Mallory Pugh could play as early as next weekend for the Spirit. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
BOYDS, Md. – It’s official. Mallory Pugh is a member of the Washington Spirit.
The Spirit announced the news Saturday afternoon that it had acquired U.S. international forward Mallory Pugh by using its number one spot in the National Women’s Soccer League’s distribution ranking order.
Washington acquired first position in the order via a series of offseason trades, with an eye on a player of Pugh’s quality becoming available.
Pugh, who turned 19 April 29, recently signed a lucrative deal with Nike.
“I am very excited to begin my career in the NWSL and with the Washington Spirit,” Pugh said in a statement. “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 has made 22 appearances and scored four goals for the national team since she received her first call-up in January 2016. She became the youngest player in U.S. history to score an Olympic goal while competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, finding the net in a 2-2 draw against Colombia.
“This is a monumental moment for our club and the NWSL,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra said in a press release. “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.”
Pugh is expected to begin training with the team Tuesday and could make her NWSL debut as early as Saturday, May 20 when the Spirit hosts FC Kansas City at the Maryland SoccerPlex’s Maureen Hendricks Field.