Mallory Pugh leaving UCLA for pro career

The Equalizer Staff April 17, 2017 527
Mallory Pugh gets the shot off under pressure. (MEG LINEHAN/Equalizer Soccer)

Mallory Pugh against England in the 2017 SheBelieves Cup (MEG LINEHAN/Equalizer Soccer)

Mallory Pugh is leaving UCLA to pursue a professional career. The news was tweeted by SI’s Grant Wahl and confirmed a short while later by the UCLA Women’s Soccer account. Should Pugh elect to sign with U.S. Soccer and become a Federation Player in NWSL, the Washington Spirit hold the top spot in the distribution order and can claim her rights. But according to Wahl’s report, Pugh is not interested in playing in Washington and could wind up with one of the big French clubs instead. Soccer apparel companies Nike and Adidas are also said to be in the mix, according to Wahl. That could impact Pugh’s decision.

“This decision was certainly not easy for me to make,” Pugh said in a statement posted on the UCLA’s athletic department site. “UCLA is such a special place, and being a Bruin was an incredible thing. UCLA Soccer brought amazing things to my life, and chasing after a national championship with my friends and teammates would’ve been special, but I could not turn down this opportunity. I want to thank my teammates, coaches, UCLA Athletics, and everyone else for the support I have behind me. I may have been here for a short time, but UCLA will always have a special place in my heart, and I will always be a Bruin.”

Despite committing to UCLA in 2015, Pugh never played a regular season match as a Bruin. She deferred her freshman campaign last fall to play for the U.S. in the U-20 World Cup. Before that she went to the Olympics with the full team and became the youngest American woman ever to score an Olympic goal.

In 2016, Pugh nearly signed to play with the Portland Thorns who traded to the top of the distribution order, but after a late audible she elected to enroll at UCLA after all.

It was not immediately clear whether Pugh would be joining NWSL or pursuing opportunities overseas. If she does become a contracted U.S. player subsidized to NWSL, the Spirit can claim, trade, or pass on, her rights.

  • DNG

    Still waiting to see where she ends up but this could be great for her career.

    • #1Fan

      Honest question

      How many teams in the world can make it great for her career ?

      Morgans star is fading, the US need another “it” girl. Nike will come up with $$ and we will carry on our merry way. You hope she improves, but I take nothing for granted in US Soccer

      • DNG

        3-4. I just want to see her go and play overseas and actually improve. Hard for me to criticize the player for doing what I think is best for her career(depending on which team she goes to). We can excoriate US Soccer all we want for their role as kingmakers separately.

        • #1Fan

          who criticized the player?

          • DNG

            No one I was just talking about me chosing to support her no matter how I feel about US Soccer. I probably could have chosen my words better.

          • #1Fan

            The “process” of women’s soccer in the USA and the relationship between the federation, NWSL teams and the National team is just to contrived for me.

            It takes the pleasure out of seeing talent and teams built and compete thru building a better brand.

            Gary Kleiban says it a lot about the mens game here as well. There is no real penalty for being bad. There is a protected group of owners who are insulated from real competition and the merry go round continues.

            Its not particularly appealing.

          • DNG

            I think your view is fair but I do still enjoy watching the NWSL teams compete even if I wish teams would actually be allowed to build the teams they could/wanted. I do think there is something great about a league where every team has a chance even if I prefer to watch great teams play great soccer. I’m hopeful that there will be some change to the structure in the future to allow for more comprehensive team building and that we do away with the draft in the future.

          • #1Fan

            Every team does have a chance. But there is no reason to perpetuate it when they fail by providing safety nets. Mens is the same.

          • DNG

            They don’t all have the same chance. In the mens game money spent on wages is very closely tied with the number of wins a team will have in a year. There is some variation of course and there is a limit to what money will buy but it mostly holds true. Leicester were special because they were basically the first ones to break that trend and they needed a perfect season and a perfect set of circumstances. Spurs may be just as good as the big guns right now but I fully expect their wage structure to go upwards in the near future and they can afford it. In the NWSL, if teams were allowed to spend what ever they wanted one or two teams would have a massive advantage. And I’d also worry about teams spending more than they could afford to try and keep up causing teams to fold.

          • #1Fan

            you are missing the point. int the NWSL and MLS they have have created false parity.Im not talking about the rest of the world. Im talking about the USA.

            The bubble here is why players like Jordan Morris stay home. Its a false, limited risk environment in the USA

            you have meaningless league where a huge percentage get into a KO event to name a champion.

          • DNG

            I get that the parity is contrived. I think a luxury tax with no allocations would be a better structure. I just want to avoid scenarios like Lyon winning the league every year. When the sport is still growing I’m not so sure that it’s healthy.

          • #1Fan

            all i know is that i am getting turned off the whole thing. Its a sham. They will engineer a move somewhere and the bottom line is, think her performances from the Olympics to now have been average at best. I dont see a transformational player yet. I see Jordan Morris without the College cups

            Just like Morgan, I see a marketable one and sadly, that seems to be where its at right now.

          • DNG

            I don’t have an issue with your view at all. I even agree that she has not really warranted the praise she’s gotten so far. This is definitely a move with financial/marketing motivations but I’m still hoping that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we get to see a player rough around the edges turn into a great one. I realize it isn’t like this yet but if Portland, Lyon, or PSG decided that they were going to take the financial commitment to develop her you’d see it as a good thing no? I think Portland would if they were allowed to and the other two still might. Cut the USSF out of the equation and I think you have a different feeling. They’re not going away for the foreseeable future though so I’m not sure what else there is to be done.

          • #1Fan

            as an observer I am at point where I fail to see the on field benefits of anything the USSF have gotten involved in. The people running the women’s game are largely clueless.

            The fan base seems to only care about waving flags and finding a new Morgan to root for and the marketing men will give them what they want.

            Its tiresome. At some point the product has to match the level of advertising

          • DNG

            As I said to you already I think your view point as it relates to the USSF is entirely justified and fair. Financially it makes sense for the USSF to look for their next star though even if you and I both know that it is not good for the sport overall. I don’t think the product does have to match the advertising actually. A big part of the reason Pogba sold for 90 million pounds was because of his marketing value in addition to his value on the field. I’d argue that Messi and Ronaldo’s marketing value is greater than their on field production as well and they are very well compensated for it. In the end the marketability is alway part of the valuation. Look at Tim Tebow.

          • #1Fan

            And I say rubbish to that. A FEDERATION looking for its next star is just not the way the game works anywhere else in the world.

            Please dont go to the mens game. Its apples and oranges, FFF is not paying Pogba. His value is to Manchester United, a massive commercial entity that exist with or without him. Messi and Ronaldo the same. The value they generate is commercially justified and IF those teams make financial mishaps, they pay for them.

            You cannot compare the USSF to Barcelona Real Madrid and Manchester United.

            I think the argument you are making is a bad one.

          • DNG

            I did’t say I agreed with it. I said that is how the federation will justify it. The point I was making was just that athletes in general are compensated based on things other than on field production. Alex Morgan is paid better than many of her OL teammates. Does her on field production justify it?

          • #1Fan

            i dont think you are reading what written OL pay her. Thats HIS business and his money. If he makes enough stupid decisions OR has enough to make as many as he wants..fine.

            He is NOT a federation .

            The USSF has got to a point now where they cannot afford NOT to continue to provide floors for this game and for what? People dont watch i in Club form.

            In some thinly field attempt to pretend to support the NWSL, they are simply paying to secure talent at home. meanwhile they are watching several players go abroad. If the NWSL is not finically violable for the better players then tough sh!t . Thats economics.

            I would rather the USSF stopped pouring our money down the drain. Spend it on improving the game at grass roots and maybe you will create something sustainable.

          • mockmook

            At some point the parents/players are responsible for wanting to play “beautiful” soccer.

            The Federation isn’t forcing anyone into their system.

          • DNG

            The federation is going to argue the exact opposite. That it’s actually a better investment to build stars than it is to pour more money into the youth system. I honestly don’t know what the answer is because as you yourself say, there is not going to be any real progression at the grass roots until there are clubs with the right incentive to develop pros. As long as the objective is parents cash no real progress. It isn’t as if USSF is not operating on the principles of economics as well. Their priorities are just different from yours and mine. I think mockmook has a good point as well. Parents do need to be more responsible for understanding more about the game.

          • brdn08

            Yes shes been the best striker since she arrived.

