Sophia Smith continues to grow her stock as the future of U.S. Women’s Soccer, leading a 4-0 onslaught over African powerhouse Nigeria.
It only took 14 minutes for the 22-year-old forward to give the USWNT an early 1-0 lead, outrunning the defender and then putting it past goalie Chiamaka Nnadozie.
@sophsssmith @USWNT gets on the board first against Nigeria pic.twitter.com/XsAQ2j4izj— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 3, 2022
The USWNT put together a dominant performance for the rest of the match, controlling the ball for 57% of the time and outshooting Nigeria 14-9. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski used the same starting XI that defeated Canada 1-0 in the Concacaf W Championship title game in Mexico.
Lindsey Horan joined the party when she scored in the 25th minute, thanks to an assist from Smith. It marked her first international goal since November 2021. Horan made the magic happen when she cut inside, leaving the defender before taking her shot just from outside the box.
It was a pretty goal, to say the least.
.@LindseyHoran's first of 2022 makes it 2-0! pic.twitter.com/KSFc3IEwIO— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) September 3, 2022
The pressure didn’t stop from the USWNT, as Smith scored her second goal to end the first half. Emily Fox gave her the pass to set up the doorstep goal.
At this point, social media began to dub Smith as the best player on the USWNT squad. It’s hard not to think that given her performances in the CONCACAF W Championship and leading the team with 10 goals this year.
Smith’s 2 goals helped enter her into the record books, becoming the 6th fastest player to reach double digit goals, achieving the feat in 22 caps. She also became the seventh youngest player to ten goals and the second youngest in the last twenty years to hit the mark. Her teammate, Mallory Pugh, was the other when she hit 10 goals at the age of 19 in 2018.
One touch is all it takes for @sophsssmith!— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) September 3, 2022
Alex Morgan provided an extra insurance goal when she converted a penalty kick early in the second half. Morgan’s 119th goal was the first against an African nation and put her second behind Joy Fawcett on the USWNT all-time mom goal scoring list with 13 goals since becoming a mother in 2020.
USWNT is officially 9-0 against teams from the CAF and 7-0 against Nigeria. The two will meet on Tuesday at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. to complete the international window.