Report: Pugh skipping college, headed to Thorns

Jeff Kassouf January 15, 2016 674
Mallory Pugh, 17, is reportedly turning pro and joining Portland Thorns FC. She had previously committed to UCLA.

Mallory Pugh, 17, is reportedly turning pro and joining Portland Thorns FC. She had previously committed to UCLA.

Mallory Pugh, a 17-year-old high school senior currently in training camp with the United States senior national team, will reportedly forego her college eligibility and play in the National Women’s Soccer League for Portland Thorns FC. Pugh had previously committed to UCLA and was slated to begin her NCAA career there this fall.

Pugh’s landing spot will be Portland via newly announced rules regarding changes to the allocation system which places players whose salaries are subsidized by their national federations. The league announced moments before the start of Friday’s NWSL Draft — in which Portland selected U.S.-subsidized defender and former Virginia All-American Emily Sonnett as the No. 1 pick — changes to how subsidized players will be distributed to teams.

[MORE: 2016 NWSL Draft recap  |  Rodriguez No. 2 to Sky Blue  |  Roccaro to Dash]

The new process, which refers to allocated players as “Unattached Subsidized Individual” (USI), initially placed the Boston Breakers atop the list of priority ranking. But the Breakers immediately traded that spot to the Thorns, who are expected to use it to acquire Pugh.

Pugh’s family requested that the teenage phenom be allocated to Portland, where Pugh has extended family, according to Soccerwire.com’s Charles Boehm.

By the newly announced rules, Portland would have first pick in the USI rankings and could thus select Pugh with it. (Pugh would be receiving a salary for NWSL and as a full-time U.S. national team player, should this happen.) If and when Pugh enters the USI system and Portland selects her, the Thorns would move to the bottom of the rankings.

Pugh is still eligible for the 2016 U-20 World Cup. She scored seven goals and four assists in five games at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in December, helping the U.S. lift the title. Pugh is the 2014-15 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

[MORE: For Lindsey Horan, a different path to USWNT]

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. Horan just joined Portland — officially not until this week’s allocation announcement — after three-plus successful years with PSG. Portland acquired Horan’s rights as part of the blockbuster trade which sent Alex Morgan to Orlando in October.

No American player has skipped college and gone directly to the National Women’s Soccer League. By doing so, Pugh would permanently give up her amateur status and college eligibility.

  • VaFan51

    There definitely are sounds of sobbing coming from Amanda Cromwell’s office at UCLA.

    • ForeverLOST108

      Luckily she still has Jessie Fleming… for now

      • kernel_thai

        Unless Portland wants her too.

        • Calci0

          I see what you did there!!

      • leaving LA

        Does Fleming have any relatives in NWSL cities? Now that’s the question we need answered. Perhaps this explains the delay in Canada announcing their allocations.

    • Nicole C.

      And hysterical laughter coming from Paul Ratcliffe’s.

    • Steglitz49

      Portland and Paris both start with a P but there it ends.

  • Ethan

    Well, if this does happen, then Pugh isn’t just in the current training camp to get early exposure.

    • TsovLoj

      We wanted Ellis to try some young players, didn’t we?

      • Ethan

        I’m referring to posts that questioned why Pugh was chosen over current college players. Some people said that it’s for early exposure; I suggested she’s in camp because of her youth NT experience and level of play. However, now it seems like it’s because she’s going to be playing pro football before those college players that some commenters felt should have been looked at ahead of Pugh.

    • rufan

      She must be impressing the coaches so much that they see her as a regular member of the WNT (like O’Reilly was in her college years) even if she does not make the Olympic roster this year. Therefore she has a national team contract if she was not in college.

      • Steglitz49

        “ike O’Reilly was in her college years” — where the operative word is “college”

  • Guest

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the new allocation process does not guarantee a player will be immediately subsidized, just that they are likely to at some point.

    • kernel_thai

      Yes it’s the same vague nonsense that passed for the discovery policy.

    • volley

      Right. Which means a club could just sit on the players rights and they have to remain inactive and have potentially given up college. That’s not going to happen. No player would leave themselves unprotected like that. This is all worked out.

      • Guest

        They could sign them using cap money.

        • volley

          What is the likelihood that a player would give up four years of college at a great school for an non-allocated NWSL salary?

          • Guesting

            Not unless they were getting a sweet deal.

        • kernel_thai

          And that’s what should have happened. Sign Pugh and allocate her down the road. To be frank all three of these players should not be allocated at this point. What has any of the three actually done? I guess u could make a case for Horan based on PSG if they werent moving her to a new position.

          • Guest

            Maybe that will be what happens. She definitely fits the “potential” part of the criteria.

          • kernel_thai

            But there has to be a time limit on signing her. Again, my problem is about allocating not Portland signing her. The US doesnt have to allocate 17 yo players. This is being done to make the deal work and for no other reason. I could make a list of players I would allocate before Sonnett, Horan and Pugh and none of them can even get invited to a camp!

          • Guest

            I just don’t understand how USSF is willing to subsidize Pugh and not McCaffrey. Unless Pugh was planning on going abroad and this is what it took to keep her here.

          • Steglitz49

            Not impossible. Some of the European teams with distaff sides have big war-chests.

          • guest

            well some have claimed that McCaffrey earned call-ups by doing well in practice, so perhaps Pugh does even better in those practice sessions.

          • Rufan

            She may be so impressing the coaches that they see her as a regular member of the WNT even if she does not make the final Olympic roster this year, so if WNT wants their players to play in the US league and she was talking of going overseas, this may have been what it took to keep her onshore.

          • Steglitz49

            We have not heard one rumour of a European club sniffing around.

          • Rufan

            Above you wrote “Not impossible. Some of the European teams with distaff sides have big war-chests.”
            Plus I wrote if “she was talking…”

          • Steglitz49

            Not impossible is not the same as hearing a rumour, is it?

          • guest

            at the very least boston should have gotten better value back. this is the second time this off-season they have gotten poor value back. granted this was still alot better than the dagny trade. and i’m sure boston is just happy to be getting better players than they had. but if your better competitors are getting even better players than you are, than boston is still gonna be at the bottom.

          • Steglitz49

            You may well be right but there have been no rumours.

          • guest

            the ussf is allocating pugh prematurely because portland wants her now. if she goes to ucla and goes through the draft she will likely be a top pick going to the worst nwsl team. thus, portland’s only chance to get her is right now.

      • mockmook

        I think there will be a window where they must either sign or release the rights to the player.

  • kernel_thai

    This is one of the reasons u cant take the NWSL seriously. The rules in this league r liquid and changed on the fly.

    So, my questions.
    – Was this rule in place for Horan in which case Orlando was given the #1 slot and traded that to Portland and was then rotated to #10 or did they just get #10 and Horan was before the rule change?
    – Why is Sonnett not covered by the same rule? Why is being in college considered attached?
    – Why is it most of the time the league does something it put a smile on Portland’s face?
    – If Pugh wants to skip college (bad idea) and only play in Portland I dont have a problem BUT why is a 17 yo being allocated just to make this happen? Let Pugh play with Portland and when she is ready Im sure she will be on the NT.

    • Guest

      It seems like it was in place for Horan, that seems logical since they had her rights. Sonnett wasn’t covered because she went through the draft. The new rule only applies to players being placed in another fashion.

      Tbh, this rule change should have benefitted Boston, but they traded their pick.

      • kernel_thai

        Yes but Sonnett was allocated before the draft to the league. If that doesnt make her unattached I dont know what does.

      • volley

        The problem is if the newly allocated player does not want to play for the club the system places – the so called ‘equitable mechanism’ of this new procedure – they don’t have to. They can just pick wherever they want to play and actually go there. Screw the team the procedure is supposed to benefit.

        • Guest

          I don’t think they can. That’s the whole point of the system. Granted, it’s mirrored after MLS’s allocation process, and they change it about 15 times a season so we’ll probably see that happen if a player doesn’t want to play at the assigned team.

          • volley

            How can you not think they can? They just did. There is an article on soccerwire stating Pugh wanted Portland because she has family there. Boston got nothing remotely equivalent in return. This is not merely about the quality of player floating around. It’s also about the salary cap. Portland will have 5 players USSF is paying for plus Sinclair who the Canadians are paying for. This is how they can afford to buy other quality players. Boston have one allocation – Engen – out of 24 allocations. They are paying for everyone else.

          • Guest

            Boston traded the pick. They could have held onto it, and if they wanted Pugh they would have gotten her and she refused to play there than than she couldn’t play anywhere in the league.

          • kernel_thai

            They should have held out for the #1 pick. At least Sonnett for Pugh makes a little sense.

          • Mike

            That would have been nice but Portland dictates what happens

          • kernel_thai

            Im not so sure that Portland wouldnt have cracked. If Pugh is the real deal she is much more important in Portland than Sonnett. Worst case scenario they give up Sonnett and take Rocarro or Reed at #3 and still get a top tho not allocated CB. Who knows…maybe Boston takes Westphal #1 and Portland is back in business with Sonnett

          • mockmook

            Boston wouldn’t have been drafting that high without the trade.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. But Boston are braindead and suffers from entitlement sydnrome. Hopefully they got something from that smokefilled room.

          • Rdalford

            Not very practical for a NWSL team (Boston in this case) to try and lock a USWNT player out of the league –
            but – Boston should have made better trade (maybe #1 pick Sonnett) for giving up the #1 allocation ranking order spot.

            imo, the new process does not (yet) deal with new to be subsidized player does not want to play for team X situation. Perhaps this will be addressed when full text of rule is available, but Pugh only wanting to go to Portland and getting her choice sets a precedent for next to be allocated player who doesn’t want to play for team X situation.

          • mockmook

            There will probably be a “legitimate offer” clause like in discovery. If you don’t take the offer, you have to sit out (a year, or whatever).

          • Rdalford

            My guess,
            teams/NWSL will not make a USWNT player sit out

          • Steglitz49

            She is not a Mexican.

          • mockmook

            It’s the player opting to “sit out” (play overseas).

            But, it is likely some deal will be found so that everyone is “happy”.

          • kernel_thai

            The new rule for next year is that Portland gets to go thru every other teams roster and take any players that they like. Well, it’s only fair.

      • kernel_thai

        Boston traded the pick because Pugh wanted to play in Portland. At that point the USSF had the hammer. They could have told Pugh that she could play for any team she wanted but she would only be allocated if she played in Boston.

        • mockmook

          Pugh had the hammer — she likely would have taken that UCLA gig.

    • Camoes

      If Mal wants to be in the NWSL so bad, let her start at Sky Blue or WNY, the hell-holes of the league. The we can see how committed she is.

      • Guesting

        The only one that can afford to do something like this would be Paulsen. US Soccer is not going to flip all of the bill. The financial package probably incorporates several indirect sources, in order for it to work. “He who has the gold, rules”.

        • volley

          And when you have one fifth of the entire set of US allocations + Sinclair paid for, you have plenty left over of gold left over to spend.

          • Steglitz49

            I’d rather have a young hopeful Canadian than Sinc. She can go and play in Sweden.

          • Lorehead

            I think there was some kind of cap reduction based on the number of allocated players, but I have no idea what that rule looks like now.

    • Rdalford

      Agree, another example of NWSL rules made up/adjusted on the fly.

      Since new allocation/unattached subsidized player rule was only announced today, my guess is that it was not in place or used for Horan or Sonnett.

      The announcement on NWSL site notes that full detail text for new allocation/unattached subsidized player procedure will be posted to NWSL site prior to start of the season (translation, not done making up the rule).
      For example allocation ranking order as described by NWSL article does not yet address where expansion team is placed in allocation ranking order.

      Sonnett being announced as allocated just before she went thru draft was indeed new/different than Dunn, Brian (who were both fully expected to be allocated but were not formally announced as allocated prior to draft, although they were both allocated by time preseason rosters were posted) were handled. Hopefully when full text of rule is posted it will clarify how (or if) the new process impacts or adjusts the draft.

      It would seem that new “unattached subsidized” player process if used now to put 17 year old on USWNT contract and allocated/subsidized NWSL status would open up potential for “USWNT ready” hs/college player to forgo remaining college eligibility at any point if USWNT comes calling.
      For example, If this rule had been in place when Dunn first started getting called into USWNT then Dunn might have passed up senior year at UNC to go immediately with USWNT.

      • Steglitz49

        This young lady might be the one keeping Ms Dunn off the NT — or Christen Annemarie.

    • john

      As we comment the NWSL PR and legal people are working on drafts to justify this “adjustment” to the rules. If we make enough cracks about the first version they will reword it.

  • Amy Brookheimer

    Paulson must be laughing about how he managed to turn 1 allocated player into 4. Morgan = Horan, Kling, Sonnett, Pugh. Never mind that the Thorns also have Heath, Sinc, Taylor, Nadim, Long, and Franch. The Thorns are going to have a hell of a time managing player minutes and fan expectations.

    • kernel_thai

      Lee Balliard’s parents should get a restraining order not allowing Paulsen to speak to their son. This is essentially a trade of Westfall for Pugh to add to his distinguished resume’.

      • Breakers fan

        Personally, that’s a trade I like, agree with. We’ll see how the 2 pan out over time.

        • Mike

          Im ok with it, but that is not the issue. People are ripping Boston for giving up a allocation for a draft pick. In my previous comment, I say they didn’t have a choice. And it’s true. Pugh’s family said ok only if she plays in Portland.

          • Breakers fan

            That was my precise suspicion. Dagny part 2. What a stunner to get Westphal, thinking the team’s first pick was at #17. I have no clue how good Pugh will become, but after seeing Westphal play I’m very happy to get her. i think she’s probably a better athlete than Pugh, we’ll see.

          • Steglitz49

            Ms Pugh’s height is about average for the Nadeshiko (unless the height I have seen is out of date). She may have difficulties coping at the senior level.

          • KT5000

            I’m happy for you that Boston picked Westphal!
            Ratcliffe was impressive to me, too. Looking forward to following this season!

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks, man. They certainly needed a bit of help, as all the other teams got some. Yeah, should be a lot of fun. The Breakers need to come in fit as a fiddle.

          • mockmook

            So, this is where you’re hiding out like a rat, you somabich!!!

            Talked BB into stealing Westphal from “my” Dash — so discombobulated Waldrum that he forgot to draft two CBs instead of just one!!!

            And, another thing, you poached Ratcliffe at 17 from “my” BB at 32 — wait, what?!!???

            I hope you can live with yourself…..

          • Breakers fan

            That was great! Cracked me up. I thought you wouldn’t find me here among the 460 posts………dammit!!…….ok, so I’m cornered.

            Great call on Ratcliffe. I actually about a month ago advocated for her directly to the Breakers GM after seeing her play here at Boston College with UVA, so I’m right with you there about her. I wonder if she would have slipped to 32? I guess they really wanted her.
            And yes, my phone bill will reveal a 5 hour overnight call to the BB about Westphal. Looks like I convinced them! Seriously, that made my day. They may be considering the time when Engen (might) be gone for the Olympics. But regardless of that, you take Westphal if she is available.
            How about Abby Smith? You had her going a lot sooner than she was taken, right? I watched clips of her and really liked what I saw. Great to see Christine Lilly’s high praise for her – that’s a voice I totally respect.
            Yeah, Waldrum I thought should have taken Reed or Skroski along with Roccaro there – he still had a pick to get a forward. I agree with you.

          • mockmook

            Had Smith going at 33, not at 27. I’m sure she’s fine, but don’t know if you need her.

            The line-up does need a shake-up. Maybe this is it:

            http://drawformation.com/post/569a4f5995f78/sm-569a4f5995f78.png

            Unfortunately, Beard is talking about Westphal at FB. You need to put your powers of persuasion to use and get her at DM, pronto!!!

          • Breakers fan

            I had similar thoughts – Smith looks good, but aren’t the 2 keepers we have good enough? That said, a great keeper can win games for a team and if she is exceptional it could prove to be worth it.

            And, funny, I had the same reaction when he was talking about Westphal. When he said “back” I said “argh”. She’s such a good athlete and runner, I would think one would want to utilize that further up the field. There’s an interview with Westphal after the draft – it’s on youtube – in which she says she likes to attack also, so yeah. It seemed like Beard was kind of freaking out about the number of goals scored on the Breakers last year and so wants help there the most. We’ll see. I’d put her maybe at center-mid.

            In your formation I can see you were trying to predict Beard’s “out of position” comment. I don’t think Mewis moves back that far. A big question is: Will they move Pathman up? That could go either way. She’s really good, I think, at LB, but I also think she’d be good further up. Interesting you have Zerboni on the bench to start. Doesn’t bother me. I want the best team out there. I don’t care if you gave up a lot to get someone (Farrelly, Zerboni, Salem) if they’re not the best they sit. I like how you like Barczuk and Kranich. I do too – though Barczuk definitely did a lot of good, there were midfield issues and frankly I didn’t watch her closely enough to really know how good she was. I also like how you’re giving Ratcliffe a shot. I did like what I saw of her at UVA.

          • mockmook

            If Westphal isn’t played at DM, then you definitely need Zerboni and Salem as either starters or subs.

            I’m not sure Barczuk is best, just my guess. May the best women win the starting DM spots!!!

          • Steglitz49

            What is the point of drafting a goalie unless you are going to play her?

          • Steglitz49

            Pedantically, a great keeper can’t win a game for a team unless she comes up and heads a goal from a corner or takes the pks. By keeping a clean sheet a keeper can stop you losing.

          • Breakers fan

            The keeper in question responds to your comment:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAo9xKDByBE

          • Vladlagg

            This needs more upvotes.

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you, sir. I was surprised it (appeared to) rankle Steg. I thought he’d enjoy it.

          • mockmook

            BTW, when I say FB, I mean LB or RB (not CB).

          • Steglitz49

            Beard was successful at Liverpool Ladies, where Ms Engen played for him.

          • Steglitz49

            He should not have taken Roccaro. One has to assume her rehab is going super fine.

          • Breakers fan

            Did you happen to see the short interview on the live stream of the draft with Breakers new head coach Matt Beard? He made an intriguing comment. He said first that he watched all the games on the internet. That was great to hear. Then he said that he felt that “some players were being played out of position”. As I said, intriguing. Who? And where should these player be positioned?

          • Guest

            A lot of these Portland picks project to be valuable in the future there is probably a good chance of them losing players in an expansion draft and I doubt everyone they got will have and immediate impact which turns them into Barcelona. I don’t know what any team can do to entice top international to sign with them over Portland except invest in their own program and build their fanbase. Which is pretty much exactly what Orlando is trying to do.

        • kernel_thai

          U dont think being the only team who can make this deal happen with Portland was worth more than the #3 pick. Keep in mind Portland also had the #1 which became Sonnett and the #2 which became Nadim. So the five players involved with this deal were Sonnett, Nadim, Rodriguez, Pugh and Westfall. Of course if u like Westfall more than Sonnett u did ok.

          • Guest

            I don’t think Boston had the leverage you think they did.

          • kernel_thai

            So Boston says no and Pugh goes to UCLA for four years and goes thru the draft. That isnt leverage? What Boston traded Westphal for wasnt Pugh it was the next allocated player to drop whoever it was. What they also might have done is derail McCaffrey from getting allocated if Pugh grabs a full contract.

