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NWSL: Mallory Pugh signs with the Washington Spirit

Mallory Pugh is officially a member of the NWSL.

Pugh elected not to return to the University of California, Los Angeles, instead electing to go professional. However, there was some debate on where Pugh would end up.

Teams from Europe attempts to latch on to Pugh, and reports said that the 19-year-old wanted to go to the Portland Thorns. However, the Washington Spirit holds Pugh’s rights, and instead of pursuing other options, she signed with the club.

The news broke on Saturday, in which Pugh also appeared for an interview on Lifetime TV.

“We are thrilled with the addition of Mallory Pugh to the NWSL and excited to have her join the Washington Spirit,” NWSL Managing Director of Operations Amanda Duffy said. “Mallory’s a dynamic talent and one of the top young players in the world. We look forward to her continued development at the club and international levels in the years to come.”

“This is a monumental moment for our club and the NWSL,” said Spirit head coach Jim Gabarra. “We are extremely humbled and grateful for the opportunity to develop such a talented player. We look forward to having Mallory join the Spirit family.”

“I am very excited to begin my career in the NWSL and with the Washington Spirit,” said Pugh. “Being part of a professional team will allow me to grow and develop as a player, and I look forward to helping the Spirit win championships.”

Pugh never featured at UCLA due to commitments with the United States Women’s National Team. Instead, Pugh holds 22 appearances for the USWNT, scoring four goals. She was on the roster for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this past summer.

According to the Washington Spirit, Pugh is expected to make her debut on May 20 against FC Kansas City at home. The move couldn’t come at a better time for a Spirit team that is lacking in the attack department. On Saturday, the club was handed a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Reign.

Pugh is expected to join team training on May 16.

 

Photo courtesy of the NWSL/U.S. Soccer/ISI Images.

Follow @RachaelMcKriger on Twitter for all NWSL coverage.

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Rachael McKriger
Rachael McKriger writes for Pittsburgh Sporting News, Real Sports Entertainement Network, Pittsburgh Sports Castle and Politically Incorrect Sports Talk, in addition to being a copy editor at the Herald Standard newspaper. McKriger also has a freelance photography business called "McKriger Photography."
You can follow her on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, where you can find all of her articles. Search "McKriger Photography" on Facebook.
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