Sophia Smith reaches NWSL milestone and faces expulsion in the round

Sophia Smith becomes the third player with 15 or more contributions in three seasons,
North Carolina Courage  v Portland Thorns FC
North Carolina Courage  v Portland Thorns FC / Soobum Im/GettyImages

The 12th round of the NWSL marked a historic milestone for Sophia Smith. At 23 years old, the Portland Thorns star became only the third player in league history to record 15 or more goal contributions in three different regular seasons, joining the ranks of Sam Kerr and Lynn Williams.

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This feat occurred after a foul on Hina Sugita in the penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick that Smith converted with precision, further boosting her impressive record of goal contributions. However, not everything went smoothly for the USWNT forward in this match.

Sophia Smith received a red card for time-wasting in the added time of the Portland Thorns' victory over the North Carolina Courage. The first yellow card came in the 90th minute for allegedly delaying the restart of play. She was then substituted by coach Rob Gale in the seventh minute of added time.

At the 102nd minute, with the ball out of play and near the Thorns' bench, Smith tried to waste a few more precious seconds by pushing the ball under a seat. This act earned her a second yellow card for time-wasting, resulting in her expulsion.

The incident could leave anyone perplexed, especially considering the importance of the play for the team. While Smith's impact on the field is undeniable, her red card served as a reminder that the game of soccer is as much mental as it is physical.

Despite the red card, Sophia Smith's contribution to the Portland Thorns' victory cannot be underestimated. Her talent and skill remain a significant asset for the team, but the situation highlighted the need for greater caution in crucial moments. The athlete could have avoided the cards. With the NWSL becoming increasingly competitive, such incidents can make the difference between victory and defeat in future games.