Women’s Soccer Players to Watch in 2021

It’s safe to say 2020 was a crazy year for the entire world, but amidst all of the madness, women’s soccer was a welcome (and exhilarating) escape. Whether it’s a team or a particular player, both have an ability to inspire and excite a fan base through their play on the pitch. Women’s soccer made tremendous strides this past year, and players will no doubt be looking to carry that momentum into the new year. As we look ahead, here’s a list of women’s soccer players to watch in 2021.

Sophia Smith


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The rookie didn’t get as many opportunities for the Thorns as we hoped during the pandemic. However, her play with the USWNT is a glimpse of what she can do. Expect to see her have an expanded role with the Thorns as well as a call-up or two to USWNT camps. Keep an eye on her growth, she could be the next big American star. 


Brazil’s international squad isn’t getting any younger but Ludmila could be a ray of hope for Brazillian football in the coming years. The Atletico Madrid midfielder is dangerous when it comes to her attacking prowess. Her pace and dribbling make her a tough player for any defense to match up against. If she can improve just a bit more, who knows how far she’ll go. 

Chloe Kelly

Chloe Kelly is one of the best young players England has at the moment but tends to get overshadowed by Georgia Stanway. Kelly played for Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea before signing with Manchester City. With Ellen White picking up injuries here and there, Kelly could be one of the players to take City’s attack into the future. 

Ana Anvegard

Say hello to Sweden’s striker of the future. At age 23, Anvegard has solidified herself as one Sweden’s best strikers – if not the best. Anvegard was a top scorer for Rosengard and has been a go-to option for Sweden in international play. Expect to see her make a big impact at the Olympics next year. 

Sara Gama


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The Italian defender is becoming an icon for her actions both on and off the pitch. Gama became Vice President of the Italian Soccer Players Association, which means she’s representing more than herself. Women’s soccer in Italy is definitely growing and Gama, with her efforts, will only help the program thrive. 

Natalia Kuikka

Finland’s best player is a former national championship winner with Florida State. Kuikka never played in the top American’s women soccer leagues but will get her shot with the Portland Thorns, who needed to add some defensive help in the midfield and at the back. Kuikka will be a starter and impact player right away in 2021. Remember the name. 

Tabitha Chawinga

This is a special shoutout for Malawi, a country not known for it’s football. Yet, Tabitha Chawinga is their icon and their superstar. She had an incredible year playing in China. Now, being able to access their games and watch them play is one thing, but there’s always a chance she could come stateside. Wherever she is in 2021, Tabitha Chawinga is definitely a player to watch.

Jelena Cankovic

Here’s a player few have heard of but need to know going into 2020. Serbia isn’t likely to play in major competitions but Cankovic has been great for FC Rosengard. The former Barcelona player created more chances than anyone else in Europe. With such creativity and ability, Cankovic isn’t just a player to watch in 2021, but beyond as well. 

Mallory Pugh


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Injuries have plagued Pugh’s career in recent times. However, we were fortunate enough to see her back in action for SBFC towards the end of the fall series. As long as she’s feeling 100%, there’s no reason Pugh won’t be back in the limelight as one of the best players in the league and world. Expect a bounceback year for Pugh in 2021. 

Featured Image via Instagram @sophsssmith



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