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29 novembre 2019

Sophia Smith knocks on the doors of the best national team in the world

Goals, assists, impressive runs : Sophia Smith boasts all the characteristics of a modern forward. Her talent caught the eye of the United States head coach who handed her a call-up for the national team's next training camp held on December. A reward for the NCAA star who has been in stunning form over the last months after suffering a terrible injury more than a year ago.

“I honestly think that having gone through this makes you appreciate everything more, it makes you realize you are how lucky you are to do what you love and play the sport you love.”

In an interview given to the Coloradoan last summer, the American forward Sophia Smith analysed what It could have stopped her rise. Throwback.

Following a remarkable summer 2018 marked by a Sud Ladies Cup trophy earned with USA as well as good performances at the World Cup U20 (three goals in as many games), Smith continued her university career with Stanford. The plan came together until this NCAA game against Utah on October 2018 : set up by a teammate, the American starlet was set to score her second goal in the game but a harsh tackle stopped her. And ended her season.

The verdict was clear : broken ankle. An injury that left the Sud Ladies Cup 2018 sidelined during eight months.

Without losing her level. As soon as she recovered from her injury, the 19-year-old has shown why she's is the soccer's rising star across the Atlantic. Speed, skills, accuracy front of the goal : the American youngster boasts impressive statistics (14 goals and 8 assists in 18 NCAA fixtures) and produced a string of strong performances under the Stanford shirt.

With a main goal : forcing her way into the USA senior national team, the best side in the world as illustrated by the World Cup 2019 won in France. "Watching this World Cup makes me ten times more motivated, because that’s where I want to be", said recently the Stanford ace.

A golden opportunity to make it happen arrived over the last days. Aiming to make a large roster review, the United States head coach Vlatko Andonovski has announced this week the players selected for the upcoming training camp. It should be noted that all the World Cup 2019 winners have been given a break and will not take part in this camp.

Although she's still playing in NCAA, Smith is among the 24 players called up for this camp held on December in Florida. Maybe a turning point in the Smith's career...

Amayes Brahmi

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