Think the NWSL is just a stepping stone for the U.S. Women’s National Team? Think again. This league is a powerhouse, boasting a roster of players that are stars in their own right. But who stands out in this sea of talent?
Is it the veterans with their years of experience, or the young guns making a name for themselves? You’re about to find out. We’re ranking the top female soccer players who’ve graced the NWSL fields, and you won’t want to miss who takes the top spot.
1. Sophia Smith
Sophia Smith’s exceptional skills in women’s soccer have led to remarkable progress in her career. She recently earned the prestigious title of 2022 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year and was voted MVP in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
Her scoring ability is significant, as she netted an impressive 11 goals in 2022, making her the top scorer for the USWNT and highlighting her offensive capabilities.
Smith’s contributions are not limited to individual honors. She was instrumental in helping the Portland Thorns FC clinch the NWSL Championship.
Rightfully so, she was named the Championship Game MVP. As the top selection in the 2020 NWSL College Draft, she continues to prove her worth in the sport.
Now, we transition our attention to another remarkable athlete, Alex Morgan.
2. Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan, famed for her extraordinary goal-scoring abilities, has tallied up a notable 206 international appearances and 121 goals for the USWNT. Furthermore, her 2017 record of scoring 9 goals in 14 games for Orlando Pride is a testament to her skill.
With two Women’s World Cup wins under her belt (2015, 2019) and an Olympic gold medal (2012), her impact on women’s soccer is unquestionably profound.
She has taken home the Concacaf Player of the Year award four times (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018), consistently showcasing her command and expertise on the field, combining both talent and passion. In the energetic sphere of women’s soccer, Morgan stands as a formidable figure, inspiring countless emerging athletes all over the planet.
Her successes enrich the NWSL’s history, bolstering its reputation for top-tier play and establishing it as a beloved hub for fans and players.
3. Trinity Rodman
Trinity Rodman, just 18 years old, has already made her mark in women’s sports with a sensational start to her professional career. Scoring a goal in the first five minutes of her debut game was an impressive initiation.
The young athlete then went on to break records by becoming the youngest player ever to be drafted into the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
Her first year in professional soccer was nothing less than extraordinary. Not only was she named NWSL Rookie of the Year, but she also earned a spot in the NWSL Best XI. The accolades didn’t stop there; she was also honored as the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year in 2021.
Rodman’s breathtaking skills on the field and her rapid ascent to fame have not gone unnoticed. In recognition of her exceptional talent and the promising career that lies ahead, she has become the top earner in the NWSL.
This clearly shows the high level of respect and admiration she has garnered in the world of women’s soccer.
4. Rose Lavelle
Rose Lavelle, a significant figure in the realm of women’s sports, has set the stage ablaze with her spectacular performances, particularly during her tenure with OL Reign.
With nimble footwork and impeccable ball handling, she has solidified her place as an indispensable asset in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
Lavelle’s extraordinary talent has not gone unnoticed, as she secured a spot in the 2019 NWSL Best XI. Her skill was further showcased during the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup.
Her goal in the tournament had a significant impact on the team’s performance, helping them to stand tall against their competitors.
Lavelle’s contribution to the team didn’t stop there. She played a pivotal role in OL Reign’s victory in the 2022 NWSL Shield. Her achievements are a testament to the rising influence of women in sports.
Now, let’s turn our attention to another key player who has made waves in the soccer community, Lindsey Horan.
5. Lindsey Horan
Lindsey Horan, an eminent figure in women’s soccer, has shown exceptional skill and athleticism, especially during her tenure with Portland Thorns FC.
Her spectacular ability to deliver accurate passes and score vital goals has helped her secure a position among the top U.S. Women’s Soccer players of 2023.
Beyond her club career, Horan’s talent shines brightly. She’s a two-time Women’s World Cup champion and an Olympic bronze medalist, and her outstanding contributions to the national team are noteworthy. In recognition of her impressive performances, she was crowned the 2018 NWSL MVP.
Her impact has been pivotal in driving her team to success and motivating future generations of female soccer players. The enduring legacy of Horan is a clear reflection of her commitment to the sport.
6. Crystal Dunn
Crystal Dunn is a powerhouse in women’s soccer, consistently showing amazing versatility and grit, both at home and on the international platform.
Her exceptional talent to excel as a forward, midfielder, or defender, has earned her a significant presence in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), notably as a key player for the Portland Thorns. She’s tipped as one of the shining stars to watch out for in the NWSL’s 2022 season.
Her dedication to the sport stretches beyond the US, as she is a celebrated member of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT), having played in over 100 international games.
The impact and fervor Dunn brings to the pitch not only propels her own career forward, but also boosts the visibility and reputation of women’s soccer on a global scale.
7. Sam Mewis
Sam Mewis stands as a crucial player for KC Current, and her contributions to the sport are highly valued, especially her phenomenal performance in the 2022 season.
With more than 70 international appearances and a victorious run in two Women’s World Cup tournaments, Mewis has made her mark in the soccer circles.
She stands out for her unique blend of technical skills and exceptional physical abilities, setting her apart as one of the NWSL’s brightest stars.
Her performance in the 2022 season is a testament to her relentless pursuit of excellence, showcasing not just her individual skills but also her dedication to her team.
As a community of soccer lovers, we appreciate and applaud Mewis’s passion and commitment. Her accomplishments shine brightly, inspiring upcoming generations of women in soccer.
Let’s all cheer for Sam Mewis, a true ambassador of the sport.
Transitioning from the impressive abilities of Sam Mewis, our focus now shifts to another shining star of the NWSL – Marta.
A truly magnificent player who has captivated soccer fans across the globe, Marta has been recognised as the FIFA World Player of the Year six times and holds the record for the most goals scored in FIFA Women’s World Cup history.
Renowned for her outstanding skill and innate knack for scoring goals, Marta is an essential member of the Orlando Pride team. The immeasurable impact she brings to her team and the league sets her apart as one of the most noteworthy NWSL players to keep an eye on in the 2022 season.
Her influence on the sport is indisputable, solidifying her place in the annals of women’s soccer.
Next up for discussion is another NWSL powerhouse, Megan Rapinoe.
9. Megan Rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe, a globally acclaimed athlete, has significantly elevated the prominence of women’s sports. Her masterful skill on the soccer field and her dedicated advocacy off it have made her a dominant figure in the sports industry.
As a two-time Women’s World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist, Rapinoe’s name is permanently etched in the chronicles of women’s soccer.
Her exceptional performances for OL Reign in the NWSL have only solidified her standing as one of the greatest female soccer players. In 2019, her skill brought her both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Rapinoe’s impact is not limited to the soccer field; she is a tireless advocate for equality in sports. Without a doubt, she shines brightly in the NWSL and serves as a role model for future players.
10. Jess Fishlock
Turning our attention to another giant of the game, Jess Fishlock is unquestionably a powerhouse in the NWSL. Her time with OL Reign has elevated her to one of the league’s shining stars for the 2022 season, consistently demonstrating her value on the field.
Fishlock’s brilliance is not limited to the United States. Recognized as a respected Welsh international, she boasts over 100 caps – a clear indicator of her ongoing dedication and talent.
Her notable career has allowed her to secure numerous league titles and cups across different nations, solidifying her status as an international sensation.
As we examine Fishlock’s path, we recognize the power of women’s soccer to unite people and the shared enthusiasm that makes us all part of this thrilling, global community.