          • Guest

            Or she goes to Europe and waits for the thorns turn in the allocation wheel. It worked for Horan

          • kernel_thai

            And the USSF gets to use as they want and then leverage her back for the next cycle.

          • guest

            I think the goal is ultimately to stop the “Horans” of the US from leaving the US. Hopefully the next player who choses this option(Sanchez?) gets allocated to a different team(Orlando) who will support her development.

          • Matt Ryan

            In your scenario in which Boston nukes the deal, Boston comes out of that drenched in slime. One ownership group does not block the league from getting good players under contract if they want to keep the peace in a functional partnership. It would be an utterly awful move for the the league and for Boston in particular. Why would the Breakers do that to themselves over Portland getting one 17 year old player who might be on the USWNT fringes? Remember that the other owners don’t fear and hate Portland like you do.

          • kernel_thai

            Because it isnt the Breakers job to help the Thorns it’s their job to help the Breakers. When Portland traded for Brynjarsdottir they gave Boston the #20 and #35 picks in the is draft. Brynjarsdottir was the runner up for the Herman trophy and likely a top 3 NWSL draft choice had she applied. U didnt see Portland over pay to get her to help out the Breakers because they knew DB did not want to play in Boston and the Breakers needed to get something for her. The Breakers were in a similar position with Pugh and owed it to their team and their fans to get as much as they could. If Portland wouldnt give up the #1 pick for the allocation rights to Pugh then it was totally on the Thorns if Pugh couldnt play in the league.

      • Mike

        I’m not sure why everyone thinks that Boston had a choice. SBFC, Boston, WNY-people don’t want to play there. No one is this stupid. Nadia was not going back to Jersey. Brynjarsdottir was not going to play there. Pugh will not play in Boston. Schmidt went to Europe.The league is allowing it. Instead of saying to them, you will play with the team that has your rights or you can stay in Europe. USSF and NWSL have set dangerous precedents. One after another. Leroux has gotten her way twice. College players can skip the draft, go make more money for a year and then come back and pick the team the want to play for. It can’t be that Boston and SBFC hire stupid people. I do admit the Westfal pick wouldn’t be my first choice. But how they got that pick, I believe, is the issue. Plus it’s amazing how they make new rules and Thorn’s are beneficiaries. It’s like the rest of the league is the Academy for the Thorns. Thorns told the league, if you want Morgan in Orlando this is what we get, and they submitted. The league started and the Thorns were the most loaded team, period.
        I Just don’t know how these other teams can build a fan base with such a lopsided league. If people don’t want to play there then the league should eliminate these teams and have teams where players will want to play, and teams have the money to invest in building it

        • KT5000

          I understand your frustration, but at the same time, shouldn’t professional players have as much choice as possible?

          • guest

            yes they should, as long as all the clubs are subject to the same rules and certain clubs are not influencing those rules for their own benefit.

        • kernel_thai

          But u dont just have to roll over on ur back. Mallory Pugh going to Portland is a bigger deal than Brynjarsdotter, Sonnett or Horan. Boston could have stuck them for more than the #3 pick. They should have gotten the #1 pick at the very least. If the situation had been reversed u can bet Portland would have stuck it to Boston.

        • InTheDMV

          I don’t think this was necessarily a bad trade for Boston at all. They need help now, for next year. While Pugh, baring injury will be a great player in a few years. My guess is that it will take a few seasons for her to make an impact and with Portland’s roster they can afford to wait. If she does not go to Portland, she either goes to UCLA or Europe. So in my thinking Boston took something of unknown value, the top allocation spot, and turned it into a great defender in Christen Westphal.

          • Guest

            I don’t really think Portland will need Pugh at all for the next 2-3 years. For all we know the USSF might have wanted Pugh in Portland to give her the best facilities to develop as a player with little need to ever play her.

    • snishy

      There is a tradition (if 3 years can even be called a tradition) of Portland having arguably the best players in a single team, but never being able to make those players be cohesive for a myriad of reasons, which turns their season upside down. It’s Parsons turn to figure out if the best players and the most cohesive ones are not mutually exclusive.

      • Steglitz49

        Portland won the very first NWSL Championship. That must count for something. So far KC is the only other winner (twice).

        • volley

          It’s no coincidence that last year FCKC had five allocated players also.

          • Steglitz49

            I could never understand why the NWSL did not send a team to play in that Intercontinental Club Championship in Japan. Both Portland and KC ought to have made out like bandits. Were they worried that all the players would sign for Japanese clubs?

      • David K Anderson

        The difference I see this time (and which is under some brisk discussion over on Stumptown Footy) is that this roster is less of a seemingly-random collection of big names and more of a considered effort to get “name” players that will actually work together in a coherent manner, can actually form a _team_ in a short period of time.

        Parsons’ selections are sending some clues about the team’s likely style, too. Unlike some Thorns selections of the past, he’s clearly looking to have a lot of size and/or power on the team. Dagny, Nadim, Horan, Sonnett, and Berryhill are all tall and/or strong…to go along with Long, Kleiner, and of course Sinclair as big, powerful players. Their smallest player, Klingenberg, plays miles out of her weight class…no one who’s ever seen her play worries about her getting shoved around.

        That was a problem with some Thorns players in the past. Vero and Ayo both got fouled a lot, and neither really seemed to like the very physical nature and “let ’em play” refereeing in the NWSL. I don’t think Parsons is looking to play old-school US-style direct soccer (too much skill on the roster for that), but I think he’s building a squad designed to stand up to a pretty rough league and still execute.

    • KT5000

      minor clarification:
      Thorns turned 2 allocated players into 3: Kaylyn Kyle went to Orlando with Morgan, and the pick that resulted in the rights to Pugh was unrelated to the Morgan+Kyle trade.

      • Amy Brookheimer

        Does Kyle really count? Seriously. I also understand that the Pugh/Westphal deal was unrelated to Morgan, but I don’t think for a minute that the league wasn’t pushing for deals to happen to get Pugh to Portland. If Boston took Pugh and she had the power to decline, they’d move to the bottom of the pecking order. If they passed on Pugh, then SkyBlue would take her and make a deal with Portland. I suppose that Boston was trying to get something for nothing with the league’s blessing.

        • KT5000

          I was just clarifying what you actually wrote. The phrase “1 allocated player into 4” has an objective meaning. Your second comment spells out what you (more subjectively) MEANT, which I don’t take issue with.

        • mockmook

          If she rejected a legitimate offer from Boston, I’m sure they would have retained their place.

        • Lorehead

          Regardless of what the rules formally said, Mallory Pugh simply would not skip college at all if she had to play for the Breakers. I doubt US Soccer would really force any wunderkind to play there. If not this, there would have been some kind of deal—a sign-and-trade like for Vero, a discovery claim, a new rule to make her eligible for the draft—to get her to the team that wanted her and that she wanted to go to. And it probably would have tossed Boston and Sky Blue Westphal and Rodriguez as consolation prizes.

  • Paul Klee

    The soccerwire article indicates that she is going to sign a contract with the full national team.

  • Nicole C.

    I’d imagine being a pro soccer player at 17 isn’t as fun as it is in Europe…

    • Steglitz49

      The Emir probably paid better too and Paris is Paris, and Lindsay will always have Paris.

      • TsovLoj

        Same salary probably goes a lot further in Portland, though.

        • Steglitz49

          As I remember, PSG paid money into an escrow account for Ms Horan to have for studies and not to touch for several years. On top of that they paid her a high salary. We will never know but I think Ms Horan did well for herself and Ms Pugh might live to regret not going to college.

          • Guesting

            I sure Portland is fully aware of what went on with Horan and PSG and may be structuring something like that with Pugn as well. Her parents, who happens to be from the same state as Lindsey Horan parents, have probably been on the phone to get an idea of what kind of package Lindsey got with PSG. I am sure the college money would have to be a part of any deal. As I have mentioned there is probably several ways to structure any deal without violating the salary cap.

          • Steglitz49

            With the rules about team salary ceilings, how is this possible?

            It makes FIFA looks like a model of honesty.

          • volley

            Portland won’t be paying for Pugh. The only way they get her is if she is allocated and therefore paid for by USSF. There is no need for Portland to worry about paying for Pugh, Horan and a big chunk of their roster because the federations are paying their wages. This makes me think there might actually be something to the Henry rumour because they will have so much of the cap left over to spend.

          • Steglitz49

            How much does an allocated player get from USSoccer? $69k?

          • mockmook

            AGAIN, there is still a salary limit (max salary) for each individual player.

            Also, let’s not forget that the Thorns are sharing revenue with the rest of the NWSL teams.

          • guest

            allocated/subsidized player is paid by us soccer federation not by Portland and allocated/subsidized player salary is not subject to nor included in team’s salary cap. Pugh as USWNT player will be on base USWNT contract.

          • Guesting

            I know all that! That’s a given. But there will have to be other indirect ways to create a package that would be acceptable to pass on $200,000 to $250,000 Scholarship to UCLA.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear! Granted, if she is a resident of CA then the cost at UCLA might be a bit less than at Stanford, for example.

          • Paul

            The cost is around $35k per year with room and board so half of USC or Stanford.

          • mockmook

            What if she just wants to play as a pro (and USWNT) and isn’t interested in college soccer? Isn’t that of value to her?

          • guest

            that is certainly her choice. but we know she isn’t giving up ucla for a nwsl salary only. the only way she goes to portland is with a uswnt allocation. and she is unlikely to get an uswnt allocation if plays as a pro in europe. has she really earned an allocation already, based on the recent winning of the u-20 concacaf qualifying and the underperformance of the 2014 u-20 team? or is she being given the allocation prematurely so she will go to portland? sure seems like it.

          • john

            She’s not going to college now. That is not the same as not getting an education at any time. Besides you’re the one who has been bemoaning lost income coming back to bite someone later in life. Based on that model Pugh is moving ahead not backwards.

          • Steglitz49

            If you say so.

    • Davis

      Speaking from personal experience, Portland isn’t a bad city to be a young adult in.

      • Nicole C.

        For sure. But 17 isn’t the same as 20-22.

        • Davis

          Not to worry. I’ve lived here since I was 13. Trust me, 18 and 19 are still fun.

      • guest

        Which will be relevant when she’s an adult. As I told the kids when they turned 18-“What were once pranks are now felonies.”

        • mockmook

          Not if done by a “girl”.

    • mockmook

      Apparently, the grass is always greener….

      • Nicole C.

        Hey, kudos to you and HOFCToDi for the extended mock drafts. I couldn’t think further than 8 spots out.

        • mockmook

          Thanks!!!

          It’s a brutal business.

          I deemed that I got 8 out of 40 correct on my final list (when including where I got the right player to the right team, but with the wrong pick).

          Still, I did do one better than at least one of the well known “experts” — woohoo!!!

          Of course, I wouldn’t have been able to do even that well without depending to a large degree on his pre-draft analysis.

          With better preparation, I could probably push that up to nearly 15 correct. After that, trades and fickleness likely quash any improvement.

      • Steglitz49

        Turf? Does it apply to turf too? In England yes; in Portland,?

  • AlexH

    I get how a talented HS student would be smart to start a pro career in a sport that, you know, actually paid their players real salaries. But I have to think a free ride to the college of your choice is probably better for a woso phenom.

    • Guesting

      Most likely she is getting really good financial guarantee which most likely will set aside money to pay for her college education in the future.

      • TsovLoj

        Yeah, that allocation money, I mean, it talks.

        • Guesting

          Wouldn’t be surprised to see Nike in there somewhere as a part of the financial package since this is such a big step for such a young player.

          • Steglitz49

            That would break the rules, would it not? Or is this one of the cases of waiving the rules when it suits?

          • Guesting

            What rule is that? Is Alex Morgan breaking the rule?

          • Steglitz49

            Alex was an established superstar when she picked up her contracts. For all we know, this lady could be out injured or never make the grade.

          • rkmid71

            You mean like Freddy Adu?

          • Steglitz49

            More like Johan Cruyff.

          • Guesting

            Nike may not feel that way. They may want to gamble that she will turn out to be the next “Super Star” so why not prime the pump. There is always going to be a risk.

          • Steglitz49

            Unless Ms Pugh plays in Rio AND makes an impression, it will be 3 years before she can make a true impact. Granted, she may have more marketing umph that Christen Annemarie.

          • Guesting

            Like I said there are risks. They may be looking at it as a long term investment that will pay big investments down the road. Besides it may be cheaper to lock her into a long term deal rather then waiting.

          • Steglitz49

            Of course there are always risks. Let’s trust that those advising the Pugh family has consulted good actuaries and not just wish- and witch-doctors.

          • My2cents

            It is nice they have the example of Lindsey Horan and how the contract was structured with PSG, in order to help them with any agreement with Portland/NWSL. They had to be made some guarantees certain things would happen before even pursuing it.

          • volley

            It’s nothing like Horan and PSG. She gets the contract all allocated players get. Those aren’t individually negotiated. They are determined by whatever collective bargaining agreement is in place between the players and the federation.

          • kevin

            i would expect pugh to have dominating game performances over the next six months for that to happen.that would be an outrage if pugh makes the olympic team with only six months uswnt senior practice experience and sitting on the bench. there will be riots in the streets of america if pugh takes press’s olympic spot. lol

          • Calci0

            Funny, but true. Though highly un-likely.

          • Mike

            Once your under nike, you are on the TEAM. And Pugh is marketable as Gallants has stated about others in his rant. Leroux is all over Nike because she is Marketable. She has not really had amazing results. But she is a Nike player

          • Steglitz49

            You can only market someone who succeeds on the big stage. Compare Alex and Christen Annemarie.

          • Rufan

            A post college member of the WNT would be normally sign an endorsement contract with one of the shoe cos. So Pugh would sign with one of the cos.

          • Steglitz49

            If she does not play in Rio, there is no opportunity to shine before WC-19.

            Ms Pugh might well rue not going to college — or taking big money from a European club — but that presupposes a European club being prepared to spend big money for an unknown entity. Iwabuchi, who at 18 played in the WC-11 final started her pro career in Hoffenheim.

        • guest

          the USWNT contract and potential $100K+ salary – not the allocation money – is about the best any woso player makes.
          So it is the USWNT contract not allocation money that is causing the 17 to pass up playing in college

          • Steglitz49

            Portland ain’t Paris but maybe it beats Umeå?

          • David K Anderson

            FWIW, I can live anywhere I want, basically. I choose Portland. =)

          • Rufan

            Plus bonus and endorsement money. The big payouts year is ’19 WWC which she normally would have been going into her senior year and not be eligible for $.

          • Steglitz49

            A certain Alex Morgan has not done too badly for herself. If Ms Pugh gets injured, there is no guarantee she will heal as well as Alex did.

          • rufan

            Until that possible injury, Pugh gets up to 4 years of pay. If her career ends early, she can always go to the college she would have gone to if she did not play soccer.

          • kernel_thai

            Ud think a Federation headed by a college professor would be opposed to using USSF money to entice a teenage girl to skip college.

          • mockmook

            You’d be wrong.

      • Rufan

        She can also obtain insurance to cover income loss if she is permanently injured.

        • Steglitz49

          The rate would be ruinous.

        • Paul Klee

          I think her father is in that business.

      • Movement

        Mallory is getting a very lucrative deal here.

        Honestly, much like Horan’s situation, it is too good to pass up.
        Pugh is more “skilled” at her age (17) than any women’s soccer player ever in the US, including Mia Hamm.

        Hamm was great at age 17 (even at age 15), but was further from being polished in her “skill-sets” at that age than Pugh is now, but Hamm was great (and better than Pugh) at Alex Morganing it and scoring a lot of goals, despite being less polished than Pugh at age 17. But Pugh is more of a play-maker at age 17 than Hamm was at 17, and especially with the ball at her feet. Pugh is also “quicker” in lateral movement. She can turn on a dime. Hamm needed more time to turn laterally with the ball at her feet, but was shot out of a cannon when running straight toward goal. Pugh can also run fast straight ahead of course, as video evidence demonstrates. They both are/were very athletic. But the fact that Pugh and Hamm are even being compared in these scenarios (i.e. in the same conversation) is more than enough to justify why US Soccer wants to invest so much into Pugh.

        I question how good Pugh will be able to make the transition right away from high school to NWSL (professional ranks) though. She may not proclaim a serious mark in NWSL until at least her 2nd season. There’s going to be a big adjustment for her to grasp, and there will surely be some frustration in her growing paints. It’s merely a fact that she’s not going to blow by NWSL defenders like she did in high school.

        She also doesn’t know all the powers that she can obtain yet.
        Stick with it, learn from the veterans, stay patient in her training, and she could eventually be the Queen of the Darkside one day in Portland. She may not know everything yet, but has that potential.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y60FcwTO9yI

        • rkmid71

          I’m wondering about your statement that “she’s not going to blow by NWSL defenders like she did in high school”. I hope you’re talking the age group and not about high school soccer. Because it’s not clear to me she’s even doing that at club level or even YNTs. If she was, shouldn’t the teams she’s been on be more successful. If not, why not? I’ve seen other players her age able to “turn on a dime”, very explosive first couple steps to separate from defender, etc. I’m hoping she plays in U20 World Cup — for me that would be a good test. See if she can help deliver a WC win. Or even with her club team — an ECNL National Championship. I’ve seen she can do it against u20 Concacaf opponents. I suspect she could even do against senior team Concacaf opponents. But if she can’t do it against her club peers or against top U20 WC teams, then what does that tell you. I’m sure she’s a great player — but I want to see her walk the talk.

          • Stacey Candella

            Take a look at Pugh’s club team. The team has never not been successful. It is a Top team in the age group since U11. She plays ECNL in CO.

        • mockmook

          So, you equating her to Hamm justifies USSF investing in her?

    • kernel_thai

      This only works if USSF picks up the check.

      • Steglitz49

        Team salary ceiling and all that? Is NWSL abandoning all attempts at balancing the league? Where will the money come from? And, why only for certain teams?

        • AGuest2

          They are basically waiting for an MLS takeover by 2020 to address the money issues.

          • Steglitz49

            Then they had better win the WC in 2019.

        • Rdalford

          The NWSL team salary cap does not included the allocated / subsidized players salaries that are paid by us soccer.
          Since allocated/subsidized players can be traded some teams have or will accumulate more allocated/subsidized players.

          Teams with more allocated players therefore have fewer other players so have more available team salary cap room to pay other players (staying within min & max for players) higher.

          There are some rules that say that team that has more than standard number (not defined in rule) of allocated players, will pay some money back to league with another provision that league may distribute money to teams with less than standard number of allocated players.

          So NWSL has not given up all attempts at balance.
          However teams in better financial shape (i.e. Portland with 15K attendance and reported profit) can accumulate allocated/subsidized players, pay whatever back to league for extra allocated players, use the salary cap room to pay other players better, and still turn profit.

          • Steglitz49

            You’ve lost me.

          • David K Anderson

            And as it happens, the Thorns already _have_ been re-distributing a chunk of their profits around the league. I don’t doubt this has contributed to the league’s willingness to allow some compromises to its aim to have a “parity league.” They don’t want to turn into a Euro-style free-for-all, where teams with money buy their way to the top (and yes, you just heard that from a Man City fan), but if allowing _some_ advantages to the financially successful teams in return for spreading that success around helps the teams with less money survive, then that’s good for the league.

