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USWNT’s Sophia Smith Draws Rave Reviews in 2023 Women’s World Cup Win vs. Vietnam

USWNT’s Sophia Smith Draws Rave Reviews in 2023 Women’s World Cup Win vs. Vietnam

Erin WalshJuly 22, 2023

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 22: Sophia Smith #11 of the United States celebrates scoring during the first half of the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group E match between USA and Vietnam at Eden Park on July 22, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/USSF/Getty Images )

Carmen Mandato/USSF/Getty Images

Who else but Sophia Smith?

The 22-year-old forward is quickly emerging as the next face of women’s soccer in the United States, and she powered the U.S. women’s national team to a 3-0 victory over Vietnam in their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup opener on Friday night at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.

Boasting their youngest starting XI in a World Cup match since 2007, the Americans understandably got out to a slow start against the Golden Star Women Warriors despite being heavily favored to dominate.

The United States didn’t break through with the opening goal until Smith found the back of the net in the 14th minute on a great chip pass by Alex Morgan.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer


FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

A moment in time that Sophia Smith will never forget 😍🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/zBnrF2hqwU

Morgan had the opportunity to put the U.S. up 2-0 on a penalty kick in the 44th minute, but Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh stopped the shot, which was lackluster at best.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

After a VAR review, it’s a penalty to the @USWNT 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/UvE6L9VMGj

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Tran Thi Kim Thanh denies Alex Morgan from the spot! 🧤🇻🇳 pic.twitter.com/a2OMPwinwb

Smith found the back of the net again in first half stoppage time to put the U.S. up 2-0 entering the second half. She became the second-youngest player in USWNT history to score multiple goals in a World Cup match.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer


FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Sophia Smith simply cannot be stopped! ⚽️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/VJJdUUH6yw

USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski made his first substitutions of the match in the 62nd minute, bringing in Rose Lavelle for Savannah DeMelo and Megan Rapinoe in for Morgan. He also subbed on Alyssa Smith for Trinity Rodman in the 75th minute.

Those changes ended up paying off, too, as Lindsey Horan found the back of the net in the 77th minute to give the United States a 3-0 and put the game too far out of reach for Vietnam.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

🇺🇸 @sophsssmith ➡️ @LindseyHoran

It was only a matter of time for the @USWNT 💪 pic.twitter.com/0ReAezYggc

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/tXh8lGQTaO

Andonovski made sure to give as many players as possible the opportunity to play on Friday, making his final substitutions of the match in the 84th minute, bringing in Kelley O’Hara for Crystal Dunn and Sofia Huerta for Emily Fox.

Smith, who recorded an assist on Horan’s goal, was the highlight of the night, and fans were pleased with her performance as much of the roster left us all with questions moving forward:

abbs @nutmegtobin

sophia smith golden boot

‘MuricanSoccer @MuricanSoccer

Sophia smith is an unreal player. Best player in the world in 2 years

M∆RC✩McFLYY @MarcMcflyy

Sophia Smith is 22 years old, national champion at Stanford, youngest ever to score multiple goals in World Cup and number 1 overall pick in draft. Baller 😍

Michael Lahoud @MikeLahoud

2 goals
1 assist

Sophia Smith is too good 🇺🇸 #FIFAWWC

AnickKnock @Anickkknock

MVP Sophia Smith. #USAVIE


sophia smith dropping a masterclass in her world cup debut at 22 years old with two goals and an assist likeeee 🤌🏼🤌🏼

Michelle @_lafilleennoir

Also, shoutout to Sophia Smith… she’s having A GAME. #USA #FIFAWWC

tyler @T_Marp

sophia smith having an absolute DAY

WH¥B£€ @Fab_DJWhybee

The way Sophia Smith moves the ball is just so good, her technical abilities>>>

Nikki 🦋 @_nhlsharks

I’m in love with Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman. The future of the USWNT is bright.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

2 goals and an assist for @sophsssmith 🇺🇸🔥@USWNT https://t.co/dCylrKQius pic.twitter.com/CpXEjV6wtD

The United States outshot Vietnam 28-0 and left much more to be desired in their first match of the 2023 World Cup. The Americans will need to be much more composed moving forward, especially with tougher competition on the horizon.

The USWNT will be back in action on Wednesday against the Netherlands before taking on Portugal in the final game of the group stage on Aug. 1.

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