          • DNG

            lol no.

          • Ethan

            At least since her first goal/hat trick with Lyon.

          • DNG

            She’s a good player. I’m not at she’s a better player than Hegerberg or Le Sommer though. I think she’s probably worth every penny of her contract though.

          • Ethan

            Well, we just disagree there, but I think it’s hard to argue that she hasn’t been better than Hegerberg and Le Sommer since that Rodez quarterfinal match in the French Cup. I know we disagree on the level of Morgan’s performance in the two legs against Wolfsburg, but Le Sommer and Hegerberg definitely didn’t outperform her for me. In the French league or cup game she didn’t score in since the Rodez match (she and Le Sommer completely sat out one match), she assisted Houara-d’Hommeaux’s first goal and had a number of good set up passes. (I got the highlights from Twitter.) Over the first two months of her time at Lyon though, she definitely wasn’t better than Le Sommer and Hegerberg though.

            Regardless of opinion on her play, I agree that she’s “probably worth every penny of her contract”.

          • DNG

            We’re basically talking about form right now. She’s in good form and the others have been so so. I do think Le Sommer was better than Morgan in the first Wolfsburg game horrible miss aside and worse in the second. Hegerberg was meh in both but in the first she came off the bench.

          • Ethan

            Alright. I was just following along with brdn08’s comment and your reply. Le Sommer had a notable miss in the first half and then a very notable miss in the second half where she could have comfortably set up Morgan for a tap in. I find it hard to see how you could have thought Le Sommer was better in the first leg misses aside, but fair enough. I actually liked Hegerberg’s hold up play in the first leg though. In fairness, Morgan had her selfish moment in the second half of the second leg where she should have set up Hegerberg for an easy finish.

            Note: I do agree with your comment that wages are often dictated by factors outside of on pitch performances.

          • DNG

            That was all I was trying to convey to #1Fan. It seems like his or her biggest problem with the USSF helping fund Pugh going pro is that it’s the USSF. I understand where he/she is coming from but the USSF definitely won’t see it that way and will do what they believe is in their best interests. I’m unsure about the forced parity at this point. I can see both sides of the argument but would like to see teams built with an identity in the future.

          • DNG

            I would have preferred Pugh should have chose to go pro based on the offer she got from a professional team with the USSF having nothing to do with it. But that’s just not the world we live in at the moment and unfortunately it probably had something to do with her decision.

          • #1Fan

            the sport overall in the USA will never improve until decisions are made for the good of said game overall. The overreaching powers of the USSF are in my opinion a short term financial floor for longer term damage.

            If the only way the game can exist in the USA is to be massively subsidized by the USSF, then there is limited incentive for improvement.

          • mockmook

            You know what else is tiresome?

          • USMNTfan4life

            With WoSo, marketing plays a big factor in its current trajectory. Alex Morgan is the face of the WNT for that very reason.

          • USMNTfan4life

            That is the same with MLS. I hate the fact the MLS covets parity, and this hinders mega clubs from forming. I actually think it would be good for MLS to have massive clubs that bring worldwide attention, and get player salaries to increase. There is a fear amongst poorer owners in MLS that they cannot afford an arms race, and to some extent that is true. It prevents the league from growing faster that the snail’s pace as currently set right now.

          • DNG

            I agree with you. I am not against leagues with very strong teams.

          • Silver Frost

            MLS is the fastest growing sports league in history. What are you getting on about? 20 yrs ago MLS hardly existed.

          • USMNTfan4life

            You are probably right. Perhaps I am impatient, and I want MLS to be like the best Euro leagues.

          • Silver Frost

            Leicester is owned by a billionaire, like all the top teams.

          • DNG

            And are restricted in what they can spend by UEFA financial fair play.

      • guest

        the uswnt hype machine wins again.

      • ted norberto

        Let the trade wars begin.

    • Steglitz49

      An ACL-tear is a common injury in WoSo. Not everyone survives an ACL-tear and it loses you about 9 months. Alex Morgan “survived” an ACL-tear and Pinoe several, and there are other examples in the top echelons of WoSo no doubt.

  • Jane

    I’m guessing overseas, not the Spirit. Jus’ sayin’…

  • guest

    i can’t wait to see how the portland thorns get the nwsl rules changed so pugh can go to portland or makes a totally one-sided trade using the living with relatives nwsl clause.

    • Guest

      Mana Shim for Mallory Pugh

      • Silver Frost

        LOL

    • Arcie Tillydee

      Her earlier indecision caused us to waste our allocation order pick on her..and NOW she wants to go pro? Personally, I don’t want her here.

      • DNG

        Not sure where she would play there anyway. Nadim has her issues but she does score goals. Is Tobin, Sinc, and Pugh going to provide the same output? Not totally sure the makes the team better right now. Then again they would probably still find a place for her if it was an acceptable deal.

        • Arcie Tillydee

          Precisely. Where’s the lineup opening for her? In her position(s), there is no Thorns starting 11 player I’d bench for her.

          • Lorehead

            If Miss One-and-Done did take the spot of Nadia, much less Sinc, because she’s the darling of US Soccer, that surely would make her universally beloved.

          • Lorehead

            For all my sentimental attachment to both Sinclair and Nadim, though, Sinc is 34 and Nadia pads her stats a lot by taking all the team’s PKs. Both looked really good in the opener, but we’ll need a new forward soon.

          • Steglitz49

            Nadia will play for Denmark this summer. She could be gone for a long time.

          • mockmook
          • Lorehead

            Oi! Oi! Oi!

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Thus Savannah Jordan…

      • Constant Weeder

        Oh come on, it’s pro sports. The Thorns FO must have known they were gambling, since they didn’t have a signed commitment. If she had signed with Portland, the FO would have been hailed as geniuses.

        • Lorehead

          When the league is willing to re-write its rules for you, anybody can look like a genius. Remember when we learned that the MLS rules on allocation order had just changed and Clint Dempsey was going to Seattle, after the same thing had happened the last time Portland should’ve gotten a USMNT player too? And we all thought a respectable league needs transparent rules?

          • Constant Weeder

            As fans, we make an emotional commitment to a team. It can be hard to remember that, at least as far as team management is concerned, it’s largely a one-way relationship.

      • mockmook

        “Her earlier indecision caused us to waste our allocation order pick on her.”

        Oh, poor Portland, I feel so bad for you…

    • Constant Weeder

      The reference in her statement to an opportunity she can’t turn down makes it clear to me that she’s taking up an existing offer. It could be European, it could be that Washington has a sign-and-trade deal in place, but it doesn’t sound like she’s just testing the waters. She’s a player with a lot of potential, not a finished product at this point. There are several teams, both here and abroad, with a crew of veterans she could learn from. Portland is certainly one of them, but Portland isn’t the only team that can pull strings – look who got Marta.

    • Guest

      She would get no playing time at Portland. Should go to KC, Orlando, Chicago IMO.

  • guest

    Barcelona

    • Steglitz49

      Is this based on fact, rumr or simply a throw-away comment?

  • Soccer Europe

    PUGH MAKING RIGHT DECISION……..
    College cannot offer her any challenges on the field; but got to play in Europe so that she can free up summer for college classes.She can graduate in six years if she sticks to this schedule. Worse, she can go back to school after her career is over; can’t pass up the money now.

    • #1Fan

      it it not rather ironic IF Europe is the destination. A sad commentary of the state of the game in the USA? Or is it simply all about the $$$

      • gemini50

        Fan support rather dismal for NWSL, except Portland.Even women refuse to show up for the games.Rather puzzling that support for USWNT ignores college and women pro league soccer.Perhaps, better marketing might turn the tide.

        • guest

          Fan support is even more dismal for overseas leagues.

          • USMNTfan4life

            Even the French women’s league? I agree there are only two or three teams in the French league that actually pay their players a living wage (Lyon, Marseille and PSG). So, Pugh is going to Europe is my feeling.

          • Steglitz49

            Montpellier may want a replacement for Sofia Jakobsson?

          • Steglitz49

            The money comet not from the fans of WoSo. Instead it derives from the fans of the men’s game. It is a tax on BroSo.

        • USMNTfan4life

          I agree with your comment. Outside of Portland (and opening match for Orlando, “Fill the Bowl,”) there are not any teams WNT players would want to play for. She is going to Europe, since NWSL cannot pay her what Euro clubs can pay her. Also, fan support is pretty sad considering the hype of WNT players in the league.