          • Lorehead

            I’ve given that as an example of the Coase bargaining going on. People are putting up with shenanigans like the Thorns bring the star American midfielder and keeper of the future back from Europe, changing the rules to give the expansion team the first pick and an extra international slot so the Pride can trade those to the Thorns, then the Thorns using that pick to grab the star American defender of the future, then changing the rules again, at the start of the draft itself, so they could turn their second pick into (reputedly) the American forward of the future. Plus another team’s top forward.

            People are praising Mark Parsons’ deals, but that’s not really great bargaining. It’s rules being rewritten without notice specifically to make those deals happen.

            Why is everyone going along with it? It sure looks like one big reason is that US Soccer and the Thorns are paying them off. (Remember, Merritt Paulson also has a seat on US Soccer’s board.) Paulson likes winning championships and hates missing the playoffs. The best players want to play in Portland. US Soccer wants them happy and playing for a good coach with good facilities in America. Nobody with influence really cares about parity in the NWSL, except secondarily. It was created to give the US and Canadian player pools a league to play in. The result is, as Coase put it, bargaining to achieve the efficient outcome.

            But the NWSL also seems to be taking care that its behind-the-scenes deals do benefit the rest of the league too. The Breakers just got Westphal out of the deal to change the allocation rules. Teams with other internationals could get subsidies. Horan, Franch, Dagny, Pugh, Nadim and Henry would not be playing in the NWSL at all if they couldn’t go to Portland, so Portland getting them does make the league stronger and more prestigious as a whole. The one-sided Alex Morgan trade was part of a deal to bring a new franchise to the league that everyone is thrilled to have.

          • David K Anderson

            Outstanding analysis, Lore…

          • Guesting

            Very well put. I know there are some that think Paulsen is the bad guy here. but I do believe he has the best interest of all the teams in the league at heart.

          • Lorehead

            Right. It’s a mutually-acceptable bargain. It just ends up reflecting the real bargaining power of the people involved.

          • Lorehead

            I’d really like the next salary cap reform, which after the Thorns’ next season I expect to come sooner rather than later, to do something for all the players making less than $7,000 a year. They don’t have any power or a voice at the table, but it’s the right thing to do.

    • Steglitz49

      As far as I remember, the Emir paid handsomely for Ms Horan.

      Maybe Ms Pugh’s agent should have spoken to one of the super wealthy European teams with a ladies section. Maybe the agent did but noone was ready to bargain.

    • Kevin

      I think most of you are over-valuing a college education in this day and age.

      The smart move is to take the money now. As long as she doesn’t blow her money away, she’ll probably be able to pay for a 4-year college education with what she makes this year alone.

      • Steglitz49

        Stanford is about $60k a year these days. If she is a resident of CA, Berkeley is a cheaper.

        • Kevin

          Stanford’s one of the most expensive universities in the US. Just taking a quick look, UCLA is $11k per year for in-state tuition.

          • Steglitz49

            I have made that point elsewhere in this comment page but thank you for pointing it out. UCLA and Berkeley are both cheaper than Stanford if you qualify as in state resident but only for tuiton.

          • john

            We’re assuming UCLA would still be her choice with the soccer aspect removed. Essentially she would be selecting a school all over.

          • Rufan

            Or that she had interest in college except to play soccer.

          • guest

            pugh is from colorado. total costs for ucla for out of state residents is still close to $60,000, in state about $35,000. not cheap at all.

          • mockmook

            It used to be (and perhaps still is) that you only needed to live in CA a year or two in order to get in-state tuition.

            BTW, what’s the in-state cost for some CO schools?

          • Steglitz49

            Exactly. Thank you for reinforcing my point.

            I guess the young lady could go to the Univ of Denver, like Condi Rice did.

      • Not only will she likely earn more in a single year than the equivalent of 4-5 years of scholarship money, she also gets a jump-start on a pro career, which may prove to be invaluable for women. She could play a full ten years, retire at the young age (for USWNT) of 27 and never have to take time off for pregnancy, like other athletes have had to do.

        I don’t get all the gloom and doom surrounding turning down a college career. If she’s good enough to go pro now, she doesn’t need the 4 years of college experience to hope to be drafted. I say, take the money and run. There’s always time for college classes if someone chooses, but not everyone needs a college degree.

        • belgium2

          $30k a year is not a big paycheck. A college freeride is worth more than that.

      • Rufan

        If she really ever wants to go to college if not for soccer.

      • john

        Besides she can take some online courses even while playing pro. Many of the players actually talk about needing to learn how to fill their downtime. As you note the bricks and mortar model is not the only way to go anymore.

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      • she is very good
        • jmclarke

          Can I just mention how perfect it is that the opening track of that video is our own Portland band, Everclear? The gods obviously want her to play here.

          “I will buy you a big house / Way up in the West Hills….”

          • Guest

            it appears movement knew the entire time she was going to Portland but kept it a secret out of respect.

        • Steglitz49

          Charming, handsome and sparkling. Hope this young lady has a tip-top career!

        • Camoes

          You have to be kidding me. Such good looks, and she is world class footballer too. Sometimes the stars line up just right.

      • Lorehead

        The maximum salary in the NWSL is only between $30-40K. If she made the Olympic roster and won gold, that would be worth a mid-six-figure bonus, plus endorsements.

        However, she does not lose her NCAA eligibility by going pro; there were high school players in WPSL Elite as well. She just can’t play on a pro team while she’s in college, basically. Maybe she feels she’s better off going to college when she starts the next chapter. On the other hand, the WNBA requires its athletes to stay in college for four years, because it doesn’t think they can support themselves otherwise.

        • Davis

          My understanding is that the contracts with US Soccer are worth quite a bit a more than just the subsidized NWSL salary. There’s the salaries US Soccer pays them for playing in the NWSL, and then there’s the salaries they pay them for USWNT camps and games.

          • Lorehead

            Yes. I think, under the memo of understanding, there are tiers? Are Horan, Sonnett, Pugh and/or Franch going to be in the player pool and getting a USWNT salary? Or just a bonus for being called-up and capped?

        • SpiritFan00

          Nope – once you accept a salary or prize money for a sport (i.e. you get paid to play) you lose NCAA eligibility. See: http://www.ncaa.org/amateurism

          In general, amateurism requirements do not allow:

          Contracts with professional teams

          Salary for participating in athletics

          Prize money above actual and necessary expenses

          • Lorehead

            The only sports for which that’s true are men’s hockey and skiing (p. 20). Tennis players can accept up to $10,000 in prize money per year. For all other sports, you can sign a contract and play for a professional team prior to enrolling in college, but not while in college, so long as you do not make a salary and are not compensated above your expenses. However, for each year that you delay entering college to play in an organized league, you lose one year of college eligibility.

          • Get Real

            She won’t get a scholarship to UCLA after having played for Thorns. That would be like LeBron going to Cleveland State and saying “Give me a basketball scholarship”, and they agreed. Absurd.

          • Lorehead

            The Thorns have an amateur academy team, and had previously talked about a U-23 amateur team. UWS and the WPSL are pro-am. In fact, so is the NWSL.

            Pugh couldn’t get a salary from either the USWNT or Thorns and keep her eligibility, but she could sign an amateur contract. On the other hand, a pro salary might be more than the scholarship she’d get.

        • Matt Ryan

          Actually, the WNBA does not require 4 years. I don’t know if they have a rule or what it is, but people do trickle out early. This year’s WNBA ROY was Jewell Loyd, who would have been playing her senior (& 4th) year right now had she not gone.

    • john eric

      Going to college on a scholarship is not a free ride. The school pays pittance for her skills and she gets good education.Unless she is rather exceptional, I would have preferred her to go UCLA.

  • Paul Klee

    So the Thorns are going to have at least five USWNT allocated players on the team. All of them fairly young. Probably hoping there is not another expansion draft in the coming year.

    • Steglitz49

      To think that an 18-year old Marta went to play for Umeå in Sweden …

    • Camoes

      I can’t see how Thorns make the playoffs with 5 players gone 75% of the season.

      • Paul Klee

        Six if you include Sinclair

      • volley

        They will have so much money because so much of their team is being subsidised they can afford to pay for some decent players around them.

      • TsovLoj

        They’re still going to have Nadim and Taylor in front, Brynjarsdottir, Long and Shim in the middle, and quite a few options in back. That’s not a bad setup at all if they can get the chemistry right.

      • Calci0

        Where did 75% come from?!?

  • Jersey Shore Rises

    No doubt the Thorns knew about this before the trade with Boston for the first USI pick….. Smells to high heaven like insider trading…..

    • Steglitz49

      There is a lot to be said for the capitalistic European approach. The Emir, Bayern Munich and John Terry …

    • Matt Ryan

      Pugh wanted to play for Portland and Portland seems a-okay with signing her. The only reason this had *anything* to do with Boston is because the league decided to have a better system of assigning players to teams then, “eh, we feel like Cristen Press will like Chicago.” So they created the allocation list, thereby giving Boston *something* rather than *nothing.* You’re acting like Boston was shadily screwed over rather than given charity.

      • kernel_thai

        Or it was to dodge the rules. Could Pugh be a discovery player? I looked but didnt see anything about age in the rules. There is a rule that says u can not have a US pool player be a discovery player. That must have been the reason to suddenly change the allocation rules to slip Pugh thru. If they allocate her then Portland has a way to get her.

        • guest

          Or they could have had her declare for the draft and have Portland sign her with one of the first two picks.

        • Matt Ryan

          Dodge what rule? Before today players were just allocated with no explanations given or reasons required. The league could say, “Pugh is allocated to Portland,” and Boston never would have had anything to do with it.

  • FawcettFan14

    She reminds me of Casey Nogueira – tricky midfielder/forward hybrid types, technical on the ball, emerging at a young age, even appearance.

    Hopefully she has a longer league and int’l career than Nogueira, who flamed out sadly.

    • Steglitz49

      Your description would work for Marta and Sawa too — both of whom have had distinguished careers, though Marta probably has earned more then Homare but Homare has the campaign medals.

      • guest

        There is no comparison between Nogueria and those you named. Do you even know who Nogueria is? Your comment indicates you don’t.

        • Steglitz49

          Irony.

          • guest

            bullsh*t

          • Steglitz49

            If Nike and all the other endorsers are paying Ms Pugh the sort of amounts people are bandying about, then Nike must hope that Ms Pugh gets close to either of those great attacking midfielders / roaming strikers whatever you want to call them. I thought that was obvious when I typed.

          • guest

            more bullsh*t! you just made a bad comparison-own it

          • Steglitz49

            No. You can read but not process and understand.

      • belgium2

        Uhhhh. Casey N is absolutely nothing like Marta or Sawa.

  • Cc W

    Freddy Adu….

    Best of luck to Ms. Pugh, but for me, foregoing college doesn’t make sense. On the one hand, she might become Alex Morgan, big star, lots of money and never have to rely on her education. On the other hand, she may get an injury that won’t allow her to play – and then will have missed out on a full scholarship to pay for the education that she will need the rest of her life.

    This isn’t the MLB where high school phenoms make a million dollars – this is women’s soccer. Where the most she is making is a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

    The men’s game has more money and Freddy has been able to make a living, but it wasn’t a successful move to play professionally so early.

    • Kevin

      She’ll have no problem being able to afford college. If she does, she’ll have no problem getting financial aid.

      Going to college is a stupid move. What if she gets injured playing in college?

      If she doesn’t get injured in college, look at all the money she threw away for a diploma she won’t need.

      • Steglitz49

        Do we know how little this young lady will be paid and earn?

        • rkmid71

          Exactly. But irrespective of the salary and performance incentives she might get, remember Nike gave Adu a $1 million type contract — the fact that he didn’t play much and never really panned out turned out to be a waste of money for Nike. But it was probably chump change from their perspective. And the upside is probably much bigger — assuming they have her locked in for a reasonable period. They don’t like situations iike Jordan Spieth — the #1 golfer in the world who Under Armour signed under their nose before he really was known commodity. Maybe Pugh is taking advantage of this paranoia.

          • Steglitz49

            It is Nike’s money and they have to account to their shareholders, which probably is one person in reality.

            Adu joined Benfica for US$2 million. Later in his career he played for Alkmaar, best known for its cheese market.

            I dont know who negotiates for Alex and Carli but this Pugh caper may be the straw that breaks the NWSL camels back. Come back Marta! All is forgiven.

          • rkmid71

            Agree — my recollection is that once Adu started playing for DC United (14 or 15 yrs old with $1m Nike contract), other players were like WTF, this guy isn’t that good. Reality set in pretty quickly. Now Freddie had the $1m to take care of the family and so forth, but it did not make his life easy — at a very young age. And it’s not clear to me what Pugh has really proven at this stage — except against U17 and U20 Concacaf opponents.Certainly not at club level. I don’t know that the Horan situation is much cause for comfort. She was injured, it’s not clear whether she will really make it on USWNT (even after several years with PSG), etc. Carli must wonder what the heck she could have done differently. And Press who excelled at every level and won the Herman. And other players too. But probably speculating too much about her endorsement deals. Maybe there is none. Marta coming back to the U.S. would be huge — maybe LA is the next expansion?

          • Steglitz49

            Carli probably had a naff agent. She should have been in clover in 2008.

            Christen Annemarie never excelled on the biggest stage, the USWNT. She had the misfortune in being too close in age to Alex who played the same position miles better.

            Marta was 18 when she joined Umeå, which at the time was one of the clubs to beat. What the Brazilian lass made of the city in the north of Sweden is anybody’s guess but she stayed 5 seasons and the good burghers of Umeå still consider Marta “their girl”.

          • rkmid71

            Pugh has not excelled on the biggest stage either. At least Press excelled in college. The U17, U20 teams she has been on have greatly underperformed to my knowledge.I would like to see her lead the U20 team to the WC title before anointing her…see how she does on the biggest stage against top competition. Excelling against Concacaf opponents means nothing to me.

          • Steglitz49

            I hope for Ms Pugh’s sake that she has a brilliant career.

            Most would have predicted the same for Christen Annemarie but it was the 6 months younger lass who did not get the Hermann trophy (was Alex even a finalist) who cashed in.

          • mockmook

            You’re talking like an increased interest in woso by big sports companies is a bad thing.

          • rkmid71

            Don’t mean to …. because it is good. In my perfect world, the big sports companies would put more $ into the USWNT team vs. individual players. The players could be changing all the time based on who’s in form, etc. (especially in a national team). And it just seems odd in team game like soccer. A global company like Nike should sponsor events like the SheBelieves Cup (still can’t believe that name). Make it a great experience for Germany, France and England — US fans get to see some great soccer and get to know the players on these other teams, But obviously, they can spend their money as they see fit … accountable to shareholders as Steg says. But I don’t see how that really helps the USWNT or the NWSL as a whole.

        • Kevin

          How much will she be paid by USSoccer in 2016?

          • Steglitz49

            I have not the foggiest. Is it $69K?

        • A USWNT contract is 6 figures per year, so…. definitely enough to forego college.

          • Steglitz49

            the fees at Stanford are $60+k a year (at Berkeley and UCLA they are a shade less if you are a CA resident). Thus, she would have to get at least about $100,000 a year to have her 60+k after taxes and other deductions.

            $100k would put her high up in the earnings for a female soccer player.

    • guest

      Heck, as much as her parents have been shelling out for soccer annually so far they can pay for her to go to college later.

      • Ha! Exactly. How many articles have we read about soccer being a sport of the upper-middle-class? We know how much it costs to play club sports. And I don’t know if she went to a public or private high school, but her parents can probably afford college with or without a scholarship.

    • And she may get an injury during the 4 years of playing for no money in college, then her dreams are never realized.

      • guest

        For most athletes especially ones shooting for greatness and history, the risk is worth it.

    • rufan

      She may not been interested in college except to play soccer, she may not be a “student” type, so worrying about missing college that she may not have attended anyway except to play.

      • rkmid71

        Good point. It had to be nearly impossible for her to keep up with HS over the last several years given all the missed days, etc.

  • Guest

    On one hand I am a little disappointed by the shenanigans by the league and Pugh’s parents. On the other, in the open market she should be able to chose which team she wants to go to. It may turn out that the USSF does more of this in the future to keep top young players from playing in Europe and in their league. There is also the consideration that as a fan of Ms. Pugh and the uswnt, I would much rather her training with Tobin, Kling, Sonnett, Horan and the rest of the Thorns rather than UCLA. I seriously doubt she will be ready to start for the Thorns in the next year.

    • volley

      Right. But in an open market that club would have to pay for her. Not have her subsidised and get her for nothing.

      • Guest

        Sure but if that was allowed the Thorns would be a Barcelona and buy everyone anyway.

        • volley

          Then there would be no competition at all. Every other owner would know there was no point in owning a team. Not in the US women’s soccer environment. We are already seeing what a loosening of the allocated player rules is doing to the competition. There are already clubs which no one wants to play for. They are making bad deals because they have no bargaining power and are just being further weakened. Why does the team that came last have one allocated player? And its Engen.

          A salary cap does not work to ensure parity if the amount of allocated players per club is unequal. Because that essentially makes the cap meaningless. Clubs don’t have the same amounts to spend at all.

          • Guest

            The league will never be able to regulate how many allocated players a team has as long as teams are allowed to trade those players. Teams that are forced into making bad deals are in those positions because some teams have money for proper facilities and some don’t. The thorns will always get their preference of internationals over Sky Blue.

          • volley

            Agree with you. They should have either kept the allocated player for allocated player rule or alternatively have a relatively low cap on the number of allocated players allowed per club. Perhaps a min and a max of allocated players. Clubs should not be allowed to hoard them. In a 10 team competition you can’t have one team having 5 and another having one.

          • Guest

            This may not be a huge issue in a year if there is a two team expansion but I would look for ways to get Portland to kick more money into the league similar to a luxury tax as oppose to limiting the number of allocated players a team can have

          • kevin

            don’t worry. i’m sure the uswnt allocated player rule will change next year at the last minute so that portland will be able to keep all their uswnt players even if salt lake city does join the nwsl.

        • Steglitz49

          It looks like this caper is the first step on that slippery slope. Next all top American ladies go abroad for top dollars.

      • Steglitz49

        Verily.

  • VaFan51

    My recollection may be flawed, but I seem to remember that Lindsey Horan’s mother said that PSG had promised to pay for a portion of her college education whenever she was ready to go. I was skeptical then and am skeptical now.
    As much as I love woso and support the NWSL, it seems unlikely that Pugh could prepare financially for the next 60+ years of her life by playing pro soccer for 10-15 years (at best). Maybe we’ll get to that financial Promised Land for woso at some point, but it’s darned optimistic to base one’s future on that. Yes, I know she could go to college at some later date, but that gets harder (and more expensive) as the years go by.
    I wholeheartedly wish her well and can assure her that I and other fans will be offering our support by buying NWSL and WNT tickets, gear, etc. and contributing eyeballs to whatever viewing screen is available, but will that be enough?

    • Steglitz49

      My memory is that PSG paid money into some sort of escrow account that ms Horan could use for bona fide studies or at a much later date pay out to herself. Exactly how it was set up I dont remember hearing but it was a lot of money.

    • Breakers fan

      Off-topic, but while you’re here VaFan, could you please tell me your impressions of Brittany Ratcliffe (just drafted by the Breakers) ? I have liked what I’ve seen of her play. Thanks!

