Back in mid-April, Mallory Pugh announced she would leave UCLA to pursue professional opportunities. Almost a month has passed and we now know she will stay stateside and play in the NWSL.
Late Friday night, Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported Pugh will play in the NWSL with the Washington Spirit. Washington currently holds the top spot in the league’s distribution order. This ranking order is used for any U.S. or Canadian player who joins the league who is under contract with their respective federation.
While it seemed as if Pugh would go straight to Washington and that would be the end of that, it wasn’t. Reportedly, Pugh wanted to play in Portland, but Washington was not willing to trade and rightfully so. There were also offers from European teams, specifically from PSG. As more news came to light, the Pugh Saga grew more and more interesting. Finally, an agreement has been reached. Pugh will play in Washington.
While her departure left many Bruin fans upset they would not be able to watch her tear apart defenses in college, I can’t blame Pugh for leaving. The new CBA for the U.S. women’s national team would guarantee Pugh a good sum of money, around $165k in base pay. With money from the club itself, (separate from the national team) and endorsement deals, Pugh will be making lots of money. You can’t blame her for cashing in on a great deal, especially with her talent.