          • mockmook

            You are right, except for:

            Sauerbrunn
            Rodriguez
            Leroux
            Heath
            Rapinoe
            Long
            Horan
            Klingenberg
            Press
            Lavelle
            Ertz
            Short
            Williams
            S.Mewii
            Naeher
            Harris
            O’Hara
            Krieger
            Sonnett
            etc.

            But, other than those “few”, you are perfectly right.

      • mockmook

        Not a “sad commentary”, a ringing endorsement that the NWSL is trying (so far successfully) to grow in a sustainable way — not crash and burn like the WUSA and the WPS.

        • #1Fan

          So you would consider the league a ringing success if it was unable to keep its best players here because financially they could not compete?

          • mockmook

            You’d consider it a ringing success if they overpay “stars” and then go broke?

          • #1Fan

            Strange response because I suggested neither. Given the USSF subsidize the league FBO its NT players, it would be ironic if she left for money and a sad commentary on the league.

    • guest

      College is not nearly as magical when you are into your 20s. Then again she has the potential to make a lot of bank over the next 4 years if she really is the new “it” girl they are pushing.

      • #1Fan

        I think its funny. I honestly think if US soccer left her on a youth team, none of this happens. It could be argued that the US results would be no different without her on the NT.

        I bet there are several young players who think this could be them in a little while.

        Pinto, Sanchez, Smith?

        • kernel_thai

          I agree that USSF is guilty of manipulating events. If u take the NT full contract off the table I doubt the money is good enough to tempt Pugh to leave college.

          • guest

            if pugh now takes a uswnt allocation spot, does that mean some other uswnt player will lose their allocation. i thought the uswnt total allocations is now limited to 22 which they already announced.

          • Breakers fan

            This is an excellent question above, that someone who knows should answer, please. I don’t know the # of currently allocated players. If it is 22, what would happen next, assuming they want Pugh to be one?

          • DNG

            I don’t think their is a maximum limit. I think there is a lower end limit like must have at least 18 contracts.

          • mockmook

            I think they did set a cap at 22 to give more opportunities to “floaters” — and that cap will be reduced in subsequent years (but the speed and depth of the reduction remains a mystery to us outsiders).

          • kernel_thai

            The way u learn about the CBA is have stuff like this come up.

          • kernel_thai

            I don’t think it is a hard 22. There r (I assume but there always were) stipulations in the contract were players earned full contracts based on service days. If it were a hard 22 then not only couldn’t they give Pugh a contract without deleting one, they couldn’t even call her in. Traditionally there is a June review of USSF contracts or their was

        • Breakers fan

          Excellent post. I think you’re right on all points here. They may have created a monster with this – in terms of expectations now among the others they’ve called up really early in their careers. Not a good thing to put on a 17 year old girl’s mind who may also be in an educational setting, I don’t think.

          • #1Fan

            There is nothing i have seen yet from a soccer PoV that tells me it was imperative that she play regularly for the Full NT.

            So far I have seen an exciting young player with potential. I have not seen a player who looks like the future of the sport.

            That is not to say she will not be.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree with you about her. I would say my estimation of her abilities has actually decreased a bit lately compared to how I first thought of her. Just a bit down. By that, like you, I mean “the current state of her abilities, and awareness, soccer IQ”. And that of course can be subject to a lot of change over the next 10-15 years.

          • DNG

            I don’t disagree with you of course but just for curiosity’s sake where is she on your winger depth chart?

          • #1Fan

            I dont think the US are starved of serviceable wingers. Ive not given it that much thought , but I dont see a marked difference between her and quite a few other options.

          • DNG

            I actually do think the NT is starved of creative wings and I think you said you saw none in the mold of Rapinoe coming up soon unless I am misremembering. I don’t think there’s a huge difference between her and the pack either, but I think it goes the other way as well. I would say that only a couple of those options are definitively better than her right now.

          • #1Fan

            i said serviceable. My point remains that I dont see the footballing need to rush a player who is not transformational. Im not risking a players longer term development for marginal gain.

          • DNG

            Is that what she’s doing by deciding to play professionally now? Let’s say this ends up getting her on a good team in France where she is able to grow as a player similar to Horan. I understand the all politics involved that led up to this point probably shouldn’t be happening and are extremely frustrating but this is where we are now.

          • #1Fan

            No idea.

          • DNG

            I’m going to wait to see where she ends up before saying anything more positive or negative about this development. We’ll just have to wait to see how it effects her career.

          • #1Fan

            I am not into the revisionist part. Ill say right now that the thing that turned me off Morgan was the marketing driven stuff that, to me, detracted from the sport.

            I am all for an player who gets paid for impacting the game on the field . For playing at a level that elevates them above the rest.

            Im not a fan of this manipulated stuff that elevates the perception individuals well above the game they play.

            I wont be able to judge how it impacts her career.

          • kernel_thai

            IMO the best thing that could happen to her is be put in a situation where she moves back inside. If the the US truly sees her as the future #10 why would they play her on the outside where she can just get by on her speed alone?

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNT will be inundated with central midfielders at the next January camp: Brian, Horan, Long, Mewis, Sullivan

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth. Though Moe Brian is getting married and Long just was.

          • #1Fan

            So you think USSF should dictate the team and the role?

          • Breakers fan

            Beyond the soccer part of her life as a pro I think one has to wonder how happy she’ll be? Playing with adults who are by and large 5-10 years older than her, once training ends what does she do if she’s over in France? I guess she’d probably have a couple young players on her team her age, but there’s then the communication issue. Not sure if she’s been taking French of Spanish and whether that fact may influence where she goes, if she doesn’t stay here.

            As far as the timing of all this….

            Hasn’t she just basically missed out on the current European season? Where does that land her for the next 6 months or so — where will she go, where will she play in the immediate future? What;s the next league season she will play in? If she chooses Europe – do they have a Fall season? Maybe she will go to Japan? Others have.

          • #1Fan

            Who knows. Many of these considerations become moot i the $$ are enough. Nike will pay her a bunch ( or any other shoe co) She will go to the situation that her “team” thinks best.

          • Breakers fan

            No way of knowing but I wonder what the dynamic between Mallory and her parents was in making this decision. Did she have to be convinced, did arguments occur, or did Mallory initiate it, her parents staying silent all the while in the background, up to the point of Mallory coming to them and saying “I’ve changed my mind.” And then and only then her parents saying “Ok, if that’s what you want to do.” We’ll probably never know but I wonder about it.

          • Steglitz49

            Do you see a sort of Jennifer Capriati situation developing?

          • breakers Fan

            No, not really, not yet at least. No signs of that to date. Hard to predict these things, however.

          • mockmook

            She’s 18 — she can do whatever she wants.

          • Breakers fan

            She *can* but you know some families still don’t function that way, but my sense here is that she’s ok, happy, agrees with the decision. Doesn’t strike me as parental coercion.

          • Steglitz49

            Japan would suit her size.

          • guest

            100% agreed. She is a decent player. She can hold her own on the NT, but is not exactly the Christian Pulisic of the USWNT.

          • Steglitz49

            but, maybe Christian the Tyrant?

      • Silver Frost

        We truly live in a new era, where a young woman can aspire to get rich playing soccer. This did not happen when I was growing up. True, not as many women can do this as men, but some do.

        • #1Fan

          Pugh is hardly the first, nor have the odds changed that much.

    • Steglitz49

      The EU leagues with teams with big money are about to go on their summer break during which Euro-17 will take place. Those leagues start up again in the Fall.

      I think that Ms Pugh has been ill advised.

      • USMNTfan4life

        NWSL cannot afford her. She will make a set comfortable salary with the USSF, endorsements and Pugh will play in Europe. I don’t think the NWSL will be able to accomodate her in Portland. The WoSo owners will throw a fit if Portland hordes all the WNT talent, along with foreign players, and rule the league. Attendance is horrible around the league as it is (outside of Portland, and to some extent, Orlando). Hell, Carli Lloyd cannot bring fans to watch her play in Houston.

        • Steglitz49

          Unless Mallory already has a contract lined up, she may not get top dollar from the rich European teams. Clubs do not pay more than they need to and I doubt that she wants to play for Stjärnan in Iceland, Avaldsnes in Norway nor Piteå in Sweden. Kadeisha and Ashley were proven entities when they went to France.

        • guest

          pugh will be required to play in the nwsl for at least part of the years in the new uswnt cba if she get’s allocated.

