Boyds, Md., (9/11/2019) – Mallory Pugh needs no introduction.
You’ve seen her scoring the goal and operating the remote in the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s ‘Hulu has live sports’ commercial. Or perhaps you’ve seen one of her 16 goals or 16 assists while playing in 56 appearances for the USWNT. Or maybe you read her piece in The Players’ Tribune about her upbringing and her ambitions as a player.
The bottom line is, Pugh is very talented. This week, Pugh returned to practice after battling a nagging injury. Since joining the Spirit in 2017, Pugh has become a household name for her attacking ability and her knack for creating chances for teammates.
Pugh was voted the 2017 Washington Spirit Most Valuable Player award during her superb rookie season when she led the team with 6 goals, 1 assist and 27 shots on target. Due to USWNT duties and injuries, she’s only played in four games for the Spirit this season, but she still recorded an assist, 8 shots, and 7 chances created.
The forward’s talent is especially impressive considering how much she’s accomplished as a 21-year-old.
She earned her first USWNT cap at 17 years and 269 days old, and was named the 2015 U.S. Young Soccer Player of the Year. In 2016 she became the youngest U.S. player to score a goal in the Olympics. She was also the top women’s soccer recruit of her class and was named the 2014-2015 Gatorade National Soccer Player of the Year.
According to Real Women’s Soccer stats, Pugh is also ranked third in USWNT goals per 90 minutes played in 2019, behind only Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe.
As Washington attempts a playoff run over the last six games of the NWSL season, Pugh’s talent for breaking down opposing defenses may be exactly what the Spirit need to close the gap on the fourth seed and a playoff berth.
The Spirit will return to Audi Field in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 14, as they attempt to overcome Reign FC. Kickoff is set at 7:30 p.m. ET. Spirit fans can stream the game on NBC Sports Washington and Monumental Sports Network.