Ok, now that you're here, I'll admit that the headline is a bit unfair.
How about "UCLA Losing Top Fútbol Recruit"? Better? Well, maybe, though not quantitatively.
We've seen the Bruins Baseball team lose some top high school recruits to the major leagues. Now the Bruins Women's Soccer team appears to be losing the nation's top recruit to the pro ranks.
According to an article on equalizersoccer.com, Mallory Pugh, last season's Gatorade National Girls' Soccer Player of the Year and long time prized UCLA commit will reportedly forego her college career and will sign a contract with the Portland Thorns of the National Women's Soccer League. In doing so, Pugh will be the first American high school girls soccer player to bypass college and go directly to the NWSL.
Pugh's decision to skip college and turn professional represents a groundbreaking move in United States women's soccer. Lindsey Horan became the first known American woman to skip college and turn professional when in 2012 she turned down a full scholarship to the University of North Carolina to sign a reported "six-figure" deal with Paris Saint-Germain.
Pugh was to be the centerpiece of the Bruins incoming class and the program was looking forward to her excellent speed and playmaking talents on offense to bolster a squad that suffered a very disappointing season in 2015.
The lure of the professional ranks apparently became too much for Pugh who spoke excitedly about her future at U.C.L.A. last spring. Mallory has enjoyed substantial success with the U.S. Women's National program and starred in the recent U-20 CONCACAF tournament where she won the Golden Boot and the Golden ball while leading the U.S. to the title. As a professional, she is entitled to her salary from her professional club in Portland and will also be eligible for payment for endorsement deals and also from U.S. Soccer if she makes the USWNT to play in the Summer Olympics in Rio this August.
It would have been nice. Good luck to Mallory in her future.