          • USMNTfan4life

            That would suck for her because she will be forced to play for the Washington Spirit, a team she does not want to play for. If that happens, she will ask for a trade to Portland or Orlando. That will piss off owners of poor teams that need a reason to put fannies in the seats, and that reason is forced to be sold to Portland. Does not bode well for the future for the league if every player wants to play in Portland.

          • mockmook

            How do you know she doesn’t want to play for the Spirit?

  • Food for Thought

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t she a discovery player until she signs with USSF. Therefore she can be claimed by whoever she was in contact with ..probably Portland. USSF can offer her a contract after she already signs with Portland. Problem solved

    • another guest

      Pugh is already a regular on USWNT so she will have full USWNT Tier1 base contract and – IF – she choses to play in NWSL – be a federation/allocated player and go through the “Distribution Process” . Currently Washington has first slot in the distributing ranking order.

      relevant info from NWSL roster rules

      Federation Player
      A Federation Player is a Player whose compensation is underwritten by a Federation.

      Unattached Federation Individual
      An Unattached Federation Individual (UFI) is an Individual who a Federation has designated as a potential Federation Player, but whose rights are not yet controlled by a Team. Unattached Federation Individuals are designated as such by one of the following mechanisms:

      A) From time to time, a Federation may choose to designate certain Individuals as Unattached Federation Individuals.
      B) Teams may, as permitted by the NWSL, choose to relinquish their rights to a Federation Player. Any Federation Player whose rights have been relinquished by a Team will become an Unattached Federation Individual.

      Types of Individuals Available for Distribution. The following types of Individuals will have their rights distributed to Teams via the Distribution Process.

      A) Unattached Federation Individuals

      Collectively, these types of Individuals will be referred to as Distribution-Eligible Individuals.

      Distribution Ranking Order. The Distribution Ranking Order is the mechanism used to determine which Team has first priority to select a Distribution-Eligible Individual.

      = = =
      the full Distribution Process is described in Roster Rules on NWSL site.

      • Food for Thought

        She is not currently a contracted or allocated player (that would have caused her to lose her NCAA eligibility). There are fewer contracts offered now and player can be in camp regularly without a contract per the new CBA. The only thing that would get in the way discovery player status is that she has not used up her NCAA eligibility. But NWSL can change the rules and get around that (they did it for her once). All she would have to do is sign a shoe contact first which would immediately exhaust her eligibility.

        • kernel_thai

          I don’t believe a USSF player can be designated as a Discovery Player
          “Non-Discoverable Players

          Teams may not discover Players in the pool for the full U.S. Women’s National Team. The Player pool for the USWNT is as determined by U.S. Soccer (usually posted on their website) at the time the Player is being signed by the League.”

  • Let’s be real, if I were as good as Mallory Pugh, I would have opted out of UCLA to go straight to the pros too

  • sudeep das

    Just out of curiosity – how much money has she missed out on after graduating high school?

  • Steglitz49

    Let’s trust that she stays injury free. An education at a top university is not to be sneezed at.

  • ted norberto

    I have been dreaming of this ever since she showed face with the USWNT. I would like to see her playing in the NWSL. Opportunities abound in the U

  • USMNTfan4life

    She won’t play in the NWSL. They cannot afford her, and Washington is not about to make Portland a mega-club (in WoSo terms), so she will head to Europe and play for Lyon, and their creepy owner.

  • Gary Diver

    What Is Wrong with This Picture?

    1. Mallory Pugh has not proven anything yet and yet the USSF hype system has allowed her to believe she may be worth $200,000 per year. (It will be interesting to see if Jessie Fleming also goes pro or stays with UCLA for the full 4 years.) USSF and the media have hyped Pugh to the point where she may believe she is the next Mia Hamm. Pugh is very good and has a lot of potential, but she is not the next Mia Hamm. Unfulfilled potential is more common than fulfilled potential.

    2. Mallory Pugh does a few things very well, but a lot of things need a lot of development and improvement. Where is she going to get the development and polishing? Pro leagues are not where unfinished players go to grow and develop their skills and game play. Morgan Brian seems to have peaked at 22 years old and has not played better soccer in the following two years.

    3. Other hyped undeveloped stars may want to follow Pugh and go directly to the pros. Personally I think it would be disaster for players like Sanchez, Pinto, and Smith to skip college. It would more likely prevent their reaching their potential than fulfill it.

    4. USSF, Jill Ellis, and her chosen cohorts are a problem in this messy confusion. They say they want technical, well-rounded players who can dribble well and think on their feet and yet their actions say something else. Why is Ellis playing so many players out of position? By the way, what position should Mallory Pugh play? The US youth teams seem to reflect the senior team in terms of attitude and individual star power approach. Too much emphasis is placed on players who can score a few impressive looking goals. Being a great player involves much more than scoring a few goals, which is a fact that USWNT refuses to acknowledge.

    5. Time will tell, but if Pugh is not careful she may find herself in 2019 having peaked in 2016. I hope the hype hasn’t gone to her head.

    • Steglitz49

      #1. Jessie Fleming is a Canadian, not American. Different earning potential. Jessie will follow in Kadeisha’s and Ashley’s footsteps.

      #2. Morgan Brian has won the world cup and is about to get married.

      #5. That is why she should stay at UCLA and experience college life in all its fulness.

      • Tom F

        most observers thought Fleming was a disappointment in both the recent German & Swedish friendlies. Don’t think anybody over there’s going to give her a big contract

        • Ashley C

          A few ineffective games doesn’t stop lots of players from going overseas and getting contracts. She wasn’t bad vs France and had a great Olympics. I think she will end up a better player than Pugh.

          • Guest

            Agree Fleming has many more tools in her box

        • Forgedias

          I’ve watched UCLA all season long last year and Fleming has way more tools then Pugh has. She could of learnt a lot playing with Fleming.

          Fleming was making defenders look like pylons when she held the ball and her vision and thinking on the field was superior.

          The All White Kit, Chris Henderson who follows College Soccer religiously created a 2020 draft board and he has Jessie Fleming at the top spot.

          Here is the podcast. http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=15247

          And here is the draft board he created. http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=15250

          Part of the reason why Fleming might of had a subpar matches against Sweden and Germany is because she is taking courses all year long so she can graduate in 4 years. She probably wasn’t as match fit as she wanted to be.

          • rkmid71

            I respect Fleming. UCLA improved dramatically in 2016 to 15-5-2 compared to the 8-10-1 losing record in 2015. That was despite the team facing significant adversity losing co-captain and leading scorer Darian Jenkins early in the season with the broken leg. Fleming was a big reason for that and I have no doubt her teammates took note. That goes a long way in the locker room.

          • Forgedias

            Yup, when UCLA had Darian Jenkins and Fleming together it was very hard for any team to defend against UCLA but as soon as Jenkins went down, teams started doubling or triple marking Fleming basically daring UCLA to find another scorer.

            UCLA for their effort nearly made it to the round of 8 in the NCAA tournament but lost on penalty kicks.

          • rkmid71

            That kind of experience for Fleming is worth its weight in gold. And losing in the round of 8 was no shame. UCLA played a good team in WVU (with many of her more seasoned Canadian WNT teammates) tough on the road in horrible weather and took it to PKs. I don’t recall hearing any excuses coming from UCLA.

    • Silver Frost

      Mal is a great player and does exactly what Ellis wants in all the games I’ve seen her play.

    • Ashley C

      “Pro leagues are not where unfinished players go to grow and develop their skills and game play.”

      Not entirely accurate. Look no further than Lair at PSG. He has lots of players that are still young and developing: Morroni, Geyoro, Katoto, Cissoko. Lawrence, Perisset, Aminata are a few years older but still developing their game.

      • #1Fan

        this is WoSo There are several “unfinished” players winning league MVPs

    • Forgedias

      Fleming won’t get a Nike contract that Pugh might get. If there is a Nike contract in the works, then lets me honest, it will be worth a lot of money and as an NCAA athlete, you can’t accept endorsements while your under scholarship.

      I don’t blame her for going for the money but she has to be very careful, this could all flame out quickly if she doesn’t show that she is worth that kind of hype.

      • kernel_thai

        Which is why Portland isn’t the place to go or any other super team. Pugh has shown she can blend in when surrounded by stars…what she needs to do now is show she can lead a team. Her best move is probably to a team like Seattle or KC where she will get good coaching but also be in a position to be a star.