      • VaFan51

        Brittany probably was the most reliable “spark” on the UVa team for the past 2-3 years. If play was getting sluggish or indifferent, she could be counted on to do something — a steal, a tackle, a pass, a run, or just plain hustling — to spark the team and the crowd.
        Her technical skills are not spectacular (not at the Brian, Colaprico, Doniak, Sonnett level), but she has quick feet, a great engine, and is quite feisty, especially for someone who is likely the lightest player on the pitch.
        She was a crowd favorite at UVa for her energy and work-rate and I will miss watching her play.

        • Breakers fan

          Excellent – that was very well-expressed. I had a similar impression, but based on far, far less viewing experience. I’m happy to read these things about her – thanks for the thoughtful profile.

    • Ethan

      I pretty much get what you’re saying, but “10-15 years (at best)” reminds me so much of Steglitz49’s comments I dislike the most. You’re saying that Pugh at best is going to only play until she’s 32 or 33 and that she might stop when she’s 27 or 28? That’s mildly pessimistic to me.

      • VaFan51

        Being compared to Stegilitz49? How degrading! I kid.
        “At best” might have been a bit much, but I don’t think 15 years, as an average, is too far off the mark, mostly because of injuries. I remember her taking a foul (uncalled?) in the 2014 U20 WC that made me fear for her smallish body staying together. Just speculation.

        • Steglitz49

          The obvious Groucho Marx rejoinder, that I would not want to be a member of a club that allowed me to join, springs to mind.

          As for Ms Pugh she is 5’4″ and unlikely to grow much more. That puts her at average for the Nadeshiko and 2″ taller than Miyama and Naho. Let’s trust that she is as tough as those two.

          Lauren Holiday bowed out at 27 while ARod took time out to have a baby. If Ms Pugh is likely to earn what people speculate, she too may quite at 27-28.

      • Steglitz49

        Lauren Holiday quit at 27, after having won the WC, while ARod has spaced out her pregnancies.

    • It all depends on how good she is, how popular she becomes, and how talented her agent. Will she earn $300,000 from US Soccer CBA? Will she get $1 million endorsement deal from Nike or Adidas or Under Armour?

      Say she plays for 10 years and earns $500,000/year in combined salary and endorsements. What’s the golden number she would have to meet for you to say it’s worth it for her to bypass a scholarship right now? Maybe she’s a talented speaker and gets a job after playing like Mitts? Maybe she tires of soccer and spends the rest of her working life on a horse ranch, or selling real estate, or maybe she marries a pro male athlete with a $15 million contract.

      Everything right now is a “what if” scenario of which the outcome is impossible to forecast. She could just as easily take the scholarship, have a career ending injury her first year, and end up having to pay for the rest of her college anyway. Who knows.

      • Steglitz49

        $500,000 a year? I doubt even Alex makes that — well, maybe Alex at her peak did but ??

        • 2012 reports had three of the top earners on USWNT as Alex, Rampone, and Sauerbrunn. Their earnings from US soccer were reported in the neighborhood of $265-280,000. Obviously pay scale varies asked on position, minutes played, and bonuses from matches and the Olympics.

          One can assume that wages haven’t decreased since 2012. It is also an Olympic year.

          Obviously we don’t know now details like playing time or the current CBA, but everyone on the USWNT surely makes at least $75K per year. Pugh could potentially play her way to a big salary in a year that includes friendlies, the recently announced tournament in Florida, and the Olympics.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you for making my point for me. $280,000 is $220,000 short of $500,000.

            Ms Pugh would have to play even more spectacularly than Alex in equally key matches to sniff at big endorsement. She would have surpass Marta to get to your $1 million endorsement. It can be done, though, as you can tell, I am a little dubious.

            This month Lindsey Vonn broke two records. I doubt many Americans can name them but probably more than those who know what Mitts did.

          • mockmook

            As others have mentioned, her biggest bump in income will likely come from endorsements.

    • MBA

      The stars of woso are in the top 1% of US income. Why is that bad? If Pugh is the real deal, then the sky is the limit. Advertisers will love her for appeal to youth, unlike Press and Morgan who are old ladies to the teen market.

    • mockmook

      College is not the only road to success (and with each passing year its value goes down as it becomes less a quest for knowledge and critical thinking and becomes more of a quest for conformity and no thinking).

      • Steglitz49

        It is true that neither Disraeli, Churchill nor Major went to university, and I doubt that Washington or Lincoln did either, though Lincoln became a lawyer through night school.

  • Reality

    This is unfortunate. One of the virtues of the U.S. system is that it offers athletic development to young players while simultaneously giving them a quality education. This not only broadens their horizons but helps them to mature. This is essentially an exploitation of athletic skills for profit by all parties concerned with little regard for the larger picture of encouraging a balanced development of our youth.

    • Steglitz49

      Forsooth. The punishment must fit the crime. The money must more than make up for what college could have given her.

    • D23

      One of the interesting things is that where I am from (Australia) there has been a history of exposing players early to pro and international football and there is a corresponding history of them breaking down with serious injuries. Many voices are currently calling for this issue to be investigated to ensure to long term welfare of players. There are calls to let players develop more slowly when they are still physically developing. And bear in mind our pro season is shorter and there is less international football for the Matildas that the US. An advantage of the NCAA environment is that it is more controlled in terms of the age, experience and physical development of players you are surrounded by.

      • Reality

        That is another excellent point to keep in mind in this rush to excel. It is not just immature minds that need to develop but also youthful bodies.

      • Steglitz49

        Too true.

      • kernel_thai

        I agree and it’s more about mileage and mentality than what age u start at. If u can get 10 years from a quality player u r better getting 21-31 than 17-27.

        • rkmid71

          And my sense is that Pugh, because of her participation in practically every camp at every level has already accumulated a lot of mileage.

          • kernel_thai

            If if she breaks down there will be hell to pay. Look at how often Horan is hurt. It’s almost impossible for Germany to ever get their best team on the pitch because they have so many injured players.

          • From Munchen

            GER is so deep it scarcely matters what the injury list looks like.

          • D23

            Tell that to the team that failed to get onto the podium in Canada.

          • From Munchen

            Playing for 3rd place in the WC, which nobody will remember, is humiliating.

          • kernel_thai

            And add in the fact that she has been playing up forever so she is always against older, stronger players.

      • NYRick

        Kerr and Foord are now really injury prone and not even beyond their early 20s. There is something to it.

        • guest

          There are plenty of example on players who went to college only to get injured and never make it ball along with endless example of injury prone players who went the NCAA route in every sport.

          • guest

            back

    • guest

      I remember not too long ago when a lot of people were complaining about the player development situation in the United States for both men’s and women’s soccer. This is essentially what many wanted and what happens in Europe. NCAA schools are never going to be better for player development than playing professional soccer.

      • Reality

        I wasn’t complaining. Young minds and bodies need time to develop in order to achieve optimum effectiveness and avoid deleterious consequences of premature engagement.

        • guest

          I wasn’t saying you specifically were complaining. Just pointing out an observation from past discussions. I imagine she can save the money she is going to be earning from allocation status to earn a college degree sometime down the road or maybe even in the off season.

          Also, I am not at all comparing Pugh to Messi but if the approach was good enough for him….. This is not something that is out of the norm in any country other than the US

          • Reality

            Just because other countries may support this cashing in on potential talent does not mean it is a good thing for the individual player nor for the system as a whole.

          • guest

            How many US soccer players are considered among the best in the world? The US development system has a lot to do with this. I also seriously doubt Pugh will be starting or even playing a lot for the Thorns. The Thorns are loaded with talent and can afford to bring her on as slowly as the USSF wants. It also provides Pugh the most competitive environment for her to develop.

          • guest

            Best in the world on the mens side.

          • volley

            I’m not sure convinced that the most competitive environment to develop is necessarily the best environment. With a longer season maybe. But not a season the length of the NWSL’s. Further a pro team generally has an expectation that players are already developed to a certain degree. Yes she’ll be around better players. But will there be the pure development focus you get in four years of a college program? Maybe she is good enough that that won’t matter. It’s a risk and I guess because no one has really done this before we are all speculating on how this might turn out

          • guest

            She will be 18 in 3 months at which point she is old enough to make her own decisions. NT players train with each other in the offseason outside of the regular camps that the USSF holds. Maybe I am in the minority but I still believe the Thorns will be a better place for her to develop than UCLA. She would only be playing soccer 3 months out of the year in a less competitive environment for UCLA and the NT camps out of season.

          • volley

            I guess I think that at that age and that point in your career you don’t just develop through games (which place a great amount of stress on the body). You develop through training (which can be tailored to physical development). And its that time with teammates in a team environment training that a college career gives you. That typically extends well beyond three months and well beyond the length of the NWSL season. College play can be, and has been for others, combined with NT camps and NT play. That is how the US has consistently developed the players that make up the most successful women’s NT in the world. The one that wins more tournaments than any other. I can’t say I’m right and you are wrong. But that’s my view.

          • mockmook

            Isn’t the team training time for NCAA sports severely limited?

          • Reality

            The U.S. development system is the best in the world because it enables young players to mature on every level before being exposed to the intense competition inherent at the professional level. Perhaps Portland will take their time in helping Pugh to develop but that does not compare with the experience she will gain on every level by attending college. She is only 17. What is the rush?

          • guest

            I completely disagree about the development system. Lebron didn’t need college Basketball. Crosby and Ovechkin didn’t need college Hockey. Porzingis didn’t need college basketball. I think NCAA schools are robbing talented football players of their earning potential. Any adult should be able to make their own choices with regards to when to turn professional.

          • Reality

            Of course everyone is free to make their own choice re: their path assuming they are mature adults. However, just making money is not all there is to life. Athletes have a very narrow window to achieve financial wealth and very few make it to that level…certainly not in Woso. There are very few LeBrons or Morgans for that matter. Most aspiring athletes fail to make the grade or sustain injury. They need to take into consideration the rest of their life beyond their 30’s and it is much harder to gain a vocation in life at that age beyond sports-casting and shilling on TV advertisements. If the system moves toward utilization of young players with little regard for their overall maturation as individuals, than this is just exploitation for profit. One cannot make an informed adult decision at 17. So Pugh is subject to the greed of professional sports and the decisions of “responsible” family members.

          • guest

            She will likely earn more in 4 year of NT allocation than the worth of any scholarship will provide. If all else fails she can go back to school. Maybe she is being influenced by family members but that isn’t something I am willing to speculate about without actual evidence. I for one will root for her to have a successful career.

          • rufan

            If she ever wanted to go to college except for soccer. She may have learned she could play for pay and not go to college for 4 years.

          • kernel_thai

            And there is no guarantee that she’ll leave college with a degree. Still, the problem here is it isnt the big selfish club trying to tempt her not to go to school. USSoccer is enabling the whole situation by offering to foot the bill for this. The USSF should NOT be allowed to pay a dime to any player whose college class has not graduated. If she is determined to slug it out on club until then good for her.

          • guest

            “The USSF should NOT be allowed to pay a dime to any player whose college class has not graduated.”

            Why shouldn’t they be able to do that exactly? It’s their money they can hand out contracts to whoever they want to as long as it is legal. I would actually prefer this situation to young US players getting poached by top European teams. I want all of the top US stars to play in the NWSL not Europe.

          • kernel_thai

            Then they get poached. Either u r for a salary cap or not but in either case it’s up to clubs to pay non subsidized players. It is not USSF’s job to subsidize players just to get them to play for a league club. If Portland wants Pugh and can pay her enough to get her to turn pro that is fine with me. It a totally different matter for USSF to pay her to turn pro when they have equal access to her talents either way.

          • mockmook

            Why is USSF money evil, but NWSL money isn’t?

            Why do you want to run other people’s lives?

          • Steglitz49

            Pay the players through the clubs and reimburse the clubs for the time they spend on NT duty.

          • guest

            “It is not USSF’s job to subsidize players just to get them to play for a league club.”

            With the salary cap as low as it is and the big spending clubs in Europe I think that is exactly what the USSF’s job is. They can afford the salaries of the USWNT players and the fact is that every club except the Portland Thorns cannot. If the entire USWNT player decided they wanted to play in Europe the NWSL folds and the USSF is back to square one.

          • Steglitz49

            Let the young ladies play where they want to. If they prefer the Bavarian Euro, English pound or Swedish krona, why not? Naho came to Seattle, as did Fishlock and Little, and others have played elsewhere in the NWSL.

            Soccer belongs to the world.

          • guest

            Clearly she wants to play in Portland if she is earning US allocation money. The USSF seems to be willing to pay it and that is their choice.

          • Reality

            I would like for Pugh to have both a success as an athlete and a successful career for the rest of her life. Money is not everything.

          • guest

            They are not mutually exclusive and foregoing college does not prevent her from achieving either.

          • Reality

            While they are not mutually exclusive, the optimum time for absorbing knowledge is at her age and she limits herself in her growth by focusing exclusively on soccer. Perhaps, once her athletic career is over, she will pursue higher learning, but her potential will not be the same. More importantly, exposure at this critical age to a diverse learning environment such as college broadens her maturation as an individual which is important for her life beyond professional sports.

          • guest

            I don’t really agree with this opinion as I view learning as a fluid process that takes place every day of my life. Having gone through college, the most important things I took from the experience were the relationships I made not the classes I took. Those are things she can get from professional sports. There is also nothing preventing her from taking classes in the off season. Morgan Brian did just that this past semester.

          • Reality

            Learning never stops but foundations are important to build the learning process on. Higher education is less about factual knowledge and more about teaching people how to think, analyze, and reason. Developing relationships is an important element of emotional growth and can be obtained in college just as well as in sports. There is no need to rush and pressure a 17 year old with both education and intense professional sports simultaneously and indeed it would likely impair their development.

          • guest

            The process of learning how to think and reason doesn’t occur in college for everyone. For some it’s sooner, for others it’s after. It’s ultimately still Pugh’s choice and as far as I know no one has forced her to do anything she doesn’t want to.

          • Reality

            College’s primary purpose is to provide the optimum environment to support the development of how to think, analyze, and reason. Desire at 17 is a mysterious matter.

          • guest

            Funny. I would argue that the primary purpose of college today is to generate revenue to pay school administrators and professors their ridiculously high salaries. Not to mention the outrageous amount of money that the textbook monopolies make off students with some professors requiring students to purchase their own books.

          • guest

            books they authored/co-authored/edited

          • Reality

            Not going there in this particular discussion.

          • guest

            Fair enough. I suppose we will have to agree to disagree then on many point and I will wish Ms. Pugh the best of luck in her chosen direction.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • mockmook

            “College’s primary purpose is to provide the optimum environment to support the development of how to think, analyze, and reason.”

            BS

          • Steglitz49

            I respectfully disagree with you.

            I interpret Reality’s last sentence as a way of writing “get laid” without invoking the StegPatrol, StegWatch and other inadequates.

          • Reality

            Uh huh.

          • Terry Lash

            You may have an overly paternalistic attitude. It is possible that Pugh is making a reasonable choice based on her own evaluation of her skills and interests. Many here have made a comparison to Freddy Adu, but we can also look at Jozy Altidore, who started playing professionally at 16. The first player was not very successful professionally, while the second has been. Let’s give Pugh the benefit of the doubt and see what happens.

          • Reality

            Given that Pugh is only 17, someone should be giving her both paternalistic and maternalistic perspectives since she is still immature emotionally and cognitively.

          • mockmook

            Those would be, what is the word I’m searching for, “parents”.

            They are far more likely to have her best interest at heart than you.

          • Steglitz49

            Judging by some sports persons, not always, though in general your point is valid. In skiing compare Tina Weirather and Vikky Rebensburg, for example, and there is always Jennifer Capriati.

          • Reality

            Very good. You understood my comment.

          • guest

            news flash. she’s not an adult.

          • guest

            She turns 18 in April at which point she will become one. She hasn’t been allocated yet as far as I know.

          • guest

            do you really think pugh is gonna give up ucla for a nwsl salary only?

          • mockmook

            Maybe not a rush. Maybe she values the chance to make decisions regarding her life (and not have you make them for her).

          • Steglitz49

            A college degree is not to be sneezed at and she could have had one from UCLA.

          • Reality

            You’re confusing opinion with influence.

          • Lorehead

            I wonder if we’ll see a revival of their announcement two years back that they were going to start a reserve team. She’s good enough to make the first team, but that would let her keep her eligibility.

          • Reality

            The idea of a reserve team is intriguing as a mechanism to bridge the gap for promising talent to develop and earn their way up. Some may say that the U18, U20, and U23 teams perform that function, but they don’t fully address the problem of the enormous talent base in our country.

          • kernel_thai

            If the NT coming off a WC win need to bring a 17 yo player on board then their development system is in shambles and Heinrichs should resign.

          • guest

            It really isn’t about need and I would argue that the current pay to play system excludes many potential players. At the end of the day this is Pugh’s choice.

          • kernel_thai

            Half of that is right. This isnt about the US needing Mallory Pugh so why r they giving her a full contract? Answer, to get her to play in Portland. This is the same thing that happened with Horan and now it stinks twice as bad. What was the condition that got Horan to leave PSG? She needed to have a USSF contract to make up for the Euros she was leaving on the table. The way u pick a national team is NOT by handing out contracts to players solely for the purpose of helping out Portland. Spots on a national team need to be earned and all players in the league should have an equal chance at them.

          • guest

            Those are a lot of assumptions your are making without any real knowledge of the situation.

          • Steglitz49

            You run it through the clubs, not the NT. Pulling on the NT jersey (and shorts) should be an honor and privilege earned through your club.

          • guest

            but there is not even a choice to be made without the uwsnt allocation first. she is not giving up ucla for a nwsl salary only

          • guest

            And that is the USSF’s choice. Not yours or mine.

          • Steglitz49

            They don’t need to. Someone sharpened the cards and pulled a fast one. Ms Pugh could be the one that suffers longterm.

          • kernel_thai

            Which is exactly my point in all three cases. Lets say Pugh has a bench role with the Thorns. While Sonnett is likely a starter but CB is a position u grow into and maybe she ends up splitting time with Menges. Horan is learning a new position and may not be a regular starter in the midfield either. This means somehow the USSF could be playing 3 of 25 players full contracts who arent even starters for the Thorns. How do u justify that if ur the USSF?

          • guest

            I think Sonnett is already a better CB than Menges who I think will be shifted to OB anyway. I think Horan will see regular minutes unless there is another signing that we don’t know about yet. Pugh is most likely not there to play right away but to train and prepare to take the next step. Portland is probably one of the few teams that can hold onto her while she develops and really not care at all about her production for the next two years.

          • guest

            that’s fine if portland want’s to bring her along slowly, but why should pugh be a uswnt allocated player then if she’s barely gonna be playing for her club team. of course we already know the answer to that question though, portland never would have had the chance to get pugh if she wasn’t first a uswnt allocated player that payed her a high salary. she’s not gonna give up ucla for a nwsl salary only. she then would have been selected through the draft process by likely a lower performing nwsl team.

          • Steglitz49

            You could argue that Ms Horan was smarter thna Ms Pugh in going to and play for PSG.

          • Steglitz49

            The USWNT are the world champions. They beat Germany and then the reigning champs, Japan, to achieve that. The US only dropped one point, against Sweden. Granted Japan dropped no points before the final.

