Windsor’s Sophia Smith named Ballon d’Or nominee for best female soccer player in world – The Denver Post

Windsor native Sophia Smith was named a nominee for the 2023 Ballon d’Or on Wednesday, putting her in the running to be named the world’s top female soccer player.

It’s the first time Smith has been nominated for the award.

The 23-year-old United States Women’s National Team star was the lone American on the 30-player list. She became the second Coloradan to be nominated after Golden’s Lindsey Horan was named a finalist in 2018, the first year of the female version of the trophy, and finished 10th.

The award, which has been around since 1956, has been presented annually by French Football, a French news magazine, to one male and one female player. It is voted on by a committee of journalists. For this year’s award, Smith is being judged on her play from Aug. 1 2022 to July 31, 2023, with both the Portland Thorns and USWNT.

FC Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas has won back-to-back awards, while Megan Rapinoe is the lone American to win it in 2019. Norway’s Ada Hegerberg won the first iteration of it in 2018.

Smith was named the 2022 NWSL MVP and U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year after scoring 15 goals with Portland and another 11 with the U.S.

She’s continued her world-class form in 2023, scoring twice in her World Cup debut against Vietnam and adding 11 goals and five assists with Portland.

The ceremony will take place in Paris, France, on Oct. 30. A full list of both male and female nominees can be found here.

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