  • kernel_thai

    First not surprised at all. The money is crazy good and a sports career isn’t that long that u can leave a million dollar on the table doing ur four years of college. Second, no matter what Pugh decides to do now, she will be in the NWSL in 2019 unless the CBA has drastically changed. So if she picks a French club now she will re-enter the league at some point thru the UFI (I love it when Portland outsmarts themselves). Third but maybe she doesn’t go to Europe. Maybe Washington squeezes Portland for every nickel before handing over the rights. If Im Washington I want a little something some for now and a lot of something for next year. Maybe Emily Menges who played her college ball in DC. Then for after I want the two first round picks Portland has in 2018 plus the rights to Savannah Jordan.

    • DNG

      Washington has no leverage. The player doesn’t want to play for them. Why should Portland give up anything they want to keep?

      • kernel_thai

        If Portland wants Pugh, and they showed last year they did, they need to trade for her UFI spot. There is no other way for her to enter the league.

        • DNG

          Portland gave up a first round pick last year. I highly doubt they will offer anything more than the same this year. They don’t need her and Washington has no leverage.

          • kernel_thai

            I agree…they don’t need her and r crazy to offer the moon for her…but neither of us is Portland and they already proved they will pay. That Boston was happy with what they got doesn’t mean Washington won’t hold their feet to the fire. They r in total rebuild mode so they’d take the draft picks and Portland doesn’t have to break up their core.

          • Silver Frost

            IMHO, DC lost Lohman, so they need another quality player now.

          • kernel_thai

            Not to mention having to explain to the fans how u have Pugh rights now but only got future considerations for them.

      • Constant Weeder

        If I were Houston, I’d trade Lloyd for Pugh in a heartbeat.

    • Steglitz49

      It is easy to forget that in the first major intercontinental tournament that Mallory played for the USWNT, they did not even medal, something they had always done (golds and one solitary silver). It was their worst performance ever. Morgan Brian at least won the World Cup and has 2 Hermann trophies with which to keep her warm at nights.

      • kernel_thai

        I think Portland is crazy to chase after Pugh but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they will. I think they see Pugh as filling the void left by Sinclair for the next 10 years.

        • DNG

          Pugh is not a replacement for Sinclair. They still have Horan in any case and they drafted Jordan too.

          • kernel_thai

            This is the same guy who wouldn’t join the league unless he was guaranteed Morgan, Heath and Sinclair. This is the same guy who wouldn’t trade Morgan unless he got Horan, Sonnett (and both allocated for no reason) Klingenberg and Orlando’s top pick which became Nadim. This is the same guy who got the league to change the rules the morning of the draft in his last attempt to land Pugh.

          • Steglitz49

            If it was not for Portland, there would not be any NWSL. He voluntarily shares around the league also.

          • kernel_thai

            He shares because the Thorns need a league as much as the league needs the Thorns.

          • newsouth

            bad enough players have their own protection teams. now, the owners have fanboys,

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Exactly. Pugh just doesn’t make sense with the current (and even projected) roster.

            And besides, she’s overrated. There. I said it.

        • guest

          i just hope there is some nwsl expansion next year so portland starts losing some of their stockpile of uswnt players. pretty soon their starting eleven will be uswnt players.

          • kernel_thai

            They won’t lose more than one in any case and more likely will try and make deals with the expansion teams to get extra protection.

    • guest

      something tells me portland won’t want to give up half of what they required orlando give up to get alex morgan in order to get mallory pugh. i know i know, paulson is looking out for the best interests of the nwsl.

    • Arcie Tillydee

      I wouldn’t trade Menges for her, even up. The Thorns don’t really need another player in Pugh’s position at present, and replacing your back line organizer and one of the team’s leaders (Menges usually gets the armband when Sincy isn’t on the pitch) wouldn’t make sense.

      • DNG

        Sonnett looks more like the organizer to me at least but you’d probably know better than I.

        • Arcie Tillydee

          They both seem pretty inclined to do so…I think it’s actually more natural for Sonnett, but with Menges it’s something she realized she had to add to her game.

      • Katie Curtiss

        Menges normally gets the armband if Sincy or Tobin aren’t on the field. If Sincy isn’t there, then it falls to Tobin, and then I think it falls to Menges

        • Arcie Tillydee

          Tobin got it a couple times fairly early last season, didn’t really play very well when she did, and hasn’t worn it since. To the best of my knowledge, it falls to Menges first now, when Sincy’s away.

      • kernel_thai

        Well, I would tend to agree that they don’t need Pugh but ur owner seems a tad obsessive about these things.

      • kernel_thai

        I see Portland has already offered a trade package.

        • Breakers fan

          Really? What is it (if its specifics were reported) ?

          • rosecity

            It was rumored to be two fed players, but that was shot down as inaccurate by Merritt Paulson. If I had to guess it’d be a fed player (Horan would be my first guess) and draft picks.

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you. I’ve started following the “breaking news” on twitter and did see Paulson shooting that down. Interesting your thoughts about what it’s more likely to be. Why do you choose Horan as the first to go?

          • rosecity

            Portland’s midfield is deeper than any other position they have. Pugh can play both centrally and on the wing, unlike Horan, plus she’s a lot faster than Horan, which is one of the only big issues I see with the thorns-lack of speed. Plus its natural to trade a player of the same position you’d be receiving. And overall, because she’s the only federation player I could see the thorns parting with for other reasons. Heath, Sinclair, and Long are all most likely off the table due to how long they’ve been with the thorns and how ‘special’ they are to the fans/how connected to the city they are. Sonnet can’t really be replaced, and imo if Portland has a weakness its defense, meaning I’d pick Horan over Kling to be traded.

          • Breakers fan

            Excellent reasoning. You’ve convinced me that’s most likely, in terms of Federation players. No way Kling does much in an effort to get Pugh, IMO. Horan much more attractive, in my eyes. When Paulson said the rumor was way off, do you think negotiating is happening at all? I mean, his “way off” comment could mean that talks haven’t even begun yet, right? Not saying that’s the case but you have to wonder what he meant by saying the report wasn’t even close to reality.

          • rosecity

            I don’t think it means reasoning off the table. Paulson’s exact tweet was “I am not going to weigh in on rumors generally but this one is so not close to reality I need to make an exception. All I will say here…” The “this one” part of not so close to reality makes me think that there have been various other rumors (one rumor being the fact that they’re trying to get her in the first place) that may be true. And honestly, I think we’d be dumb not to even attempt to make a trade for her. Washington has no leverage against us and they know it. Either Pugh is going to play in Portland (or perhaps some other MLS-backed city) or she’s going to leave the league. I don’t think she’s worth multiple federation players, but I’d easily give Horan up for her.

          • kernel_thai

            the leverage is it’s a one year Eurotrip. Whether Pugh leaves the country to play or stays in the NWSL, she will be in the NWSL for 2019 if she wants to be on the WC roster. So let’s say Pugh does play in France…she’ll still have to enter thru UFI and Portland still isn’t going to be at the bottom of the list to claim her. If they want Pugh it’s trade now or trade later but trade they will and if she plays well in France it isn’t going to get any cheaper.

          • rosecity

            If Pugh does elect to play overseas for a year, when she comes back its likely Washington won’t have the #1 spot anymore as it changes every year. For Washington, it’s most likely a trade now or trade never. Pugh has made it obvious that she doesn’t want to play for Washington, and they probably won’t have first dibs on her when she does come back, so why not get something out of it now?

          • guest

            something tells me long would go mental if she is traded away.

    • Breakers fan

      Portland is BY FAR her first choice, right? Maybe even to the point of “I won’t play anywhere else?” — is that your understanding here? And as I recall that’s because she has family in the area, correct, plus everything else that goes along with playing in Portland.
      I agree with you that Washington (would have been Boston, save for that maybe-thought-to-be-throwaway addition in the recent trade between the 2 clubs) should squeeze Portland for all they can get here.

      One other thought – Washington gets the first next allocated player (or whatever term they’re using now) …..so, any chance there’s someone before Pugh? Not sure exactly how that works – does Washington only get first dibs on the NEXT allocated player, no matter who it is? What if Sullivan, which I don’t think will happen, comes out first, especially with this injury. I see her finishing at Stanford. She only has 1 year left. Are there *any* other possibilities besides Pugh for the next allocated player? I’m not coming up with any. What I’m trying to get to is “when will Boston be “on the clock” as the next team in line, when will player #2 (and who might it be?) happen in this process?”

