At 19, Sophia Smith has already accomplished more than most people do in a lifetime.
The forward out of Stanford has scored 24 goals and 11 assists across two seasons with the Cardinal. She has also spent time with the U.S. women’s national team, where she took part in training camp this month in Tampa, Florida.
On Thursday, Smith accomplished another feat when she was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Portland Thorns in the 2020 NWSL College Draft. She is the first teenager to be drafted in league history.
Moments after she was selected, Smith discussed her decision to go pro.
“I just felt like this was the best time for me to take the next chapter of my life and my career, and I think there’s no better time to do it than now,” Smith said in a video on the Thorns Twitter account. “I went for it and followed my heart.”
Smith will be joined by a familiar face, forward Morgan Weaver out of Washington State, who was taken with the No. 2 pick. Portland traded the No. 15 and 16 picks, plus allocation money to the Chicago Red Stars to pick Weaver.
The 22-year-old had 43 goals and 12 assists in 85 games for the Cougars and helped lead WSU to the semifinals of the 2019 College Cup.
“It was a tremendous opportunity to be in a position to acquire a player of Morgan’s quality,” head coach Mark Parsons said in a press release. “She’s had an incredible six to 12 months, showing the physical, technical and tactical qualities of someone that has an extremely bright future. We are getting someone who has no ceiling and brings an incredible mentality to how she plays the game.”
Defender Meaghan Nally was selected in the third round, No. 25 overall, out of Georgetown University. In four seasons, Nally made 88 appearances, scored eight goals and had six assists. She is considered one of the elite defenders in the Big East conference.
Another trade was announced in the final moments between the Thorns and Reign F.C. The deal will reportedly bring a Reign player to Portland in exchange for the 34th overall pick. Parsons teased the move on Twitter Thursday.
Looking forward to this being announced 👊 pic.twitter.com/coJTFvYMDU— Mark Parsons (@mparsons_1) January 16, 2020
It is rumored that the Thorns have acquired defender Christen Westphal.
A source with knowledge of the deal tells The Inquirer that the Reign player going to Portland is Christen Westphal.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) January 16, 2020
While it's still too early to determine how the latest draft class will impact the Thorns success this season, one thing is obvious: the additions are likely to improve Portland's attack.