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By Mason Cavalier
Boyds, Md. (March 5, 2019) – Washington Spirit forward Mallory Pugh made the starting XI once again for the U.S. Women’s National Team in their final game of the 2019 SheBelieves Cup. The U.S. earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over Brazil, claiming second place in the competition.
Pugh played a different role than usual, playing on the right side within a midfield trio, but still flashed her offensive abilities early and often. In the 12th minute, the Spirit forward made a key pass to Sam Mewis in the center of the penalty area, but the following shot blazed just over the bar.
In the 44th minute, Pugh helped initiate another scoring chance after a sharp cross by Tobin Heath nearly connected with Pugh in the six-yard box. Pugh was substituted at half-time for Christen Press after a strong 45 minutes.
The 20-year-old Pugh made her 48th appearance for the U.S. against Brazil, and and she started all three of the USA’s 2019 SheBelieves Cup games. Pugh logged 189 minutes over the course of the competition and is expected to earn a spot in Ellis’s final roster for the upcoming 2019 FIFA World Cup in France.
Spirit midfielders Rose Lavelle and Andi Sullivan were bench options for the USA in the tournament finale. Lavelle made two appearances for the U.S. over the course of the SheBelieves Cup, playing 153 minutes and notching two starts. Lavelle has made three appearances for the U.S. thus far in 2019, bringing her to 23 career appearances for the national team.
Sullivan, a late addition to the U.S. team, has joined the U.S. camp three consecutive times. The midfielder made her last appearance in the U.S.’s win against Portugal last November, the 500th win in team history.
Final 2019 SheBelieves Cup Standings