      • Steglitz49

        Sullivan would be brain dead not to get her Stanford degree.

      • Silver Frost

        WNT owes DC two allocated players, otherwise the parity meme rings hollow. They need to throw Boston a bone too. That team has been struggling since day one.

        • DNG

          WNT owes DC nothing. Lynch made his bed now he has to sleep in it.

          • mockmook

            What did Lynch do besides stand up to a bully?

    • Rose City Red

      MP doesn’t care to that level about Pugh, and Parsons wouldn’t give up Menges.
      There’s also no way that we’re left with that many USWNT players.
      Now, Horan, and a second round pick, maybe. She’s not worth more, especially not as she’d likely be gone the next expansion round anyway.
      Parsons has a game plan, and a core group of players, and that’s not going to be given up.

      • guest

        How do you know he wouldn’t give up menges? I’m a fan of hers (we played on the same youth team, LongIslandFury4LIfe) but I don’t see it as a highly uneven trade either.

        • Rose City Red

          Common sense.
          the thorns only really have 3-4 CB (menges, sonnett, reynolds, and i suppose cox now), one of which is one of the starting Fullbacks. the thorns are also fairly light when it comes to defenders. there are 6 defenders on a team who normally play 4 in the back.
          you’re going to want to trade for a player who can be used in the same capacity if you can. Horan fits that bill certainly more than Menges.
          Menges has been a core of the team since she came, and is increasingly one of the voices of the team. she is the leader of the backline, and after Long and Sinclair, the strongest voice of leadership in the squad.
          she’s also a fan favourite, well liked within the city, and increasingly one of the “voices” of the club. she herself is also fairly young, and a player who, at 24, is neither reached her best yet, nor will retire if treated well for likely another decade.
          she also doesn’t seem to be in any national team plans, which makes her highly vital. Parsons is not a dense man, and whilst Wilkinson is listed as GM for thorns, everybody knows that MarPar is the one who does the footwork there.
          the Thorns also wouldn’t be allowed to keep as many uswnt players, and, even if they did, we’d lose them the next expansion draft, which is supposedly next season.

          i wouldn’t trade for Pugh at all at this point.

      • DNG

        I would not give up Horan for Pugh

        • Arcie Tillydee

          Me, either.

  • newsouth

    did she get a long-term shoe deal for six figures a year? outside of that she is out of her mind. it’s not like she is the 2nd coming of marta

    • Steglitz49

      No. Marta is coming back to the US by all accounts (after an absence of about 6 years).

  • smallchief

    All this chatter about the possibility of Pugh going to Europe to make more money reminds me that socialist-leaning Europe has a capitalistic soccer system and capitalist-leaning U.S. has a socialistic system.

    I wonder if the opinions expressed by the chatters here reflects their political beliefs?

    • Tom F

      Steg has mentioned this like……… a million times! Germany doesn’t pay all that well, so my guess is England or France. Remember, some of those men’s clubs over there like Man City & Chelsea are filthy rich. They make their money of tv contract & merchandise from all over the world. Just last summer, Chelsea went on tour across the US and charged something like $90 a ticket(at least in LA) and they sold out! So the $300-4ooK an year they payed Dunn & Lloyd, is just average. that they pay their men’s players.
      Though got to wonder why they take such a lose; Dunn’s Chelsea team just lost their FA Cup finale in front of crowd of 1500 with no tv coverage

      • sudeep das

        FA cup semi final actually

      • Steglitz49

        Thank you.

        John Terry rescued Cheslea Ladies from oblivion. No John Terry at Man Utd when they closed the ladies down 10 years ago. Thank goodness for the owners of Man City.

        Chelsea Ladies broadcast their own matches but you must be a member to watch.

      • Lorehead

        The basic economic story of WoSo is a trade of money for prestige. Prestige comes from a women’s team winning a tournament with the same name as a prestigious men’s tournament, especially if they have the same name and jersey as your famous BroSo team. Having a women’s team with the same name and jersey is increasingly something a big, prestigious BroSo team is expected to do, and once you give a women’s team your name and jersey, it would be embarrassing if they were bad. Since they exist, and they have money, they compete with each other for status.

        So blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the biggest, most prestigious names to play for your big prestigious team, even though there’s no chance you will make money from it, is exactly the kind of thing WoSo team owners signed up for. And as I bring up often, not many BroSo teams make money either (and almost no college football and basketball teams). Women’s sports aren’t subsidized by men’s sports; both women’s and men’s sports are subsidized by rich sports fans who enjoy spending their money on that.

    • guest

      Um, what? It’s the opposite. NWSL doesn’t pay well because they actually pay based on revenue generated (allegedly) which isn’t all that much. The well paid women’s teams in Europe are subsidized by the men’s teams or salaries paid for by the wealthy owners with endless cash to throw around regardless of whether PSG women is only drawng 1K fans/game (and possibly the government in Sweden? I could be wrong about that).

      • Steglitz49

        It is called MLS-expansion in the NWSL

        • guest

          MLS isn’t paying for their salaries directly or subsidizing them. There is financial support in the sense that they share operational and facility costs. That is my understanding of it, anyway. So it’s still more “Capitalistic” than any of the well paid euro women’s teams

          • Steglitz49

            I am not sure what your point is.

            The ladies teams of the rich men’s clubs share operational and facility costs withtheir men too. It is just that those clubs can afford so much more for their lasses.

            The point we can point out is that the involvement of the rich men’s clubs in WoSo has skewed WoSo considerably and over a short period. The once mighty Umeå, to whom an 18 year old Marta moved from Brazil, was relegated from Damallsvenskan at the end of last season. The semifinalists of the ladies Champions League and the FA Cup are from the rich clubs.

          • guest

            I’m saying that if you look at the prevailing American capitalist model, “subsidies” whether from the government or from another private organization are essentially a curse word. You earn according to your market value. As a proxy, if you work for an organization, you receive pay in accordance with that organization’s revenues. The European women are not paid in accordance to the revenue they bring to the club.

          • Steglitz49

            All those sports stadia built at taxpayers expense in the US. The NFL is rolling subsidies as is the MLB. The NHL and NBA are in symbiosis but I bet there are tax dollars siphoned into them as well.

            Subsidy is the name of the game for male American sports.

    • guest

      europe has a more capitalistic soccer system??? when la liga gives around half of it’s tv revenue to just the same two teams every year? sounds more monopolistic to me.

  • Ashley C

    Not surprised. She really had no incentive to stay. I’d assume she goes overseas. Lair/PSG might be a good fit for her. Lawrence has looked great since joining from college.

    I wonder if Jessie Fleming is next. It’ll be interesting to see if she stays until graduation. Especially given Herdman’s thoughts on college soccer.

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    • Steglitz49

      “since joining from college” where “from college” are the operative words.

  • Lindsey Horan

    “This is crazy! When I turned pro my parents barely noticed.”

    • Steglitz49

      Not correct because they were very much involved in the discussions, according to all accounts..

  • guest

    There was a tweet that Pugh specifically said she won’t play for Spirit and wants to go to Portland. There’s part of me that wonders why she is above the rules. Rose is stuck in Boston. I guess it’s because she is a free agent?

    • anon

      Didn’t Horan do the same thing? Came back to the US conditional on playing for Portland or something

      • kernel_thai

        I think Horan’s condition was a USNT contract which is why she didn’t sign in Portland until she was allocated.

    • DNG

      You make a fair point but I hardly think Pugh is the only NT player who holds that kind of power. If Alex Morgan said the same thing would you even blink?

      • Steglitz49

        Alex Morgan is an established megastar of WoSo. Mallory Pugh is a member of a USWNT that has had its worst tournament ever. Worst. Ever.

    • Lorehead

      It’s because Pugh already has a USWNT contract and Lavelle doesn’t. The Mallory Pugh rule was invented last year to let her come to Portland, announced five minutes before the 2016 draft, and ended up not being used, but the trade that was designed to let Portland have her did bring over Nadia Nadim, another player who said it was either Portland or Europe.

