

The 22-year-old scored a club record 14 goals in 18 appearances, the second highest tally this season behind San Diego Wave forward Alex Morgan (16), and three assists to help the Thorns to a second consecutive postseason appearance.

Smith's U.S. teammate Morgan finished second in the voting while Brazilian Debinha of North Carolina Courage was third.

Smith, the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, previously helped the Thorns to the 2021 Challenge Cup title. The Thorns will play Kansas City in the final in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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