Advanced Team Fundamentals II – System 🆚 System

Sophia Smith: The Rising Star of American Soccer



Sophia Smith is playing for the USA national team

Sophia Smith is a talented American footballer who currently shines in the Portland Thorns FC team of the National Women’s Soccer League and is part of the United States national team. Despite her young age, she has stood out as a true revelation in women’s football and has established herself as one of the rising star of american soccer at her first World Cup.

Sophia plays as a forward, and her versatility allows her to excel in any of the three attacking positions. Her game skills are impressive, and she has demonstrated an innate talent for scoring goals and creating opportunities for her team.

In this article, we will highlight three distinctive characteristics of the player in which she excels.

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Unbalancing opponents

One of her main strengths is her ability in 1-on-1 dribbling, where she shows great ability to surpass her opponents. She always seeks to turn and face them with determination, attracting opponents towards herself. She is brave in these actions, using deceptive body movements, remarkable foot speed, and quick ball control. Moreover, she is capable of getting out of situations with a high density of players thanks to her technical resources.

Her quick change of pace is key to unbalancing opponents and creating opportunities in the game. Her dribbling mastery makes her a formidable player, adding great value to the team and constantly challenging the opposing defense. She is capable of escaping situations with a high density of players due to her technical skills.

Sophia Smith: The Rising Star of American Soccer. In the example, she shows outstanding dribbling abilities on 1-on-1 situations


Smith, driving the ball to face an opponent in a one-on-one situation.

Ability to identify spaces inside the box

Anticipation is an essential quality for a forward or offensive player, as it allows them to position themselves strategically to receive the ball or be in the right place at the right time. Sophia seems to have a well-developed instinct to anticipate plays and adjust her position accordingly.

This anticipation is also a result of her perception. She has the ability to observe her teammates’ and rivals’ actions, allowing her to anticipate intervals and free spaces. She constantly seeks information about the game, enabling her to make decisions on the field, and positioning herself in areas where she might receive the ball. Overall, these combined skills make Sophia a very valuable player in the box and give her the capacity to positively influence the game’s outcome by participating effectively in offensive actions.

Sophia Smith: The Rising Star of American Soccer. The young star has the ability to read the spaces in advantage inside the box. This allows her to score many goals, as the one she scored in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.


In this action, Sophia Smith detects the unbalance in Vietnam's defense and anticipates a run towards the box, to finish the action with her first-ever World Cup goal.

Total winger

Finally, another key point to observe about this player is that she can play hugging the sideline, as well as cutting inside and participating in the team’s build-up play.

This talented player excels as a winger in her team, displaying a versatility that makes her invaluable. She is a total winger who can play two facets in her position. Firstly, as a pure winger out wide, seeking one-on-one situations and delivering crosses. Secondly, she can start from the outside and end up playing inside.

When playing on the wings, she showcases speed and skill, offering width and taking on defenders in one-on-one situations. She has the ability to quickly take on opponents and create crossing or scoring opportunities. Constantly attracting opponents, she allows her teammates to be freed from marking.

In inner areas, she shows exceptional tactical vision, linking up with her teammates to create imbalances through precise dribbling and accurate passes. She can identify vacant spaces inside and maintain a good structure, which enables her to move effectively between the lines of the opposing defense. Another noteworthy aspect is her ability to protect the ball, offering a relief option when she needs to provide emergency support.

Sophia Smith: The Rising Star of American Soccer. She has the ability to understand when to play wide and when to play inside


She understands perfectly when to play wide, as in this example, and attack her direct opponent in the 1-vs-1 situation.

Sophia Smith: The Rising Star of American Soccer. Smith shows very good perception and positioning skills to play in inner zones


In this other example, she positions in the pockets and has the ability to turn around and face the last line of defenders.


In conclusion, Sophia Smith is an exceptional talent, showcasing her impressive one-on-one dribbling skills, anticipation, and space identification. Her versatility as a total winger adds immense value to both the Portland Thorns FC and the United States national team. With youth on her side and a relentless drive to improve, Sophia’s future in football looks incredibly promising.

Learn more about individual fundamentals for the wingers with the Ekkono Performance Secrets. More information here.

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