NWSL top scorers 2023: Alex Morgan, Sophia Smith & the race for the Golden Boot
- S. Smith
- A. Morgan
- Women's football
- Portland Thorns
- San Diego Wave
- Racing Louisville
- Washington Spirit
- North Carolina Courage
- Gotham FC
- Kansas City Current
- Orlando Pride
- Houston Dash
- Chicago Red Stars
- OL Reign
- Angel City
- A. Hatch
- M. Purce
- T. Rodman
- K. Johnson
- C. Dunn
- J. Shaw
- L. Williams
- United States
- J. Fishlock
- C. Kizer
- M. Weaver
- J. Huitema
- C. Emslie
- E. Stevens
- T. Lussi
- J. Nighswonger
- V. Latsko
- S. Jakobsson
- P. Metayer
- Y. Nagasato
The race is once again on for the NWSL Golden Boot, with established U.S. women's national team stars battling it out with up-and-coming prospects and some of the world's best talent to be crowned the top goal scorer in the United States' top division.
Alex Morgan picked up the accolade last season for the first time in her illustrious career, closely followed by USWNT team-mate Sophia Smith, who has started the 2023 season in red hot form.
It looks like the pair will battle it again at the top of the scoring charts, but who else will be up there? GOAL is here to keep across the numbers being racked up by the league's most prolific stars.
*Note statistics correct as of May 28, 2023. Tiebreakers are assists, then fewest minutes played.
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#1 Alex Morgan | San Diego Wave | 5 goals
Recipient of this award in 2022, Alex Morgan has started her defence of the Golden Boot in a strong fashion and will hope that her goals can help the San Diego Wave improve on last year's run to the play-off semi-finals, a campaign that saw the Wave become the first expansion team to make the post-season on first attempt.
#2 Crystal Dunn | Portland Thorns | 5 goals
For the USWNT, Crystal Dunn is often a full-back. For the Portland Thorns, she's a midfielder - and a very prolific one at that. Dunn has won the Golden Boot before back in 2015, the same year she was named the league's MVP.
#3 Ashley Hatch | Washington Spirit | 5 goals
Winner of the Golden Boot in 2021, Ashley Hatch's goals were crucial that year in helping the Washington Spirit to a first ever NWSL Championship. After a disappointing 2022 campaign, the Spirit look likely to have a better season this time around, with Hatch's form in front of goal just one of the reasons why.
#4 Lynn Williams | Gotham | 5 goals
After 10 months out injured, Lynn Williams returned to action with the USWNT in January and marked her first game back with a goal. She's made a similarly impressive return to NWSL action, on the scoresheet in her first outing for new club Gotham after a blockbuster trade on draft night saw her leave the Kansas City Current.
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#5 Sophia Smith | Portland Thorns | 4 goals
Sophia Smith has started the season in fine form. The USWNT forward might have finished second in the Golden Boot race last year but she helped the Portland Thorns claim the big trophy, the NWSL Championship, and was named the league's Most Valuable Player, too. She's showing that quality again in 2023.
#6 Debinha | Kansas City Current | 4 goals
No off-season move caught the eye more than Debinha's switch from the North Carolina Courage to the Kansas City Current and the Brazil international is already showing her world-class qualities in her new environment.
#7 Kerolin | North Carolina Courage | 4 goals
One of the most exciting global stars in the NWSL, Brazil international Kerolin was a top signing by the North Carolina Courage in 2022. A few weeks on the sidelines with an injury meant we maybe didn't see the 23-year-old in full flow in her first year but she looks set to have a great season in 2023.
#8 Veronica Latsko | OL Reign | 3 goals
In her second season with OL Reign, Veronica Latsko surpassed her goal tally for her first season with the club in just her sixth league appearance in 2023. That game was a 4-1 win over Angel City in which the forward scored twice, with the quality of her first strike absolutely sublime, too.
#9 Savannah DeMelo | Racing Louisville | 3 goals
A player that USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski took a look at during the international break in October last year, Savannah DeMelo scored four goals in her rookie season in 2022 and looks to be on track to better that in year two.
#10 Claire Emslie | Angel City | 3 goals
After showing glimpses of her talent in a struggling Orlando Pride team, Claire Emslie returned to the NWSL last year with Angel City and has become an important part of the Los Angeles side's attack. She's already been directly involved in more goals in 2023 than she was in 2022.
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#11 Trinity Rodman | Washington Spirit | 3 goals
The 2021 Rookie of the Year, Trinity Rodman is another player whose early season form will give the Washington Spirit reason to be optimistic about the upcoming campaign after a second-from-bottom finish in the 2022 standings.
#12 Cece Kizer | Kansas City Current | 3 goals
Despite all of her goals coming after a mid-season switch of clubs, Cece Kizer enjoyed her best scoring season in the NWSL yet last year, netting seven times in 18 games for the Kansas City Current. She's carried that form into the new campaign, too.
#13 Bethany Balcer | OL Reign | 3 goals
The 2019 Rookie of the Year, Bethany Balcer has got herself off to a flying start this season. In conversation with Indivisa in March, team-mate Jess Fishlock said the 26-year-old was looking great going into the new campaign - and she was right.
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#14 Jaedyn Shaw | San Diego Wave | 3 goals
A member of the inaugural NXGN Nine, GOAL's most talented teenagers on the planet, Jaedyn Shaw burst onto the scene last summer after joining the San Diego Wave and, in 2023, she is proving that that form was not a flash in the pan. The forward is one of the most exciting prospects the U.S. has.