            The US lady players are not as green as they may be cabbage-looking and they for sure brush up nicely in evening gowns.

          • kernel_thai

            There r so many quality players in the US that u never have to do this.

          • Reality

            Do what? You mean offering Pugh a professional contract at 17?

          • kernel_thai

            Offer her an NT contract at 17.

          • Reality

            I liked your comment, “If the NT coming off a WC win need to bring a 17 yo player on board then their development system is in shambles and Heinrichs should resign.”

          • volley

            In other countries (at least for men) there are well established development academies with associated youth competitions. And the players who enter these have the possibility for more than enough money to set themselves up for life many times over with a pro career. That’s an entirely different environment to the one Pugh finds herself in.

        • Pax Americana

          Tell that to the military. A boy in HS can sign up for the Marines and in less than a year be on the front line in war. They don’t have time to develop at that point.

          • volley

            They are not being paid to develop. They are being paid to do whatever is asked of them. Realistically, that’s the perfect age to ask people to enter an entirely disciplined, regulated and controlled world in which thinking for yourself is actively discouraged.

          • Reality

            Yes, isn’t it ironic that young people who have not yet reached the age of reason are called upon to be maimed and slaughtered in war.

          • rkmid71

            And yet the drinking age is 21 and they seemingly can’t rent a car as far as I can tell.

          • guest

            Renting a car is a choice by private companies. The drinking age of 21 is stupid and has always been stupid. What the country needs is much stricter punishment for driving while intoxicated.

      • Steglitz49

        The NCAA and Title IX is a marvellous invention and works wonders for the vast majority of young ladies. Let’s trust that Ms Pugh does not come to rue this day. Ms Horan does not as far as one can tell — but then she will always have Paris.

        • InTheDMV

          Don’t confuse going to college and playing college soccer. You can certainly get your degree while playing in the NWSL, the games are in the summer and the off season long. If you are crafty about your class schedule you can probably fit in two semesters a year given the prevalence of online classes at most schools these days.

          • Steglitz49

            You seem purposely obtuse.

      • kernel_thai

        My complaint in that area was why not do both. The only reason u cant have the top college players getting pro experience in their off season is the NCAA wont allow it.

        • guest

          Good luck trying to change the NCAA’s stance on that. Schools make too much money on college football.

    • Terry Lash

      Too many in this country push for high school graduates to go immediately to college. For a variety of reasons this might not be the best choice. Time will tell for Pugh, but I am willing in the absence of a lot of information about her to believe she, her family, and the WNT have made the right choice for her.

      • Reality

        It is one thing to delay college because a young person may not be ready for that environment. But how much more that would be true than to allow a 17 year old to compete way above her level in professional soccer in terms of emotional and physical development.

        • rkmid71

          You can bet your money that NWSL players won’t be taking it easy on her. This is professional environment. I guess Portland can bring her along slowly given they aren’t paying anything. The NFL has rules against this. The NBA used to and even now very few HS players make it direct into the pros. Most play college for at least a couple years (taking the risk of injury). In fact, you see Lebron starting to break down at a relatively early age — and he was and is a physical beast even in HS. I just don’t see Pugh in that category.

          • Steglitz49

            LeBron earns in a day what Ms Pugh is likely to earn in a year if not all of her career.

            In short, the punishment must fit the crime.

          • Reality

            The professional leagues in all sports are increasingly reaching down to younger levels in order to identify talent and exploit it to maximize their profit. This does not serve young players who can be quickly injured or burned out and tossed aside. If a young player has talent, they should be encouraged to develop it in tandem with their overall growth as an individual so that maximum benefit can be derived for all parties rather than just financial profit.

          • Camoes

            European leagues have development academies. They are brimming with talent.

          • play the parents

            NWSL teams have academies. They are brimming with players whose parents have money, dreams of a scholarship ( now pro contract?), and no real idea of their daughter’s talent level.

          • mockmook

            Of course colleges are utopias that never exploit anyone.

          • Reality

            You mean just like professional sports.

          • mockmook

            I mean just like colleges (and every type of institution).

            Just because an organization is governmental or “non-profit” doesn’t mean it is any more virtuously run than an “evil” profit making entity.

          • Reality

            The primary purpose of the sports industry is providing entertainment for profit. I do think that is different from what a college education is designed to accomplish.

          • Guest

            Do you really not think that collegiate institutions are not run for profit? I think that is exactly what many are designed to do

          • Reality

            I never said that educational institutions do not seek profit in our system here in the U.S. It is part of the profit seeking ethos that permeates our society including most notably health care. However, collegiate institutions also provide the opportunity to gain a broad based education which can be quite useful in life.

          • Lorehead

            Even most NCAA Division I men’s football and basketball programs lose money, and virtually all other college sports programs do. So, in this case, it’s more about the prestige than the profit.

          • rkmid71

            You mean like FIFA or the USSF?

          • One of a Kind

            Yeah, Kobe, Kevin Garnett, and Lebron were the main players who profited from the old NBA Draft rules that allowed HS graduates to go straight to the league. There’s a few others still in the league like Monta Ellis and Tyson Chandler; Chandler especially gets injured for like 15+ games a season and is a complete shell of himself. Lebron is breaking down due to the sheer amount of minutes he’s played (every game starter age 18 to 31).

            For that Lebron and Kobe, there were complete busts from those old eligibility rules like Sebastian Telfair and the infamous Kwame Brown (Michael Jordan’s handpicked #1 overall pick that was perhaps the biggest bust in NBA history). They’re even on the verge of necessitating two years after HS graduation before allowing a player to enter the league. I like your idea of PTFC slowly bringing up Pugh for the first few years rather than throwing her to the wolves per se. Probably best for all involved.

          • guest

            The Thorns have 3 Starting CFs 4 including Horan they don’t need her to play any time soon.

    • Riveter

      Boo, hoo. In a real sports culture such as men have in the EU, it is not necessary to spend 18-22 time period in college as a part-time soccer player. You go out and compete. If you are good, you rise quickly and get paid zonkers money.

      • Reality

        Ah! Real Sports Culture! If only everything was like that. The world would be a better place.

      • guest

        yes, the three team euro leagues are the gold standard. nothing beats the excitement of watching to see which of the other seventeen forever losing teams will get relegated.

        • Steglitz49

          They also have their domestic cup competitions — in the case of England two of those — and the Champions League.

      • Steglitz49

        Men earn an awful lot more from soccer than women. This ain’t the skiing disciplines where earnings are equal.

  • john

    There was a hint of this on the US Soccer site. One of the coaches, I believe Ellis, spoke about the desire to start getting promising players to “play up”. However, I thought she was talking about age groups more than this situation.

  • Guest

    With all this happening she very well could be on the Olympic roster. Goodbye sydney leroux?

    • Steglitz49

      Goodbye Christen Annemarie or Crystal Dunn?

      • Kevin

        You haven’t watched a game this year, have you.

        • Steglitz49

          Jan 16th. How many games have there been?

  • One of a Kind

    So, when shall the Thorns change their name to the Yankees?

    • Steglitz49

      Well. Barcelona is a big port as is Göteborg for that matter.

    • mockmook

      The horror!!! She might have to get a job and lead a normal life!!!

      • One of a Kind

        I appreciate the snark, but I’m just saying that many don’t have the opportunity to go to a top school with all expenses paid for. If she doesn’t pan out, that “normal life” would at least be free of astronomical student debt that many have/will have to go through for awhile. At the very least, in this scenario, not sure if the risk is worth the reward. Not to mention that USSF is going to pay an unproven teenager a guaranteed contract while Americans in their twenties continue to retire in WoSo.

  • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

    The league changed its rules to let a seventeen year old pick the team she wants to play for, while veteran players get paid poverty level wages and have no control over where they play. Nice.

    • kernel_thai

      Exactly and a bunch of players who have yet to accomplish anything get full contracts while the players keeping the league going have to quit and get jobs.

      • Riveter

        How many of these pros have U-20 WC gold medals?

        • rkmid71

          How much did she play on that team?

          • Riveter

            Correction: it was the CONCACAF U20 qaul. for the U20 WC this year. Pugh was top goal scorer in the tournament. She started. Don’t know total minutes.

          • rkmid71

            I thought so. That doesn’t prove anything to me. If the US doesn’t qualify for WCs through Concacaf, we’ve got serious issues — it’s actually happened a few times at U17 and U20 level in recent years….I believe with Pugh on some of those teams. I want to see her deliver for the U20s this year….that will show me something. No pressure or anything! But maybe she’ll just bypass that as well.

          • kernel_thai

            Well in 2012 Summer Green led the US to the U17 CONCACAF title scoring twelve goals in five matches. Then they went to WC and failed to advance out of their group (Group of Death). Point being CONCACAF isnt much of a measuring stick.

          • Steglitz49

            Summer Green tore her ACL this season.

        • kernel_thai

          Well…
          Johnston, Brian, Ohai, DiBernardo, Killion, Roccaro, Kallman, Pathman, Hayes, Dunn, Stengel, Kranich, Smith, Ubogagu, Laddish, S Mewis, Morgan, Leroux, Reed, Naeher, Jones, Dahlstream, Klingenberg, Edwards, Nairn, Winters, Mautz, Harris, O’Reilly, Fletcher.

      • dw

        No Wages Soccer League.

        • Steglitz49

          NeW Slavery Leagalized.

  • john

    Beyond whether this is good for Pugh is a bigger issue. If Portland ever plays to its roster than the parity we value in NWSL will rapidly disappear. If the league gets unbalanced I’ll probably drop season tickets and pick “good” matchups to pay for.

    • David K Anderson

      As I mentioned above, the league is probably trying to find a balance between being a true “parity league” that has some teams in money trouble and a European-style league in which the Real Madrids and Man Citys dominate via deeper pockets. Some of the Thorns’ considerable profits have been quietly redistributed around the league…which I suspect makes other owners more amenable to things like this acclamation rule (that I can’t deny has favored Portland). It’s a tricky balancing act, but if they don’t go too far and turn the NWSL into a two-or-three-team league like La Liga, it may help the league survive.

  • newsouth

    Thiasa was more talented at 17. Bad. bad movie. She needs the college years. This girl is not the female version of Woods or Lebron. The think Horan was better than her and stronger as a teenager. Whio came up with this brilliant idea? I guess they agreed to a career NT spot, six figure salary as a reserve, like one-dimensional HOA got and parlor trick FC Heath got. Plus add in a yearly Nike check.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJDSDhlB3sI

    • is it track season yet?

      Whatever happened to the greatest player, Courtnall?

      • newsouth

        still trying to model. olympic relay dream is gone too.

        • track season

          So why do you keep pretending you know squat about sports?

          • newsouth

            lets keep this simple. i said she was a 2nd rate relay runner. where did i say she was the best runner in the pac-12, where?! i said she should have opted for soccer given she would only be 2nd to dunn in overall talent in ussoccer camp. it’s pretty obvious modeling and track were more important to her. pro athlete wife seems to interest her also, maybe she and holiday can hang out

          • track season

            revisionist history

    • mockmook

      What have you prevented if she went overseas to get paid?

  • kevin

    freddy adu….where are you???

  • kevin

    don’t worry, paulson is still sacrificing for the good of the league.

  • kevin

    guess it’s safe to call it now. ashley sanchez chooses portland in 2017.

    • guest

      not so fast. sanchez might choose the western new york nightlife.

    • Steglitz49

      How about Paris? Or, Berlin or Munich? not to forget Göteborg, where Hope and Christen Annemarie honed their skills?

  • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

    This is the most sickening of a very sickening off-season. She should have been declared for the draft; or at least gone thru a proper “MLB-waiver” process where the stipulation is that she cannot play in the NWSL for a year.

    • Matt Ryan

      If she had declared for the draft, Portland could have just picked her anyway. That’s essentially what happened, except they technically gave the pick to Boston for Pugh’s rights.

      • Guest

        Finally some logic.

      • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

        Picking her in the draft would have been at least fair play and the other teams would have better chance to at least deal with it. (FCKC could have come up with something). Otherwise, a proper waiver process, like MLB, would not have allowed Portland to go over the heads of Sky Blue and WNY.

        • Matt Ryan

          Previous to today, the league had no way of allocating players other than someone deciding using subjective notions. (Best fit, who needs her most, who is due, etc.) They created this allocation order to mimic MLS and have objective criteria.

          They gave the first two spaces (as far as I can tell as the old system was morphing into the new) to the new team, Orlando, and the worst team from last year, Boston. Portland acquired the rights to Horan from Orlando in part by giving them an asset the Pride REALLY wanted, Alex Morgan. By any measure, this is a voluntary, fair exchange.

          Boston was a little bit more leveraged. On the one hand, the need for transparency and parity has given Boston this asset, the first priority slot in allocation order. However, the only player about to be on that list won’t play for them. Bummer, but they have something Portland needs. In this way, Boston is inserted into what would be a simple transaction (in an open system) of the Thorns signing Pugh. So Portland gets their girl, and Boston turns nothing into the third pick.

          The new rule may feel sketchy today, but it’s way, way less sketchy than the old system, and Boston got paid. Under the old system, the league could have just allocated her to Portland for no reason at all.

          • KT5000

            Thank you.

      • guest

        technically, sky blue got the second pick. they could have picked whomever portland didn’t select with the first pick. sky blue could have gotten sonnett or pugh. did sky blue know about this new allocation rule before they made their pick?

        • Matt Ryan

          Thorns entered the day with top two picks. I’ll stand by my assertion they could have drafted her if she were on the draft list.

          • guest

            portland has no chance to get pugh without being a uswnt allocated player first with a high salary. pugh is not giving up ucla for a nwsl salary only. after that she would have went through the draft process to likely a lower performing nwsl team.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • Matt Ryan

            After college, she would have gone through the draft, like Emily Sonnett, right? Who was just drafted by Portland. Are you under the impression the Thorns got the first two picks in the draft by nabbing them when the other teams were looking away?

    • Rufan

      According to the 2015 league rules, Pugh could not declare for the draft, at least last year.

      “All Players who have exhausted their college eligibility or who will graduate in the 2014-15 year are eligible for the College Draft. Players must be registered by Jan. 16, 2015 to be part of the College Draft. If a Player is eligible and does not register, that Player will not be able to be on the Roster of a NWSL Team until Oct. 1, 2015 – at which point that Player will become eligible as a Discovery Player.”

  • MurderOnZidanesFloor

    I don’t really know enough about Pugh, her character or ability, to know what to think about this, but it won’t stop me making some points here anyway!

    IF she is good enough to play in the NWSL now, then this is surely the best thing for her development. I don’t see how spending 4 years playing beneath her level would be of much benefit. Does anyone really believe that a player like Kim Little would be better if she’d gone to college rather than spending her 4 years prior to joining the NWSL playing for Arsenal in the WSL and Champions League? That’s not to say I think the system in the US is bad for young players, its just unsuitable for the most gifted players who are already at a very high level in their late teens. I’d guess its probably much better for players who are unable to challenge for a first team spot when they are 18-21 as it gives them a bit more time to develop into a player that can play professionally, rather than rotting on the bench never getting the chance to shine as some young players do in Europe. As for whether its best for her financial future, I’m sure Pugh and her parents have worked all that out for themselves, I can’t imagine why she’d be doing it otherwise.

    When considering what is best for the balance of the league, I still think this is a positive development. Orlando and Boston, the new expansion side and the last placed from the previous season also gained first round picks because of the allocations of Pugh and Horan. I doubt any Boston fan is disappointed by the idea of Pugh being allocated, since they were likely not expecting such an early pick. There is a risk of Portland becoming very strong because of all their allocated players, but this is surely short time considering all the talk of more expansions in the future, assuming the rules stay similar they won’t have any hope of protecting all those allocated players. And even in the short term I think the league will still be highly competitive, I can’t see Portland hammering Seattle, regardless of who gets allocated to them.

    I don’t think the rules are unfair, my only issue is we weren’t made aware of these possibilities before they happened, which makes me wonder whether the other coaches and owners in the league were even aware that this was a possibility?

    • kernel_thai

      My point is still the same. Whether or not a player wants to play for the Portland Thorns or not should not be a factor in who gets the full NT contracts for the coming year. The NT contracts should be earned by the best US players not part of some barter system or used to balance out salary cap numbers. Assuming Pugh somehow gets one the question is what did Mewis, Hinkle, Sonnett, Horan and Pugh do to earn these windfalls?

      • mockmook

        Just like Nike, USSF is paying some for performance and some for potential.

      • Steglitz49

        Your point is well taken. They could run it through the clubs, not directly.

      • Matt Ryan

        You’re suggesting that US Soccer put a player on contract solely to direct her to Portland? You’re completely paranoid. US Soccer won’t even consider the NWSL Playoff games when scheduling friendlies in Tennessee.

        • kernel_thai

          Yes. Lindsey Horan would still be playing at PSG if the US had not allocated her. Portland or any NWSL team could not have come near the salary she would have left behind. Mallory Pugh seems on course for allocation as well even tho there is absolutely no reason to hand a full contract to a player that young.

          • Steglitz49

            What would it have mattered if Ms Horan had continued at PSG? Not an iota, I put to you.

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        Mewis, Hinkle, Sonnett, Horan and Pugh are obviously viewed as important players for the national team in the future. That is why US Soccer is shelling out money on them playing in the NWSL, rather than letting them consider playing elsewhere.

        • kernel_thai

          Yes this is an investment of a sort but why now and why them? When Ellis said she was going to use the victory tour to evaluate talent I was excited. I expected her to bring in a bunch of players, evaluate them and then pick the best to remain with the NT. What she did instead was hand pick a few players and then promote them to the team. Ellis is always big on saying that she makes her decisions based on practice not game performance. Well then she should have based who got full contracts by bring them all in to practice 6 or 7 per camp and do a proper evaluation. Instead she had picked the winners based in U program evaluations and watching NWSL matches.

          • rkmid71

            This whole selection process is interesting to me….and still a bit of a mystery. The way I see it in terms of predicting WNT success, I would weight performance in this order: 1. WNT games versus top 10 teams (maybe even top 5); 2. NWSL; 3.College (though it would help if rules more closely mirrored FIFA rules in terms of subs); 4. Youth World Cups (not Concacaf qualifiers). 5. Youth Club — with focus on top performers in most competitive leagues. And the other Euro pro leagues are in there somewhere (maybe after college). The thing that’s good about college is the universe of players is greater — as you capture again any great player that might have been missed or overlooked for YNTs and therefore didn’t have opportunity to participate in Youth World Cups. It just not common sense to not have a more expansive and inclusive evaluation process. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, even the NFL mis-evaluates and misses Hall of Fame players. Does JE and AH think they can do better than the NFL with the limited resources they have?

          • mockmook

            It would be great if she actually was looking at NWSL performance to place players.

        • Steglitz49

          How would it have mattered if the Emir had bought Ms Pugh as a replacement for Ms Horan?

          The others, even less.

          • Vladlagg

            ORB is below $25 / barrel. “Investing” in another American WOSO player (ignoring the purchase tag) won’t show a return, and would be throwing scarse resources away. It is unlikely another lucrative foreign contract would help market Paris Saint-Germain Féminines towards more profitable returns.

    • kevin

      you just know the uwsnt allocated player limit rule is going to change next year at the last minute so that portland will be able to keep all their uswnt players even if salt lake city get’s added as an expansion team.