      If Portland is the only city in the league Mallory Pugh is willing to sign with, and she has alternatives to the cartel, then the league’s permission to negotiate with her is only worth anything to Portland. So the expected efficient outcome would be for Washington to trade the top allocation spot to Portland for whatever it can get, probably the forward Portland would have cut from its roster anyway. (Economists call this kind of side deal, which circumvents the rules to bring the outcome in line with all parties’ actual negotiating power, Coase bargaining, and Coase originally came up with the theory to explain how the New York Yankees, no matter what the rules said on paper, always seemed to get the best players.)

      • Steglitz49

        What alternatives does she truly have?

        • Lorehead

          A team in Europe would sign her. You yourself have often said Lindsay Horan got a great deal.

          • Steglitz49

            Ms Horan did indeed. PSG signed her. PSG just signed Ashley Lawrence out of college.

            As I typed to someone else — there are not that many truly rich clubs in EU who can afford the sort of salary that the Pughs would like. Those clubs can afford to be chosy. They will be.

            That does not mean that they won’t acquire Ms Pugh but it ain’t an open and shut case after the poor showing of the USWNT of late.

          • kernel_thai

            Well the question is why now? Sure it’s nice to see those USSF checks showing up in the mail but she didn’t seem concerned about money before this. Can she actually go to France now? I guess she could join Lyon or PSG to train but would she be eligible to play for them before the 207-18 season started? I guess she could play in Sweden with Rosengard though I doubt they r rolling in money. No the only real place to play this week is the NWSL so I have to think it’s make the league put her on a team she likes or sit out until the fall and play in Europe.

          • Lorehead

            I have no idea how things are going for her at college, but it’s a big transition and one she got cold feet about.

          • mockmook

            Or she looked at the long periods without training and thought “I’m a soccer player, I want to play soccer”

          • Lorehead

            Maybe! She knows what’s best for herself, and I wish her luck.

    • mockmook

      “There was a tweet that Pugh specifically said she won’t play for Spirit ”

      A tweet by Pugh?

      Regardless, provide a link or it didn’t happen…

    • guest

      the corrupt nwsl rules haven’t applied to every person and team since day one.

  • sandrae gunter

    So if Us Soccer can’t subsidize Pugh at the moment because of CBA reasons but wants to be in the NWSL…. They would have to find a team willing and capable to pay her along with sponsor (May be become a Nike athlete)… Washington has nothing to offer to attract her, Orlando would be the perfect place for her… Portland is already loaded and don’t need pugh right now (huge risk to take out one of their stars to fit a rookie) and I wouldn’t mind seeing her play with and learn from Marta and Morgan, that could be a selling point for the Pride

    • guest

      My assumption is she’s going to try to go to a European club.

      • Steglitz49

        Which one have you in mind?

    • kernel_thai

      Why would u think the CBA restricts the USSF from subsidizing Pugh? If anything it is the NWSL side of things where the rub is and as we learned with Marta, rules can be bent for the good of the league.

      • Breakers fan

        new to me — how were the rules of the league bent for Marta? Pardon my ignorance.

        • kernel_thai

          League owners allowed Orlando to go beyond a one year contract for Marta.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. The rule is that int’ls should only be offered a 1 year contract? I did not know that.

            One other question, while i have you: If Washington passes on her, do they retain the #1 position for the next allocated player (possibly Sullivan, a Virginia native)?

          • mockmook

            That’s my understanding, you only lose your position if you exercise the right.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks, finally someone responds to this. So your understanding is that Washington will know Pugh won’t come there and then could say “we don’t want to deal with finding good value in a trade of her, so we pass”, their hope being that the next player up for allocation will be local native Andi Sullivan and that that happens within the year. If that happens, they’ll still have the #1 slot and of course will exercise it on Sullivan. If we have the rules right it seems that could happen.

            If that does happen with Washington, then the Breakers would be “on the clock” for Pugh. Since she won’t go there either, the Breakers may say “ok, we’ll take what we can get in a trade with Portland”. I doubt they’d pass on her, as the odds of 2 more allocations happening in a year seem slim. Do you think that’s a plausible scenario for how this may play out?

          • mockmook

            That sounds too byzantine.

            They will likely take Pugh and get what they can in a trade.

          • Breakers fan

            Maybe. Who would you rather have – Pugh or Sullivan?

          • Breakers fan

            Forget about the Pugh situation for a second. Do you think that in the natural course of things Sullivan *will* get allocated by the deadline for Washington having the first spot in the order?

          • mockmook

            Guess I’ve missed the deadline part — not sure how that works.

            Who knows if Sullivan will be the same player after surgery. And, who knows how long her full recovery will take.

            I’d take a healthy Sullivan over a healthy Pugh, even if I had to wait a year for Sullivan.

            But, will Sullivan be “healthy”?

          • Breakers fan

            I was just at the roster rules page and I believe the deadline is the day after the championship match – so Washington would have until …..about mid-October. Will Sullivan be allocated by then – that’s the middle of the college season? You’re quite right to ask about her injury and whether it’s wise to risk that whole issue by potentially passing on Pugh.

        • Steglitz49

          Marta is the greatest WoSo player of all time. It is worth a bit of creative accounting to get her back to play on American soil, even if it is plastic.

  • Gary Diver

    How Much is Pugh Worth?

    Based on merit, in other words, based on what she has shown in the past 2 years, what is Mallory Pugh fairly worth to a club team?

    After 2016 SBC, some people started to compare Pugh with Mia Hamm. For people who can remember, how does a 19-year old Mallory Pugh compare with the 19-year old Mia Hamm?

    Does Mallory Pugh have more talent than Rose Lavelle?

    What is Mallory Pugh’s natural position? Has Jill Ellis misused her?

    There may be conflict between pay and development. Should Pugh be more concerned about how much money she can make or where she can play to best develop her skills and team play?

    • Steglitz49

      Ms Pugh is ill advised not to finish college. Having elected to go to college, she should stay the course. She may have been poorly advised to go to UCLA instead of other universities that might have been more to her taste.

      • Gary Diver

        I agree with you that after signing an understanding to go to UCLA, Pugh should have followed through and do what she promised to do.

        Furthermore, Pugh may have bought into the hype that she is a superstar in the waiting. Pugh has talent, but at this point she is not a superstar. Why should “good players” expect “superstar salaries”? Not basing salaries on merit is a step backwards for WoSo.

        • Steglitz49

          I can only assume that the Pughs have done some sounding of the terrain in EU and found some serious buyers. Whether there has been cash on the nail yet, is a different question.

          The seasons of the rich clubs is drawing to a close. They start again in the Fall.

      • Constant Weeder

        After all, no college or university will accept a student past her early twenties.

        • mockmook

          That is sarcasm, right?

          • Constant Weeder

            Uh…Yup.

      • CED

        Clueless!

  • sandrae gunter

    I bet fans would be more Comfortable if she goes to Orlando rather than Portland…. But also fans would rather she goes to Portland than Europe

    • #1Fan

      Do you think she moves the needle fan wise ?

      • DNG

        Probably a little. Not like Morgan. I think the USSF would much prefer she stay in the states. All I care about is her playing regularly for a team that can help her grow as a player. More teams that can do that in Europe.

        • #1Fan

          Out of interest, do you care about Toni Payne’s development? Or Savannah Jordan?

          • DNG

            I do. It’s tough to follow them at Ajax and Glasgow though. I think it was ridiculous that Jordan wasn’t called up into the January camp like Lavelle was

          • Steglitz49

            To play for Ajax, the club that gave Cruyff and Zlatan their chances, must be a dream come true.

          • Breakers fan

            As you know I agree with you about Jordan, but recall you taking the stance with me that not calling her up due to her refusing an earlier invite may have been justified. You were on the fence, as I recall, but you definitely made several posts countering my feeling that she should have been called in. Maybe you’ve changed your mind now, which would be fine, of course.

          • DNG

            I don’t think it’s justified from the USSF perspective. At the same time I thought it was a bad decision from her perspective.

          • Breakers fan

            Ok, that’s an opinion. You disagreed with her showing allegiance and togetherness to her college team being the team captain and being in her senior season near its end; wanting to stay with them and assuming the USSF wouldn’t act vindictively towards her in the future for doing that. That view is available.

          • DNG

            If her ultimate goal is to make the NT and play for the US, then yes I would not advise turning down any call ups as the player many not get another chance and that’s how I think a player should approach that decision. Looking at it as an outsider I think she should have been called up because I don’t think that highly of any of the forward options right now.