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#15 Alyssa Thompson | Angel City | 3 goals
The No.1 overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft, Alyssa Thompson is certainly living up to the hype. Named in GOAL's inaugural NXGN Nine as one of the most talented teenagers in the world, she has been showing everyone why she is so highly-rated in her debut season.
#16 Morgan Weaver | Portland Thorns | 3 goals
Morgan Weaver was chosen by the Portland Thorns as the second overall in the 2020 NWSL Draft and, in 2022, we got a real look at why she is so highly-rated. The midfielder netted seven goals across the season as the Thorns won the Championship and she has carried that form into the new year, too.
#17 Jordyn Huitema | OL Reign | 3 goals
After arriving at OL Reign midway through last year, Jordyn Huitema has already matched her tally for the 2022 season with a strong start to 2023 for her new club. Her first league goal of the campaign was a crucial one, too - a 90th minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Racing Louisville.
#18 Jess Fishlock | OL Reign | 3 goals
Along with team-mate Balcer, Jess Fishlock herself has got off to a flyer, as well. The Wales international has been a figure of consistency in the NWSL over the last decade and has now lifted herself into the top 10 on the league's list of all-time leading goalscorers.
#19 Midge Purce | Gotham | 2 goals
A player on the fringes of the USWNT roster, Midge Purce will hope that she can show form in the first few months of this campaign that can earn her a spot on the plane to the 2023 Women's World Cup. She's certainly started well.
#20 Olivia Moultrie | Portland Thorns | 2 goals
We've known for a while now about the talent Olivia Moultrie has and 2023 feels like it will be her biggest year yet. The teenager has certainly set about making it that way, with her contributing to plenty of goals early on.
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#21 Maria Sanchez | Houston Dash | 2 goals
Maria Sanchez's best ever goal tally in an NWSL season is two goals, a total she had to her name this year after just three games played. That certainly feels a positive omen for the season ahead for the Mexico international.
#22 Sofia Jakobsson | San Diego Wave | 2 goals
After only finding the back of the net once during her first season with the San Diego Wave last year, Sofia Jakobsson has shown signs of having a stronger 2023, notably netting in the Wave's 2-0 win over California rivals Angel City in April.
#23 Hina Sugita | Portland Thorns | 2 goals
After breaking through in her homeland with Japanese giants INAC Kobe, Hina Sugita had an impressive first season with the Portland Thorns, the 2022 NWSL champions, and she is only continuing that in the new campaign.
#24 Ella Stevens | Chicago Red Stars | 2 goals
After signing with the Chicago Red Stars back in 2020, Ella Stevens' presence in the team has grown year on year, with her a regular in the XI in 2023. That consistency in game time has her well on her way to have a best ever season in front of goal in the NWSL.
#25 Jenna Nighswonger | Gotham | 2 goals
The fourth overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft, Jenna Nighswonger has already set about justifying the hype around her. Her goal against the Reign in May, struck with venom from about 25 yards out, was particularly impressive.
#26 Katie Johnson | Angel City | 2 goals
After an off-season switch to Angel City from its California rivals, the San Diego Wave, Katie Johnson has made a strong start in her new surroundings. The Mexico international will have already endeared herself to the fans with her winner against the Orlando Pride in early April, a goal that came in the 10th minute of stoppage time.
#27 Kirsten Davis | Racing Louisville | 2 goals
Chosen by Racing Louisville in the second round of the 2021 NWSL Draft, Kirsten Davis had a promising first campaign with the club in 2022. She's well on her way to surpass her contributions with a strong start to the 2023 season, though, as she nails down a more significant role in the team.
#28 Tyler Lussi | North Carolina Courage | 2 goals
After spending just one season with Angel City, Tyler Lussi joined the North Carolina Courage ahead of the 2023 season and has started the campaign strongly, already matching her best ever tally for goals in a NWSL season before the end of May.
#29 Bruninha | Gotham | 2 goals
Bruninha joined Gotham last summer, the U.S. club paying Santos a fee for the Brazil international. Now, in the 2023 season, fans are getting to see why this young outside back is so highly-rated, especially going forward.
#30 Diana Ordonez | Houston Dash | 2 goals
After an excellent rookie season saw her scored 11 goals in 19 NWSL games for the North Carolina Courage, Diana Ordonez switched to the Houston Dash over the offseason and is now looking to translate that goal-scoring form to her new club.
#31 Messiah Bright | Orlando Pride | 2 goals
Picked in the second round of the 2023 NWSL Draft, Messiah Bright arrived at the Orlando Pride with quite the reputation as a goal-scorer, having broken multiple records at Texas Christian University. She's already showing that she can translate that form onto the big stage of the NWSL, too.
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#32 Penelope Hocking | Chicago Red Stars | 2 goals
Selected in the first round of the 2023 NWSL Draft as the No.7 overall pick, Penelope Hocking is already proving what a good decision that was by the Chicago Red Stars with a blistering start to her rookie season.
#33 Paige Metayer | Washington Spirit | 2 goals
After going undrafted out of college, Paige Metayer signed for the Washington Spirit after impressing as a non-roster invitee during pre-season. She's already showing why the Spirit offered her a three-year deal with the option of another season.
#34 Yuki Nagasato | Chicago Red Stars | 2 goals
It's been a difficult season for the Chicago Red Stars after so much off-season change, but Yuki Nagasato remains one of the league's most exciting attacking players and she has been showing why again in 2023.