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        I doubt it. New teams aren’t going to want to join the league if they have no chance of picking up allocated players, since they need someone to draw the fans in.

        • Vladlagg

          Expansion draft will let them poach two or three from Portland, hopefully. Ruules may change however, so we’ll see what Plush does next year.

    • belgium2

      Kim Little makes like $5 a season (pay is atrocious in Australia for women footballers) for MelbCityFC. Not going to be able to buy a home or retire on that.

  • Isn’t this a little unfair to other players? What has Pugh done to earn “USI” status? She has not proven herself beyond U-20, yet will still get paid by US Soccer to play professionally after being called into one senior team camp?

    • kevin

      i have to agree. this is alittle outrageous. with the size of the us player pool, is it really necessary to allocate players at the age of 17? maybe the uswnt is worried pugh will do a one-time player switch to mexico. lol. pugh has no senior team experience and was on an u-20 team that underperformed at the world cup. i can’t help but think that if early new allocations become a trend that it will lead to alot of early american retirements in the nwsl. can’t see players like ohai sticking around if all the new allocations are going to college and high school players and the current allocated players are almost locks for three cycles because current club performance doesn’t factor into the decision. i would prefer new players earn the uswnt allocations after some strong performance in the nwsl.

    • Steglitz49

      One solution would be for the contracts to be held by the clubs and the NT “borrows” the players for NT duty and recompenses the clubs for loss of player time. Thus, the clubs become the workshops where the jewels are crafted and the NT is a shop window or catwalk where they are displayed.

      The honor of having a player selected for the NT will stimulate the clubs to select the best and train them as well as possible. In Europe the clubs take great pride in one of their players being selected for NT duty no matter which country they hail from. It is on their web-sites immediately.

    • kernel_thai

      Here’s what USI status should mean. The NT was planning to give Pugh a spot on the team right now regardless of whether she went to the NWSL or started UCLA in the fall. I dont think they were planning to do that at all. If they were they would have brought her in in October with the other candidates. This is a retcon.

    • Captain Crunch

      I hear what you’re saying but US Soccer and the NWSL will benefit far more from her than she from them. Marketing a 17 year old phenom will only increase the overall fan base. Then if Pugh makes the team, she’ll easily surpass Morgan in endorsements….if that is important to her and she has a good agent.

      • Steglitz49

        I doubt that Ms Pugh will surpass Alex in endorsement *and certainly not if you correct for inflation(. She might pass Brian Morgan but even that could be hard.

  • john

    While I’m enjoying the discussion I can’t help having a sense of much ado about nothing. I can’t picture a horde of high schoolers storming the Kinkos to fax in their applications. Will there even be one a year? Other than the danger of unbalancing the league I can’t get too worried here.

  • no crystal ball

    Injuries aren’t the only thing that could derail this plan. Many a young person has lost the plot during the college years. Heck, we’ve had players get pregnant early in their careers and have to detour their way back. On the men’s side NTer Goodson had to leave school and get his act together at one point. Hard to tell if being at school or living with family and and hanging out with older players is better. Really like anyone else it will all come down to choices.

  • Paul Klee

    This could be a really good for the league during the Olympics this summer. Federations not in the Olympics, like England, might be able to subsidize some of their players short-term, during those players summer breaks .

  • kevin

    isn’t it funny how everyone seem’s to have family in the portland area. lol. i didn’t realize portland was so populated. lol

    • Paul Klee

      Pugh’s sister plays at Oregon.

      • Non sequitur

        Is Pugh going to move into her sister’s dorm room?

        • Paul Klee

          Doubt it since her sister is a senior and probably doesn’t even live in a dorm or in Portland. Though her sister may have chosen (my actual point) Oregon in part because of said “extended family”. But perhaps not, what are your thoughts on this issue? Where do you think Mallory will live?

        • Terry Lash

          Seems unlikely if only because Eugene (University of Oregon) is at least a 90 minute drive from Portland.

    • Matt Ryan

      When else has someone expressed their interest in playing for Portland as being, at least in part, because there was family there? I can’t recall it happening before.

      • Lorehead

        Abby Wambach?

      • guest

        just happened this off-season with the dagny trade.

        • Matt Ryan

          I thought that was just an unapologetic “I’ll play in Portland but not Boston” situation. And just like this situation, team and player want to get together, unrelated team is inserted into the transaction, unrelated team gets paid. Fans of unrelated team complain they didn’t get paid even more.

          • Breakers fan

            My memory on this is that it was reported that she “has family on the West coast” (in addition to not wanting to play in Boston). I haven’t thought in depth about this whole phenomenon of players in general only wanting to play in 1 or maybe 2 cities, but certainly ruling out a good 3 or 4 and how it may affect the league, but one aspect it seems that is important is that the team “getting shafted”, i.e *not* getting a certain player should get something of what is felt to be “equal value” in return. Maybe the League office needs to step in to determine if what — say, Portland in the Dagny situation offered Boston was in fact, (in their opinion) “equal value”. Because Portland going forward may know they have other teams over a barrel, and so not offer that much to the other team who is in a weak position, knowing that other team just wants to get something, but maybe not what they deserve, in return. Or, have I missed something – has the League office already addressed this issue?

          • guest

            I am not sold on the equal value thing mainly because I don’t really believe that international who are essentially free agents should have to go through a discovery process to talk with teams interested in them. That process was specifically made for teams who don’t have a chance of signing top internationals and a way for them to get something for them anyway.

          • Breakers fan

            Not clear on what you think the process SHOULD BE for all internationals as it relates to how teams finish in the standings. Do you not think that teams who finish at the bottom should get the first shot at currently available internationals? If so, we disagree. Sounds like you think any, and by extension, ALL, internationals could choose, rightfully, to go to 1 team. Is that what you think?

          • guest

            I believe the league should do away with the whole discovery process. Why make it more difficult for internationals to come to the NWSL. As far as international all going to 1 team, that will never happen because of the Cap and roster limits. Portland can’t sign. 12 $40,000 just because they all want to play there. But this is more really all thing I am hoping for in the future because right now I think some teams in the league need to be able to get pieces for these players. I just don’t think there is ever going to be a way of determining equal value for a player like Dagny.

          • Breakers fan

            Agree that determining equal value for a player who has only played in college – but was almost voted the best player in college – is going to be subjective and the whole equal value idea will always and forever be subjective in every case, my thought was that it may be necessary to have a third, impartial party enter in if the Barrel Holder Over offers crumbs, knowing they have leverage. As is teams are operating on good faith that the Barrel Holder Over will give something like “equal value” and …..I actually can’t remember exactly what Portland gave for Dagny. Dagny could be an all-star or something of a bust, or a mediocre player, it’s true, but as it stands she could easily have beaten out a USWNT starter (Morgan Brian) as the best player at that level – and that’s the last we’ve seen of her. I think you always need to strive for parity and trying to help those teams who finish last, first, makes sense to me, just like how the draft works. May I ask: which team do you root for in the NWSL?

          • guest

            dagny was expected to be a top three pick in the 2015 nwsl draft. her rights were traded to portland for the #20 last pick in the second round and a #35 middle fourth round pick. doesn’t seem to be close to market value.

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you for reminding me of the terms of the “trade”. And unless I’m an idiot that absolutely backs up my opinion that a 3rd party is needed. Do you agree?
            But to be completely fair, Boston gets Portland’s 2nd round pick, correct? By saying it’s #20 you’re assuming Portland finishes 1st next year, right?

          • guest

            no, these draft picks were for the 2016 draft. the dagny trade was made the same day as the farrelly and zerboni trade. the #20 pick was originally boston’s pick send to portland in the farrelly trade then portland sent it back in the dagny trade.
            check the equalizer article dated 10/26/15. of course those draft pick #s might have been affected by subsequent trades and the expansion team. seems like the draft is one of the best opportunities for teams at the bottom to improve. i am still trying to understand some of these off-season trades that seem alittle one-sided.

          • Breakers fan

            Ah yes, thanks, I should have remembered that it was for this year. Boston then gave up that #20 pick to Washington in the Salem trade. Yeah, I know that trades — either in major league baseball and/or the nba — have been disallowed by the League Front Office for, I believe, being unfair. I think somebody should have forced Portland to give up more than that for a player of Dagny’s stature, but I don’t know if this idea of potential league intervention is even being suggested by anyone else. In other words is this phenomenon of leverage seen as being real and something that maybe needs some third party oversight directed towards it? It all seems pretty damn unfair the way it is now. Unless I’m missing something…I hope I am!
            I do have a memory of Boston getting some 2nd round pick for next year’s draft – I need to research that…

          • guest

            maybe this rumored undisclosed revenue-sharing is a factor as well. not really sure.

          • Breakers fan

            Could be – favors – maybe absolutely vital, franchise-saving? ones, but ones that do have some understood, future strings attached. So, not free. We’re dealing in speculation here, but it’s the best we can figure out at the moment.

          • guest

            i would have thought boston would have got more in the pugh rights trade too. i find it hard to believe that the other eight teams in the nwsl wouldn’t have given alot more than the #3 pick in the draft for the top rated prospect in the us system. especially in light of the alex morgan trade details. of course something in return is better than nothing but it doesn’t seem close to market value.

          • KT5000

            Another way to think about it is that Boston didn’t “have” Dagny the player to begin with; they had her rights. We can speculate all day about whether the trade “Dagny for picks 20 and 35” is fair, but that wasn’t the trade.

            If Dagny isn’t ever going to play for Boston, then Boston is looking to get something for her RIGHTS. Which they did. While I see the haves vs have-nots angle, there’s no reason to think Portland had Boston over a barrel in this instance.

          • Breakers fan

            Excellent way to see it as well. In the other thread I stated what made me finally see the light on this. In Discovery you can’t just assume a player is willing to come to you. I was thinking of this like it was more like the college draft where you (usually) pick someone and they plan to come to you. Though of course they have rights too – they don’t have to sign. I don’t know why it took me so long. I think I was just hurt that she didn’t want to come to Boston.

          • KT5000

            Yeah, that makes sense. 🙁
            Double-stings to relive that feeling with Pugh as well. (Though given her age and her family’s influence, perhaps it’s less of a slight towards Boston and more of a situational thing?)

          • Breakers fan

            Definitely. I don’t take the Mallory signing personally, as a Bostonian, at all. Someone that age going that far away is not going to happen. These things are primarily, way primarily, an endorsement of Portland more than they are a specific critique of any other city, I feel.

          • Breakers fan

            One question I would LOVE to know the answer to is: Did Boston say to Portland, in the Dagny situation, “we want your 1st round pick next year” . They certainly should have. If Portland was asked that question and said “no, you only can have our 2nd round pick” that shows the leverage held by the Barrel Holder Over.

          • Breakers fan

            If they do away with the whole discovery process that will enable 1 team – most likely either Portland or the next most desirable city – Seattle? or the team who won the title last year – to rightfully gain the best internationals, every year, up to a point where they reach their salary cap. You think that’s right and fair, because these players are “free agents” as you describe them? And that teams at the bottom have no power to try to improve their team via the international player acquisition process by getting first dibs at unsigned internationals? That that power should only exist when it comes to the college draft? Is that a fair description of your beliefs on this matter?

          • mockmook

            If you try to force a team to give more than they want in a trade, they will avoid the trade.

            The league will be in no better position than the clubs to determine what is the “fair” trade that will still allow a transaction to occur.

          • Breakers fan

            So should the League approve all trades?

            Here is, briefly, what is in the rules page you linked me to earlier:

            1. “Bona fide consideration is required in each trade of a player.”

            2. “All trades are subject to League approval”

            I would just like to see the dialogue that occurred surrounding Dagny’s situation from all parties involved – Dagny, Boston, Portland and the League. Seeing specifically what it was would be revealing.

  • Guest

    movement had this one nailed from hyping her up with promos and videos for several weeks now.

  • kevin

    am i correct in thinking that if this new usi allocation rule today was announced prior to the uswnt announcing the 2016 allocations on 01/13/16, that emily sonnett would have been automatically allocated to boston or sky blue?

    • Paul Klee

      I’m not sure. What would happen if, for example, Wisconsin’s Rose Lavelle played for the USWNT at the Olympics and played for the Badgers next fall. Would she enter the 2017 draft or be considered an Unattached Subsidized Individual (USI).

      • Matt Ryan

        I think in that case, yes, it’s the “College Draft.” Precedent with Morgan Brian, Crystal Dunn, & Emily Sonnett.

      • rufan

        Or would want skip her final college year to sign a WNT contract and threaten to go to Europe to play.

      • Lorehead

        I think the USWNT probably doesn’t want to appear to be encouraging girls to quit school.

  • mskillens

    That sucks. Would be nice for her to get an education at UCLA.

    • Paul Klee

      Well now at least, if she really wants to get a college education, she’ll be able to choose one that best fits her educational goals rather than taking into account the soccer dimension of the school.

      • Steglitz49

        It depends. A degree from UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford or USC is not to be sneezed at, even if the major is in something like Communications — quite apart from the experience of studying there.

        • Paul Klee

          Jus’ sayin…. Would UCLA be her choice, if soccer was not a consideration. If, she was interested in veterinary medicine or forestry, for example, UCLA would be the unlikely first choice.

          • Steglitz49

            I expect that veterinary medicine like human medicine is a second degree. Forestry I have not the foggiest but could also be a graduate school.

      • rkmid71

        If she is so good, would it have mattered which school she went to?

        • Kevin

          Nope, unless you’re a UCLA fan.

        • Steglitz49

          At least the young lady does not have to contend with Jim Crow like Condi Rice grew up with. Maybe one day Ms Pugh too can be a member of Augusta National.

          • rkmid71

            Keeps things in perspective doesn’t it. We don’t seem to be making any headway in promoting Condi Rice for next Head of FIFA. Hopefully, the fact she’s a football fan of a different kind is not holding her back. We need a Condi Rice clone to take on the job.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. Mrs Clinton?

          • rkmid71

            Excellent idea. Not least because we wouldn’t have to worry about her becoming President of United States. And you know, the Clinton Foundation and all the networking she did as Secretary of State, she has all those international connections. But, for the avoidance of doubt, she is a far cry from a Condi Rice clone!

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth. Apart from the obvious difference, like gap between front teeth, presumably owing to cost of orthodontist, and skill at the piano and golf, Condi has actually achieved stuff under her own steam.

        • mockmook

          Yes. The quality of coaching, teammates, and competition matters.

          • rkmid71

            Maybe, but it’s a pretty big universe. Rampone went to Monmouth University. Michelle Akers UCF. Jennings-Gabarra UCSB. Jerry Rice to Mississippi Valley State. Kurt Warner to University of Northern Iowa. These are Hall of Fame players.

  • guest

    what kind of a league changes the rules right at the start of the draft? great timing.

    • mockmook

      A fledgling league. Do you think the first few years of the NFL might have been a little chaotic?

      • guest

        i know what the nwsl should do. they should do what the mls did and hire nfl people to run the league fairly and properly.

  • kevin

    maybe the portland thorns should change their name to Real Portland or Portcelona. lol

    • Nicole C.

      PSG? (Portland Saint-Gresham)

      • Steglitz49

        PSP = Portland St-Paulsen ?

        • kevin

          those are good ideas too. lol

  • smallchief

    Having been a parent and grandparent, my advice to Pugh would have been to go to college. But, with my advice and 3 dollars you can buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

    What will be most interesting to me is how Pugh stacks up against the established forwards of the US — none of whom have been much good for the last year. Maybe Pugh isn’t ready yet — but Mia Hamm was 15 when she first played for the WNT and Heather O’Reilly was 17.

    Pugh’s allocation is bad news for forwards in the NWSL who are hoping to be members of the WNT — McCaffrey and Huerta come to mind.

    And next year Ashley Sanchez will be 17…

    • Steglitz49

      I read somewhere that Ms Pugh is 5’4″. That makes her average height for the Japanese WNT, so it need not be a handicap. Time will tell. In short, maybe it is worth taking the allocated slot now than in 5 year’s time, even if it means forfeiting college.

      Having typed that, I too would have advised Ms Pugh to go to college and live her youth in all its fulness.

    • Kevin

      Going to college is a bad move if you’re going to get picked up by US Soccer and earn a big paycheck.

      It’s a waste of time spent in classes instead of working on your career, which is soccer at this point in time. And most of all, it’s a risk.

      • Steglitz49

        How is a “big paycheck” defined in WoSo? $50,000, $100,000 or $500,000 a year?

        • Kevin

          It’s a relative term. I’m not talking about her paycheck relative to other WoSo palyers.

          $70k-$100k is a big paycheck for a 17-year-old and/or a 1st-year college graduate. My guess is she’ll be making more than that.

          • Steglitz49

            Given that a full scholarship at a top college is worth $60+k, before tax and deductions she probably needs to pull in $100k to break even — not counting the value of a degree from such a joint.

          • Captain Crunch

            Nike. If she makes the WNT, she’ll make 10x that with a Nike contract…and she’ll be playing pro in Nike’s backyard.

          • Steglitz49

            I very much doubt that. Not even Alex Morgan makes that kind of money — and she is WoSo’s megastar.

          • Captain Crunch

            Well I think it’s all a moot point now. I heard she’s no longer going pro and will stick to UCLA commitment. Supposedly the whole pro thing was driven by her dad but who knows. Unfortunately Portland gave up a lot to get her so wonder what will happen there.

          • Steglitz49

            Wise young lady.

            Portland never does anything for no reason. One wonders what benefit they will make from this. Maybe be allowed to pay Amandine Henry a little extra for the weekends?

          • Captain Crunch

            Yeah, if her heart’s not in it or she’s on the fence, definitely go to college.

            Agree, have to think Portland will have to be compensated somehow. Feel like Henry is just using Portland for leverage but I hope I’m wrong and she signs with them.

          • guest

            any sites that discuss this updated info?

          • Kevin

            She was going to UCLA. You’re using numbers from a school like Stanford which is 4x as much.

            So she needs to make far less than your over-exaggerated numbers.

            The value of a degree isn’t much if she makes a career out of playing soccer.

          • Steglitz49

            Cut the garbage. You have been corrected once. I obviously have to correct you again.

            Unless she can claim CA residency she pays top dollar at UCLA: total non-resident $58,606.

            This is because for non-residents there is a supplemental tuition fee of 24,708.

            As far as I know the lady is from Colorado. I accept that I was off by a couple of thousand dollars. Gee, whiz!

          • Kevin

            You’re using out-of-state fees to inflate your numbers. She can get the equivalent degree in-state from many public universities in every state.

            Her risk that everyone is arguing about isn’t about which university she goes to, it’s about the diploma. Try focusing on the relevant facts for once.

            It’s the cost of a college education we’re talking about here, not the cost of an education specifically from UCLA. UCLA is a public university. There’s many of these that are just as good or better in almost every state.

            That’s twice I’ve had to correct you on this. Do you get it yet?

          • rufan

            its the bonus and endorsement money esp. if she make the ’19 WWC team and it wins.

          • Captain Crunch

            Nike. If she makes the WNT, she will be a household name whether she’s “earned” it or not and I see Nike giving her a fat contract…and she’ll be playing in Nike’s backyard. If she can do well in NWSL, she could be the face of the league and really increase the fan base. Obviously time will tell but she will make a ton of money in endorsements if she makes the WNT.

