Mallory Pugh has taken the leap and signed with Washington Spirit
It was a big decision last year when Mallory Pugh decided to turn down going into the NWSL in favor of getting the college experience at UCLA, however it was not unprecedented. Most woman’s soccer players go to college before going pro. Only one other, Lindsay Horan, decided to go pro and play for Paris Saint-Germain instead of going to North Carolina for college.
Pugh’s decision, however, did not put her out of the pro league for four years as college normally does. Instead, after just 6 months, before playing even one collegiate game, she began itching for professional play. Soon after, with 22 national team appearances under her belt, she decided to go pro. “For me, since I’ve already played with the national team—and that’s a very high level—I think it’s just about development for me at this point,” she said according to Sports Illustrated.
The big question remained: where would she end up? Portland, Washington, or maybe overseas in France? Last week, she eliminated one of those possibilities and officially signed with the NWSL.
“I think seeing where the league is going to go and where it is right now and wanting to play with professional players and up my game, I think right now was the best time I could do it,” she said according to Sports Illustrated. “Everyone’s different. Hopefully there will be other players kind of following. I think for me, at this point, it was the right decision … just the development part—that’s the main thing,” Pugh continued.
Development is exactly what she is going to get! After some negotiations and a little convincing from coach Jim Gabarra, Pugh officially signed with Washington Spirit, and she’s already making herself at home. Yesterday she dived right in, meeting the team and practicing with them for the first time.
Next Washington Spirit will face FC Kansas City on Saturday at 4:00.
Photos by ISI.