          • newsouth

            face of the league? that’s an insult to morgan fans.

      • smallchief

        Seems to me more of a risk that Pugh will be injured or fail to improve on her early promise and will find herself off the national team and out of the money two or three years from now with no college scholarship and no alternative career.

        • Kevin

          She has a better chance of “making it” by going straight to the pros than going to college for 4 years.

          She should be able to save enough money in just her first year to pay for most of a 4-year education at UCLA to have an alternative career.

        • Kevin

          OK, then she can go to college with all the money she made these next few years and have plenty of money in the bank as well.

          What makes you think she can’t go to college if she doesn’t go RIGHT NOW?

      • rkmid71

        It’s rare one says spending time in classes is a waste of time, regardless of the circumstances. One hopes that attitude didn’t also apply to her HS years.I’ve always been impressed with those actors and actresses that had all the money in the world, yet still thought it was valuable to get a first class education (eg. Brooke Shields at Princeton, Jodie Foster at Yale, etc). On the other hand, you have cases like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg who both dropped out of Harvard and seemed to do ok. It all depends on the individual and I’m trusting that Ms. Pugh knows perfectly well what she’s doing. Go for it!

        • Kevin

          Almost everyone goes to college to study in the field they want to have a career in, make more money, open opportunities, etc.

          There aren’t any colleges that have a major in Soccer. If this is the career path she wants to pursue, then college is only going to slow her down.

          If she wants to further her education, she can easily do it part-time at her own pace. If she went to college, she’d have to go full-time if she also wanted to play on the college soccer team.

          I wasn’t trying to say that college is a waste of time in general, or for most players, but if your career aspirations are to be a professional soccer player, college isn’t the best path IF…

          • you’re talented enough and US Soccer and the Portland Thorns are going to pick you up

    • kernel_thai

      Yes but the difference is Hamm, O’Reilly, A-Rod, Lily, etc didnt get paid by the USSF to skip college. They played as teens but still went to college. Even Horan wasnt subsidized by the the USSF when she choice PSG over UNC.

  • NYRick

    I’ve said on here for over 2 years or so, where is the 16 or 17 year old American soccer prodigy. When will she emerge? Why hasn’t she already in such a strong program? More importantly, when she did reveal herself, how would the program treat her and nurture her? The question always focused on what would the US program have done with a 16 year old Marta? Would she have had a shot of making the team, and maybe even starting for the senior team?

    So I ask. Is it Mallory Pugh? Is she the one?

    • Steglitz49

      Marta joined Umeå at the age of 18 and immediately made her mark.

      It is getting harder and harder for female players to start young except in poor countries. Playing for your U19/U20 NT is considered a great achievement. Granted, Iwabuchi was 18 and Kumagai 20 when they played in the WC-11 final but almost the whole Japanese stars in the age-range of 18-23 have been side-lined through injury (as Man’s career almost was).

      At 5’4″, Ms Pugh is a little on the short side. Let’s trust the glory shines on her. My view is that she would have been better served going to college.

    • rkmid71

      For me the jury’s still out. I would start to believe if Pugh actually leads her YNT or club teams to a WC or national titles — hasn’t happened yet. The U17 and U20 teams she’s been a part of have underperformed. If I’m wrong, someone please name the WC or club team national titles. If Pugh is a prodigy, either those teams she’s been a part of have been woefully or poorly coached or other myriad of excuses or blaming other players’ shortcomings for her teams’ failures and inability to win big games. If so, find a competent coach or change the players around her. A great player is one who makes players around them better and plays the role necessary for their team to win.

      • guest

        I think I would value her leading the Thorns in a year or two just as much. If the USSF wants to allocate her that is their choice and there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about it.

        • rkmid71

          I would value that too … but expect the Thorns to take it slow (based on whatever instructions they get from USSF). I don’t expect her to be leading anything though — based on the evidence and track record to date. Obviously, the USSF can do what it likes and does. Does that make it right or beyond criticism? Aren’t we all effectively shareholders? Do you think paying Klinsman $2 million per year (vs. $400k to previous coach) is or has been a good investment?

          • guest

            No I don’t think that JK has done a good job and I don’t mind fan criticism but fans are not really share holders. They can walk away at anytime. Honestly I don’t mind this move at all as I have been hoping to see American standouts developed younger and at home. The request to play in Portland bothers me a little but if the USSF, Portland and the rest of the teams in the league are okay with it who am I to call foul.

          • Steglitz49

            The request to play under a certain coach I could understand but simply to play in a location is a bit harder to follow. Maybe she rates the new Portland coach highly based on his achievements at DC.

            I guess it could be that other coaches would not play ball but are keeping a vow of silence.

          • guest

            Her parents want her to stay with extended family during her time in Portland and I would argue the access to facilities and trainers she can get through the Thorns are more beneficial than a coach she is only going to play for half of the year.

          • Steglitz49

            Fair enough. I guess the resources of PSG and the chance to meet players like Zlatan and Thiago Silva if only on the odd occasion, might have been attractive to Ms Horan. Granted, Ms Horan was a little older too.

          • KT5000

            Her older sister also attends college a couple hours’ drive from Portland.

          • rkmid71

            I would hope fans walking away is not really something USSF (non-profit) is indifferent about. Similar to a company, shareholders walking away is not a good thing for their share price. But I hear what you’re saying … maybe just need to see how things play out and it might be much ado about nothing. Let’s hope.

          • guest

            The USSF doesn’t make money off the league. They make money of the NT and that revenue is not going away any time soon. Have you seen the prices for the game against Ireland.

          • rkmid71

            Yes, directly. I would feel better if some of that ticket revenue was channeled to find a way to help the NWSL clubs pay the non USWNT NWSL players better wages (rather than into USSF coffers) — or maybe that’s what the allocation is meant to do. The USSF and NWSL are intertwined as far as I can tell. On a side note, I saw that the USSF is the “manager” of the NWSL, performing all management, governance, operational, administrative and advising services for the NWSL. USSF does not receive mgm’t fees or rent. Maybe for fun, I’ll comb through the USSF audited financials 🙂

          • Steglitz49

            The boys and girls Junior World Championships in hockey have just been completed. In the boys, Finland defeated Russia 4-3 on a golden goal and the US got bronze by defeating Sweden (whom they had lost to in the basic series). In the young ladies, the US beat Canada 3-2 in the final, while Sweden beat Russia 2-1 to claim the bronze.

            Some wags in Sweden have suggested that the coach of the successful ladies junior team be invited to take charge of the boys team. In that vein, JE could take charge of the USMNT.

          • rkmid71

            Great for the US women! Especially beating Canada in the final. And for the guys, respectable…those countries are some powerhouses in hockey. Re: JE, why not? She has a better track record as coach, she just won FIFA coach of the year, she couldn’t do much worse + USSF can save a lot money on coaching salaries (even if you double JE’s salary).

          • Terry Lash

            As a fan of DC United during the period the young Freddy Adu played for the team, it seemed obvious that he was not prepared to handle the pressure DC United and MLS management put on him. Expectations were created far beyond any reasonable level. As a result of promotions Adu was receiving attention from around the world. He understandably could not come close to meeting the inflated expectations. It did not take DC United long to cast him off and start his rapid decline as a desirable player. The WNT, NWSL and the Thorns must very carefully manage expectations for Pugh, and develop and train her at a pace she can emotionally and physically handle. So far, I have not read anything troubling in that regard. But we should all closely monitor this situation and strongly object if the powers that be try to push her too fast or hard.

          • Steglitz49

            Would it not have been simpler to let Ms Pugh attend UCLA?

            Was this a question of a foreign team offering a deal like PSG did for Ms Horan? Why the desperation? Ms Horan is back in the USA and in the NT squad.

            If it was not the Emir, who was it? Man City? Barcelona?

          • Terry Lash

            Maybe she did not want to attend college now. Many high school graduates postpone going to college or simply do not want to go to college at all. Both of these choices can be good ones for specific individuals. Maybe it’s the correct choice for Pugh. In the US there is a strong tendency to push everyone to go to college. I think this is overdone.

          • Steglitz49

            We will never know and we will never care.

            Stats show that the vast majority who go to college are better off than those who don’t even after you take into account the costs. In this case, there were no costs.

        • guest

          i would think most teams would value having the top rated prospect in the us. especially the teams at the bottom of the nwsl. i don’t recall anyone saying the ussf doesn’t have the right to allocate who they choose. just like people have the right of free speech to express their opinions and expose the truth when necessary. and spend their disposable income as they see fit.

          • AnotherGuest

            If you read some of the comments there are a lot of people claiming that she hasn’t done enough to earn allocation.

  • NYRick

    I’m also leery though of the 16 year old “pro” playing at an elite level. Has anyone seen Wayne Rooney play this year? He is 30 and seemingly a shell of what he was at even 28. You can blame injuries and tactics etc. all you want, but the wear and tear on a player’s body from that HS age till 30 is always noticeable. The breakdown begins faster. Training with a college team has to be vastly different than training with top pros. The physical and the mental stress of performing at a high level daily. The Lebrons are literally one in millions and even he at only 30 is starting to lose a step whereas maybe he should be at the crux of his prime.

    The parents are always going to go for the money with the young prodigy athlete. I hope this girl is being properly advised beyond the money. Fame is fleeting for any athlete with a serious injury whether that happens at age 18 or age 34.

    • Steglitz49

      What makes you think that this young lady will play beyond 27? She might call it a day at 26.

    • Paul Klee

      Rooney has been playing 80+ matches a year. A USWNT member will play half that between club and country.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      What difference does it make though? If you are right and going straight to pro does cause players to age out faster, then had Rooney gone to college (just laugh at that thought for a moment), he’d have developed slower and also stayed at peak fitness later, so likely would have enjoyed his best playing years at say 24-32, rather than say 20-28, I don’t see why that is any better?

      • NYRick

        I guess studies have to be presented on this, but it seems that female athletes tend to flame out faster when starting at a younger age as a top pro. I’m really basing that on female tennis players. Other than Serena, most are done by their mid to late 20s after being teen and early 20 sensations. I think that will hold true for soccer players too, but that really has to be determined. Abby hung around till 35, but was really finished at 32. I don’t know what the heck Rampone is doing but she is really milking the USSF pretty good. She was on her way out at OG12 (go check her performance in that Japan final). That’s the problem. The power and name of the athlete will make them stay around longer than the sell date.

        To answer your point, I kind of would rather have a 10-year span to be age 21-31 rather than 17-27 strictly from a maturity standpoint. But once again, that’s only my opinion. Not a study to back that.

        • Steglitz49

          Sports like tennis, figure skating and gymnastics have put strict age limits on when young ladies can compete at senior level for exactly those reasons learnt by hard experience.

          The winter sports vary in how they handle it but in hockey the ladies always have to wear full face masks while the boys wear full up to one age (?17?) and then can move on to the half-vesires.

    • Terry Lash

      I think it is unfair to say that “The parents are always going to go for the money with the young prodigy athlete.” Do you know Pugh’s parents? Being a parent is not easy and involves a lot of decisions. Clearly, there are parents who many of us believe make wrong decisions about their children’s sports choices, but there are others who make sensible decisions, taking into consideration a variety of factors that we are unlikely to know at this time. Let’s see how Pugh’s decision plays out and make judgments based on more information rather than condemning her parents with sweeping generalizations.

      • NYRick

        That’s a very fair point.

        • Steglitz49

          You concede too readily. I thought your point had merit.

          We do not know how either Ms Horan’s deal with the Emir or Ms Pugh’s deal with USSoccer have been structured but I suspect that the deal with PSG may well have been more favorable than this one.

          • NYRick

            Well I was generalizing about her parents on that. I don’t know them or their intentions and T. Lash was right on that.

          • Steglitz49

            You forgot the weasel words “Most” or “Many” to qualify your language but I took that for granted.

          • Terry Lash

            He said “always,” which I questioned.

          • Steglitz49

            That was my point. He forgot to qualify with “most” or “many” or “nearly” or any other weasel word that leaps to mind.

            The issue here is that hopefully the young lady and her parents had top notch advise and counsel acting for them. I always had the impression that Ms Horan got a straight and fair, even generous, deal from PSG. Let’s trust that USSoccer has done the decent thing.

      • Steglitz49

        There is an interesting sort of parallel in the world of Alpine skiing. As juniors both Tina Weirather and Vikky Rebensburg (both now 26) were successful. Tina (whose parents were both fine skiers, not least her mum Hanni Wenzel) started to ski as senior at 16 so she could be in the 2006 Olympics. The German federation wanted Vikky also to be in OG-06 but her club coach advised against it and Vikky started senior competition later at 17.

        Vikky’s first senior victory was her Olympic gold medal in Vancouver. She has gone on to win 2 giant slalom championships. Because of illness Vikky had not been able to ski before OG-14 but still managed to win a bronze and last year she won silver at the World Championships.

        Tina, on the other hand, got injured and her career is not as far advanced. Tina has 4 wins and 22 podiums but no medals while Vikky has 10 wins and 24 podiums to go with her medals.

        Magdalena Neuner, the retried biathlete, was also under pressure to move up to senior competition early but resisted.

    • Oregon

      His latest matches, he has been a star (i.e. backheel goal).

      Last England match too, I believe…

      All in all, has done all right for himself.

    • Breakers fan

      I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think Pugh would dominate college soccer next year, the year after or maybe any year. I think she’d be good, then very good, but there are a lot of good players at the top level of college soccer. I think she’d just be another one – maybe someday or maybe quickly one of the better ones, and maybe someday the best, but I don’t see, at this time, — granted that comes from me only having seen her play I think 4 games to date– her to be some kind of freakish prodigy.

  • NYRick

    On another note, Portland will soon become the Harlem Globetrotters of American women’s pro soccer while the other teams compete for the right to be the Washington Generals. Congrats, Mr. Paulsen. I mean now Portland gets the top pick in this “new” USI draft too to select Pugh?? Totally bogus.

    • Steglitz49

      So far Seattle have been the trotters but fallen short at the final hurdle. No NWSL team has played globally to date.

    • Matt Ryan

      Once again time to remind people that in the 3 years of existence, Portland has finished 3rd, 3rd, & 6th.

      • Steglitz49

        They won the inaugural championship. That is finishing #1. Tobin Heath’s freekick, playing with 10 and all that.

        • Matt Ryan

          And what a wonderful day that was, but the fact that they did it from the third seed is relevant to counter the concerns (since day one) that Portland specifically was going to ruin parity. Seattle has been a far greater that to that than Portland has, yet here we are again.

          • Steglitz49

            Of all the goals scored in the NWSL system I only remember Tobin’s monster freekick and that ARod has scored all of KC’s goals in the next two finals. I am aware that some other goals were scored (I guess Sinclair because I don’t remember Alex doing it) but who scored for Seattle I have not the foggiest.

            But. You can’t judge by me.

          • NYRick

            The NWSL playoffs isn’t exactly a grind. It’s just 2 wins for the title. A team really only needs to make the top 4 and then any of the 4 have a legitimate shot.

          • Steglitz49

            That is why play-offs are an abomination to soccer. Let’s have a league and a challenge cup sooner rather than later.

          • NYRick

            For this, I agree with you. I have long thought the American way (where playoffs are everything in the Big 4 and now even in MLS) was the better way. Now, I don’t think it’s the best barometer. The NY Giants won 2 SBs the past decade by being really maybe at best the 5th or 6th best team in the sport in each year.

            The NY Red Bulls have won Supporter’s Shields 2 of the past 3 years and have no MLS title to their name.

          • KT5000

            Exactly. Relative parity.

      • NYRick

        They did win a title in year 1 so let’s not forget that. Year 3 was greatly affected by the WC absences for their team, probably more than any other. Year 2 really no Morgan the whole year.

        Watch what happens from this point on now with Portland. They are ridiculously stacked from the Morgan heist and now get the top pick in Sonnett and maybe the real prize in Pugh (simply because she would have only gone to the Portland franchise and nowhere else to skip college).

        • Steglitz49

          The Emir might have bought Ms Pugh. That could have been the straw that forced USSoccer’s hand.

        • Matt Ryan

          Okay, Portland is guilty of trading their most valuable asset to Orlando and having the gaul to choose Sonnet with the pick. Tell me: how many out of ten NWSL owners, if given the choice between Alex & Emily, would choose Emily? Heist, eh?

          Can we at least run the league before you hang us for running the league?

          • NYRick

            You are not looking at the full trade. It is not just Alex and Emily.

          • guest

            I think every owner in the league would still chose Alex for her popularity and ability to get fans in seats more than anything.

          • NYRick

            Yes that’s probably true. But Portland has the unique situation where they will get the fans to the matches with or without Alex. They had the advantage of having her for the first 3 years to generate even more interest than they probably needed and now leveraged that asset to just being really good for the next 5 years. Great management and playing by the rules. But the rules are stacked in their deck as it now stands due to that stadium and fanbase.

          • guest

            Well like it or not the Thorns being one of the best teams is good for the league. They shouldn’t be a Bayern Munich and I don’t think they are even with the bevy of great offseason moves. The same is true for Orlando, Houston, and Seattle.

            Right now I think their leverage is mostly due to their initial and continued investment in the sport. The league’s growth has a lot to do with their success. Also, Merritt might like winning but he does have an interest in keeping the league running and I think he knows that a “Real Madrid” could ultimately lead to the league’s failure.

            There is nothing I would like to see more than Orlando or another team start to challenge Portland(in terms of marketability) but the league simply isn’t there right now.

          • Steglitz49

            Why are neither Seattle nor KC able to challenge Portland in marketability? We are repeatedly told what a hotbed of soccer the PNW is and the wonder of the Sounder’s Women but if I read you right neither the success on the field of KC nor Seattle has translated into hard cash on the nail, just empty admiration from armchairs.

          • guest

            I think they could if they become backed or bought out by the MLS owners in the same city. The biggest advantages the Thorns have right now are marketing, infrastructure, and capital to invest.

          • Steglitz49

            Subsidy, iow.

          • guest

            Not really. More like initial start up money. The Thorns have a head start doubly so because of the soccer culture in Portland. If the teams can all attract enough fans to break even with their expenses. As I am sure others have pointed out to you. Other than the NFL all american leagues have teams that either lose money or break even. The difference is that those same leagues also have teams making money hand over fist. Most of the revenue in the NHL for example is generated by the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

          • Steglitz49

            The priority is to make the NWSL a lasting enterprise. That means underpinning the teams. If that means being kept afloat by MLS-clubs, so be it.

            At the same time, the spectre that pure WoSo clubs will be eaten and wiped out by MLS-kept sides is not totally heart warming. Acknowledging that pro-WoSo is not viable as a pure WoSo activity can be as welcome as an unwanted pregnancy.

            After all, WoSo teams that have become viable under MLS-subsiby are not going to be sold off. The MLS-club would want that profit and heaven knows how little will be ploughed back into the ladies.

            At some point, the three lined whip of thou shalt play for the NWSL to be considered for the NT will lose it sting. If 17 year olds with “promise” can be offered as good contracts as 22/3 year old seniors, where does it all end? And, why not listen to the siren voices from across the waters and take the foreign coin?

            Yes, Portland can outspend the others in the NWSL, but can they outspend Bayern or other superwealthy men’s clubs?

            Of course, there are plenty of young American ladies to go around and fill the ranks but where is WoSo heading?

          • kevin

            i agree. the best thing to happen for the nwsl is for orlando, dash or maybe salt lake city to get their avg game attendance over 10,000 so that they can act as a counter-balance to portland.

          • Steglitz49

            That is a tall order. Houston and Orlando may be pushed to get their collective attendance >10,000. Granted, the day SLC enters the NWSL it may be easier.

          • Ayn Rand

            All SB has to do is get competitive and they too will share the wealth.

          • guest

            Living in the New York area I think that SB would need more than that. First they need to start playing in a professional facility that is easy to commute to. Second they need a star. If the Yankees are seeing reduction in attendance and viewership numbers because of their lack of stars other teams will as well. Third they need to win.

          • Steglitz49

            No doubt the management are more than aware of those issues. From memory of having lived in NJ for many years, I can’t think of a prime stadium of the right size. Hiring Red Bull stadium would cost a lot of money.

            No doubt, once Man City gets its male team in the Tristate Area up and running, they could buy the SB franchise hook, line and sinker. After all, they took mercy on a ladies club in their home town. Heck, they might simply start their own club and do a deal with the NWSL the way they did with the FA.

          • Matt Ryan

            Portland also sent Kyle to Orlando, and Orlando apparently gave Portland dibs to try to sign Horan. There were also other picks involved. Thing is, it wasn’t a “heist,” or anything shady. Alex wanted the trade, Orlando wanted Alex, and the Thorns got picks and the chance to talk Horan into coming. Where’s the nefarious doings? Where’s the victim?

          • Lorehead

            Look at the full series of moves, and four players who were with the Thorns last year are on Orlando’s roster now: Morgan, Catley, Kyle and Sanderson.

          • guest

            if the new draft day allocation rule was announced two days earlier with the new uswnt allocations, sonnett would have been automatically allocated to sky blue like it applied to pugh. guess it was just good timing for portland. the league is supposed to be run for the collective interest of all teams not just the individual interests of one team. when favoritism is shown it brings into question fair competitive play and the integrity of the entire league.

          • Lorehead

            I don’t think it applies to players who entered the draft; the same rule applied to Morgan Brian. But if the Breakers had got the number one pick either this year or last year, I don’t think either Brian or Sonnett would have ever set foot on the practice field in Boston anyway. US Soccer would have found some way to move them to Houston, Portland, Kansas City or Seattle.

          • Steglitz49

            Does USSoccer despise Boston that much? I always feel like I am a lone wolf when I howl at Boston.

          • Lorehead

            Well, maybe not. I’ve never kidnapped them, injected them with truth serum, and asked them. But nobody seems to want to play there, and every star seems to have found a way out of having to.

          • Breakers fan

            Christine Lilly begs to differ. I believe all of her pro league play was in Boston – a good 5 years or more. Cat Whitehill – another USWNT player, also. Many others have played here – ARod, Holiday, HAO for a few years, though I think she wanted to go to a more advanced team. It’s a great city – all the arts, concerts, museums, other sports. It’s not too big. A lot of young people here. It could be that some players would just rather avoid the couple cold months they’d be here at the start of the season. That and how the crowds aren’t *as* big as in some cities, though it’s improving in that area, and now the venue is a lot better than it has been. What’s your beef with it, Steg? You’ve never specifically said why you “despise” it. That’s a very strong word to use.

          • Guest

            Boston is a great city. I think the bigger problem for them than the city is the environment. The things you consistently hear when talking to players who play for the Thorns is how they feel like professional football players even if they aren’t getting paid like it. They love the fans, the crowds, the training environment and all of the other perks that come with playing in Portland. Those are things that no other team so far has really been able to match.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. I think you’re right about Portland, and how none of the other teams do all the things that Portland does. But they also don’t have the money to do all of these things. By chance Portland players have the fan base – Paulson didn’t create that, it was there. So that’s I think mostly luck. I mean I doubt their marketing strategy is so superior that it drummed up 10.000 more fans than other cities did with their marketing efforts. This comparing teams and cities is kind of pointless because we’re just guessing about how 100 different individuals (players) feel. Just because we post here doesn’t mean we *know* things like this. I think many players are happy enough in the city they’re in. They’re not spoiled, greedy brats. Sure they would prefer if their city drew like Portland does, but I think they develop a bond to their teammates, they develop a desire to see the group they’re with succeed. And I think they try to enjoy what their city has to offer.

          • Steglitz49

            The harsh reality seems to be that apart from getting drunk or laid, not necessarily in that order, there is not a heck of a lot of other entertainment for people except to watch soccer in Portland.

          • KT5000

            What?! Pshaaaaa. Portland is extremely fun.

          • Paul Atkinson

            That comment is a bit beneath you, Steglitz. Not only is it a bit presumptuous and rude, it’s ridiculously wrong.

            Not that I’m encouraging over-immigration to Portland, but you could only say that if 1) you’d never spent significant time here, or 2) all you did while you were here was look for places to drink and get laid (not necessarily in that order).

            We have outdoor beauty to spare, and people of every sporting level enjoy it. We hike, road bike, mountain bike, windsurf, surf, ski, snowboard, cyclocross, climb, run, or sometimes find great sports that are a combination of many of those. We have a decent theater scene (it’s not New York, but then neither is anywhere outside New York), some of the best restaurants in the country, a thriving business market that’s a bit tech-heavy so there are lots of high-paying jobs, locally made beer and coffee galore…

            You just have to accept that it’s grey, overcast, and/or raining a whole lot of the year. But if you can live with that, this place is anything but boring.

            Oh, yeah…we also have some pretty fantastic times with our soccer teams here.

          • Guest

            Orlando seems to be on the right track so I would be shocked if marketing wasn’t a big problem for certain teams along with location of the venue. Living in NJ I can say first hand that the location is a pain to get to and there is virtually no marketing. Orlando has already sold a bunch of season tickets although I am sure AM has something to do with that. Portland definitely had a huge advantage when the league started with the soccer fan base already in place but it isn’t like the Thorns sell out every single game like the Timbers(who also have like 10,000 people on the ST waiting list) so I don’t think the fanbases are exactly the same. There was an article some where Sinclair talks about why she loves playing in Portland and considers the city her home. I don’t disagree about most of the players and I definitely wouldn’t call any of them greedy. I think the biggest advantage the Thorns infrastructure gives them is marketability to foreign players.

          • Steglitz49

            We’ve been regular visitors to Boston for >30 years now, sometimes several weeks on the trot, though hand on heart we have never owned property in Beantown.

            I am not persuaded that Boston is such a great environment for a pro-WoSo player though, in addition to the ones you list, Klings cut her teeth in Boston.

            Boston may well be the most European of NWSL cities but has shown no great yen for signing Europid players. I blame that Irish Catholic Angst.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for giving a direct answer talking of your experience. Very cool you’ve been here so much! Yeah, if you’re on the Breakers you’re not really going to be a celebrity here. People by and large aren’t going to be giddy with excitement, wondering how best to get your autograph when they see you walk down the street – only because you won’t be recognized by most. That may be different to some extent in Portland and I don’t know where else. It is true that long-time locals – the Irish Catholic you speak of have by and large scant interest in pro women’s soccer. They are Pats, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fans first. Not a lot of room, time left over for the Breakers. The team gets a different audience by and large, not saying some from the former category aren’t big fans. Those who played soccer may come out. Heather Mitts is another who played here for a few years. I didn’t know about Klings. It would be interesting to hear of players’ experiences in different cities. I don’t mean to get too defensive. I just think the tendency in comments is toward the unwarranted extreme, and based on not a lot of direct knowledge.

          • Diane (DeeG)

            It wouldn’t have been KC or Seattle, they aren’t MLS owned and therein is the difference, it’s not just Portland who gets the benefits, but it is Portland who most of the wheeling and dealing goes through.

          • Lorehead

            Portland’s where everybody wants to play. (The exceptions need to live in a different city, have a personal grudge with the management, or want more minutes.)

            But,a s far as U.S. Soccer is concerned? Kansas City has a great coach, a deal to use the local MLS team’s facilities, and plays on two very nice fields. The players there seem to be happy where they are. If US Soccer would let Crystal Dunn go to Washington (and, in one rumor, even tell Houston not to draft her because they promised her to Washington), they’d surely be happy to send a young star to Kansas City.

            The only reason we don’t know for sure is that FCKC has never finished badly enough to have a chance to draft one.

          • Diane (DeeG)

            Like you said, we’ll never know, but in the meantime the circumstantial evidence is damning.

          • KT5000

            I wondered about this, too. Why was Sonnet the ONLY player who was “unattached”, in the draft, and allocated?

          • Lorehead

            Unless Amadine Henry signs on the dotted line, they don’t have the Gaul.

            But I agree with you that the hold-up there is probably the other teams feeling that the Thorns are way too loaded already and Paulson looking for some way to bribe the owners into letting him get Henry, too.

      • KT5000

        (and that as far as anyone can tell, Paulson isn’t the one doing the “wheeling and dealing” with respect to the Thorns’ roster. Parsons and Wilkinson are the more likely orchestrators.)

  • mskillens

    lets say for some hypothetical reason, the nwsl started paying the women the same sum of money the men get in pro soccer, would the women retire at 27 or go to their aunts wedding during the playoffs?

    • Steglitz49

      They are more likely to follow ARod’s and Rampone’s examples.

    • rufan

      or even their fathers’ wedding.

    • mockmook

      The point you are trying to make eludes me.

  • Nicole C.

    This reminds me of Alana Hadley, the 19 year old pro marathoner from NC. There was a lot of backlash when the IAAF stuck to their rule about Hadley’s ineligibility for OG-16 (she misses the Olympic marathon cutoff date by a mere 8 days.) This isn’t any old runner- her winning time at the 2014 Indy Marathon met the US Olympic Qualifying standard. However, she has dropped out of several races in the past two years (one of them being the elite field at the 2015 NYC Marathon) due to injury.

    The young, injury-prone Aussies were brought up yesterday. I wish Pugh nothing but luck in her endeavors but I would hate to see her forced out in this decade on an injury.

    • Steglitz49

      I thought the IAAF made FIFA look like a model of rectitutde judging by all the reports coming out. Why someone could not square her birthdate with that crowd seems beyond comprehension. And here we thought only cycling and swimming were dirty.

  • Steglitz49

    This topic really did excite people reading the EQ!

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  • john

    So the Pugh family with or without USSF decides to go pro. The league says you go in the draft like any other aspiring player. You get selected or not. You sign with the team that drafts you or not. Welcome to what being a pro means, Mallory. All the machinations were USSF meddling in NWSL. USSF needs to support the league as a silent partner. It is the meddling to be all things to circa 24 people that causes the bush league antics season after season.

    • Diane (DeeG)

      Without the changes, she doesn’t go, that’s my theory. It’s not just USSF meddling, it’s NWSL kowtowing to MLS teams with their rule changes and special treatment.

  • The college game is missing out, but i hope she does great!

  • sudeep das

    Fantastic to see so many comments about Mallory Pugh. The interest generated is good for the game.

  • newsouth

    how about mallory goes to someone’s college and someone in the nwsl drafts bri instead?

  • VaFan51

    Leaving aside the broader issues for the moment… Is it reasonable to expect that Pugh is going to get far less actual game-time, at least in the next year or two, with Portland than she would if she went to UCLA? Given the all-star lineup Thorns are trying to put out there, how much game-time is she actually going to get? And how much does that matter in terms of her development?
    (I guess she would miss much of UCLA’s season anyway, because of the U20 WC.)
    Just raising the question.

    • Diane (DeeG)

      She is very good, but I agree she may see significantly less game time w/Thorns than Bruins.

  • Anson

    Whoever is guiding this young lady is not doing their job.
    Education/Experiences set you up for life not playing soccer especially women’s soccer. On average a four year college education cost ~$140,000.00. Playing soccer in the NWSL @ $25k/year and being allocated to the USWNT in 2 years @ $30k/year. It will take Pugh ~ 5 years to break even.
    What experiences is she going to miss out on? Education, Friendships, Sporting events, Sorority events, BoyFriends, College Soccer Matches, Tournaments, The College Soccer Experience, Maturity socially and physically, etc.
    What does she gain going Pro? Notoriety, Fame, Bills, Immaturity with experiences and a chance to make the USWNT!
    It’s her decision, I just wouldn’t advise my player(s) to do it! Good Luck!

    • Kevin

      Where are you coming up with these figures? They’re waaaaaay off.

      According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015–2016 school year was $9,410 for state residents at public colleges.

      That’s ~$40,000, not ~$140,000. That’s not including any financial aid.

      Where are you getting these allocation numbers from? Did you make everything up?

      Also, what makes you think she can’t go to college after her soccer career is over? If it’s a short career, she only delays going to college for a few years to chase her dreams and makes enough money to pay for it.

      • Diane (DeeG)

        Least expensive Out of State tuition at UCLA (the college Pugh declared to) for 2015/16 school year estimated at $49.8K. – https://www.admissions.ucla.edu/prospect/budget.htm

        Leroux’s salary is estimated to be $60K, probably w/o endorsements, so Pugh would have to play more than a few years to pay for an education like she would have gotten there.

        I don’t think money is the motivating factor here, so what is and why would she skip college when she’s almost guaranteed, by her own talent, to play with the full NT? She could get a world class education, play college & NT and still be drafted highly to the pros (when the contracts and salaries will probably be better)? Or she could skip college, go pro and the league could bust or she gets injured w/no college eligibility to fall back on and have to pay full tuition. I question the people who have advised her in this decision. The upside is minimal for a talented player like Pugh.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. He has been corrected several times before on this matter but does not get it.

          The UCLA estimated cost for anon-resident is $58.6k. To earn that you probably need a pre-tax and deductions income of $100k — and then you don’t get a UCLA degree.

          Thanks for keeping him right again.

          • Kevin

            LOL… you’re still upset because I called you out for your sexist remarks last month.

          • Diane (DeeG)

            It’s reported she does have family there, so that’s why I chose $49K.

          • Steglitz49

            I am not familiar with how Univ of CA defines resident but having “family” there I don’t think is enough, not least in these straightened times.

          • Diane (DeeG)

            Read the link in my initial reply and you’ll see how they break down tuition.

        • Kevin

          I never said from UCLA.

          If she has a career-ending injury, she can get an equivalent education in-state from wherever she’s living. So her only true risk is that it might not be from UCLA, but somewhere equivalent. Somewhere equivalent will cost $37,000 for 4 years on average. She’ll make that much in 2016.

          Also, most students don’t have to pay full tuition. She can get Financial Aid and Grants. Most students do and there’s more opportunities for minorities as well.

          Let’s be honest, she most likely wasn’t going to UCLA for any specific major, but because of their soccer program/coach. None of you know the answer to this, only Mallory Pugh does. Maybe she really wanted to go to Colorado, but didn’t because their soccer team is ranked #156 in the NCAA.

          • Diane (DeeG)

            Right, you never said from UCLA, and of course she could go to a community college to start and do all kinds of things to go on the cheap, but the education she is passing up is from UCLA, she didn’t declare to a community college. Regardless if she chose to go there for the soccer, her education would still have been from UCLA, not usually comparable with a local community college.

          • Kevin

            I never said community college. What I mentioned what a 4-year public university, which includes UCLA, University of Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, etc.

            4-year public universities don’t include community colleges.

          • Diane (DeeG)

            Point is it’s still not UCLA, the school she committed to, for a fair comparison.

          • Kevin

            Well we’re going to disagree on this one, which is ok. A fair comparison to me is an equivalent education/diploma, but I understand what you’re saying as well.

            Either way, it’s irrelevant, she’s going to UCLA now.

            Thanks for the polite debate. 🙂

    • Kevin

      “Education/Experiences set you up for life not playing soccer especially women’s soccer.”

      There’s a lot of current and former USWNT players that will strongly disagree with you.

      Why can’t she go pro and get an education? I went to college for 7 years getting 2 degrees. What are these incredible experiences that she can only get in college?

      I would strongly argue that playing on the USWNT with and against the greatest players in the world, traveling around the world, etc., is a far greater experience than going to college for 4 years.

      “It’s her decision, I just wouldn’t advise my player(s) to do it! Good Luck!”

      I think you’re talking about the average college player. Mallory Pugh is a stand-out and an exception to the rule. How many players get called up to the USWNT and drafted by the Portland Thorns straight out of high school?

    • Rose city red

      The lowest paid uswnt player is paid 50k without anything else, club and country. She would be with extended family, could still gain a college education WHILST playing with the thorns, and play on a team with some of the most competent women in the world. She would be staying with extended family.
      She could go to college and fizzle out in her intended field of study. She could go to college and get injured and not be able to make it to a pro career.
      Yes, she will no longer have tuition paid for by the college, but she can still gain an education. It’s not as if there aren’t decent colleges in Portland. Or online courses.
      you can still make friends and form a romantic relationship without college. There’s all sorts of ways to meet people and make relationships.
      With all due respect to you, you do not know this girl. Neither do I. You do not know how she will handle this, and neither do I.
      I doubt this is a decision her and her family took lightly.

  • soccermomx2

    Great for her! Not sure why some of the great college players aren’t getting the same shot in the NWSL or actually on the U.S. National Women’s Team. The top D1 women soccer graduates are so extremely tough and accomplished. Many talented players overlooked in this draft.

  • ARED

    The most interesting part of this to me are the implications for Pugh on the national team (although seeing how she fits in with Portland will be fun too).

    As for money/bad advisors/big mistakes/etc:

    Sport aside, she is certainly giving something up (a UCLA education, and life experience) but she is also gaining something (money, and life experience). She seems to know that, and is taking a choice from the two. Of course it is the less-travelled road -but there is no guarantee that a 3-4 year career at UCLA will help her game or give her any educational value which outweighs the *great* opportunity she has to join Portland. It’s possible she can’t hang, and in 4 years everyone rips her, but it’s also possible (likely?) that her game will develop more alongside Heath/Henry/Long than it would at the notably lower level of D-1 soccer.

    Some risk to be a trailblazer, but plenty of reward possible.

    • ARED

      Also, there is an added upside -the potential to leapfrog players on the NT. If Pugh is outperforming others in 3 years, it’s a lot harder to ignore her if she’s doing it at the same (NWSL) level. (But, we do know with the USWNT all things are possible ; p ).

  • bfredrix

    Pugh has decided to go to college instead of the NWSL so let all the posts about the Breakers screwing the Thorns out of a first round pick begin.

    • guest

      Evaluation of trade may have to wait until we see who Portland lands with the next USI/allocated USWNT player slot.

      Given Boston’s trade history USSF might allocate Kallman or McCaffrey

      • bfredrix

        I don’t think the new rule would apply to Kallman or McCaffrey as they are currently on an NWSL roster. “USI” stands for unattached subsidized individual.

        • guest

          I don’t think any of us actually know what new rules states since full text is not yet written/finalized or posted to NWSL site and given the history and change on the fly nature of NWSL rules – who knows.
          If Portland is un-happy – rule may change again

  • Rdalford

    Denver Post is now reporting that Pugh has decided to attend UCLA and is not turning pro. The Denver Post article quotes her father as source.

    imo, a wise choice.
    The UCLA education and soccer coaching by Amanda Cromwell should both help her with future soccer career and later in life career.