          • Breakers fan

            A view of “better safe than sorry”, “don’t assume any generosity or kindness will be forthcoming from the USSF” if you refuse an invite. I can see that. It’s, at the moment, proving to be prophetic. IF she is being snubbed due solely to turning down that invite then I find that appalling by the USSF. Disgusting, all the terrible adjectives.

          • DNG

            As do I.

          • #1Fan

            I dont think we will ever know unless she tells us.

          • Breakers fan

            Know what? Why she is being currently snubbed? Or why she refused the invite?

          • #1Fan

            Well is she being snubbed? maybe she does not want to play . Who knows.

          • Breakers fan

            That possibility is out there. That she doesn’t want to play for the NT. I hadn’t thought of that. That would be unusual but it’s certainly a possibility. She may want to go into a career sooner than others. Time will tell.

          • DNG

            I’m rooting for all players like Jordan a lot if I wasn’t clear above. Anyone who had to take the very hard road to break into the team really.

          • DNG

            Probably has something to do with why I defend Allie Long a lot

          • #1Fan

            you root for all of them. Its clear. You even root for the ones who have been red carpeted in

          • DNG

            Guilty as charged. Even the players I routinely criticize here.

          • #1Fan

            Its obvious. Its why I never ever understand people here who suggest you dont. Your agenda is clear. better team, better style of play. Win with class and style.

            Its why I enjoy reading your stuff

          • Breakers fan

            I think virtually everyone here who is a fan of the NT roots for everyone. That’s basically the definition of being a fan of a team. It’s quite common.

          • kernel_thai

            Keeping her away from Jill Ellis is probably best for both sides

          • DNG

            Why do you say that

      • ARED

        I think in a successful NWSL club she could, but much would be about potential *if* she succeeds there as opposed to the automatic draw of a few of the other USA players. But unfortunately in WoSo a big increase in attendance is 500 people….?

        Also, it can be a lot of pressure for players like Lavelle or Pugh if she went to Washington. Like some other American sports, a young player has a lot of expectation to improve very bad teams and they don’t always get much patience or help.

    • Breakers fan

      Why did you choose Orlando here (as opposed to any other NWSL team besides Portland)? Did she say that that was the other city she’d be willing to go to? If so, it strikes me as a bit odd for an 18 year old to be dismissing all these U.S. cities without ever going to them. That could be a soccer thing. In other sports you get drafted by a team you go there. Aaron Rodgers is quite happy to be in Green Bay in the Winter, while we have 18 year olds dismissing fine American cities. It’s just odd to me.

      • Steglitz49

        Marta and Morgan and Monica — the 3Ms of WoSo

      • #1Fan

        No to me. this is all appears marketing driven.

        • Breakers fan

          Elaborate, please. What is “this” and what isn’t strange to you? Do you feel someone other than her is making all these decisions for her?

          • #1Fan

            I think her family are making the decisions, but she is being heavily pitched by the marketing men.

          • Steglitz49

            The men with money may not bite.

          • Breakers fan

            When you say you think her family are making the decisions, are you basically saying you feel she may be just a puppet in all of this? That she won’t even decide herself whether to go to Europe or stay here or say, herself, which cities she’s willing to go to? That that will be decided by someone other than her? If so, I feel bad for her.

          • #1Fan

            No . not at all. Her family includes her.

          • Breakers fan

            So it’s a group decision, you’re saying. Someone gets final say, though, about every individual decision. I hope it’s her.

          • #1Fan

            I bet they all agree.

          • ARED

            I won’t say much here about her choice or future, but look at the path from high above. She gets a chance for Portland and almost agrees, changes for UCLA, then finds even more chances with USA teams, and then as US play slows down she looks at herself going back to UCLA for these years until 2019? Whether now or in a year, I think this was almost a certain move, however odd the timing.

            I don’t really blame any player in WoSo for making any move they want, and especially if it is lucrative either for football or money reasons -and compared to NCAA, this move is probably far better for both. I do agree it is a shame if Washington or even Portland miss out on her, but as I said, WoSo isn’t strong or consistent enough for me to say a player shouldn’t make a move that suits her if it comes.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree and I too would have been surprised if she’d stayed all 4 years. My question is: Did she make this decision or did she just kind of cave in to pressures from outside? And then my only other question is: Will, in 10 years time or even 5 years time, she regret doing this? We won’t know until she tells us then.

          • ARED

            As I said I can’t comment much about her -but I will say she isn’t just a puppet going where she’s told. She may not have total control due to leagues and contracts, but she wouldn’t leave now if she didn’t like her options.

            About regret -it depends on where she goes and how things go there, but she could regret staying at UCLA as well.

          • Breakers fan

            That’s important to say – that she could regret staying at UCLA.

          • ARED

            Yes -staying where you are is also a choice, so it can be a bad or regrettable decision also.

          • Breakers fan

            Without saying anything more than yes or no, do you have access to any kind of “inside info” with respect to Mallory and her present situation? I get the sense you might. And, your 3rd choice, also legitimate, would be to say “no comment.”

          • ARED

            I don’t know where she will be no, so I do not want to comment beyond generalities.

          • DNG

            Still waiting to ultimately see how it shakes out but it seems like she wants to play in Portland. Otherwise she is content to take contract offers from Europe(PSG and Lyon were mentioned).

          • ARED

            My last comment is that I do hope in the future we start to see a bit more stability in the leagues, easing the constant motion we see for the players and for the clubs.

          • guest

            remember the orlando pride are playing in their brand new stadium this year. could help the attraction.

          • Breakers fan

            But what allocation order does Orlando have? I think Pugh would have to fall to them for them to even get a chance. Unless Mallory says “Yeah, Portland or Orlando”, then a team who has her rights (Washington, Boston, not sure who is at #3) may trade her there, it seems.

          • guest

            i meant if orlando put in a trade proposal to washington. i would trade alex morgan for mallory pugh. pugh still has another 10-15 years to reach her peak.

          • Breakers fan

            I could see that. Let’s say it gets to that point. I would wonder if Orlando would get the ok from Alex first, as in “are you willing to go to Washington?” or would they not even ask her, — just make the deal and let Alex deal with it. What do you think?

            Also, do we know if Pugh is willing to play in Orlando? Has she said that she is, that you’ve heard?

          • guest

            i haven’t heard anything as of yet. i will try to look around. i can’t see why she wouldn’t at least be interested. a brand new stadium with mls backing, former uswnt coach and a chance to play marta. i can’t see alex liking it but she is gone for a quarter of the season anyway. knowing the uswnt, she could probably put a stop to it but i’m not sure. i would be interested to hear more opinions about this. it would be crazy if boston ended up with a chance to get pugh. you know there is an nwsl invisible hand if boston decided to trade pugh. but maybe playing with lavelle and morgan could be attractive to pugh.

          • Breakers fan

            All good speculation from you. The first thing to establish is whether ANY team other than Portland has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting Pugh. The fact that twitter is showing that Portland is *already* offering Washington a deal for her suggests that it’s Portland or bust – nobody else is getting a crack at her.

        • sandrae gunter

          If it is Marketing driven as a Sponsors where would you want her ? Washington,Orlando, Houston, other (except Portland)

          • Steglitz49

            In the public eye.

          • sandrae gunter

            Which is? of all the places other than Portland…. Orlando. If there is one thing Orlando does its great marketing

          • Steglitz49

            The M4 of WoSo. A marketer’s dream.

            Orlando is obvious because she will play with the 3Ms — Marta, Morgan and Monica. They can help her look good. The risk is that they will outshine her.

            As long as Mallory builds a good relationship with the 3Ms, she could be the 4th M and have a whale of a time.

          • sandrae gunter

            BUT if you are the President of USSF or coach of USWNT wouldn’t you rather her playing with and learning from the 3Ms? Pugh her self should see that as a great opportunity… Plus going to Lyon etc she would definitely get out shine and or less playing time while her marketing value fall being hidden in france

          • Steglitz49

            As I typed — “the M4 of WoSo, a marketer’s dream” — wet or dry.

            To go to Europe, some team would need to sign her. They have an awful lot of established players to pick from. College seniors make more sense than this teenager.

      • sandrae gunter

        You have to think that there is a reason(s) she would not want to play for the spirit, Like Ownership, Facilities , Stadium, Fans, city…. and those two places would be the biggest draw

        • Breakers fan

          Sure, I can see that perhaps, with the recent Spirit news. If Wash knows that they can pass on her. What I don’t know is if they pass on her, do they then get first crack at the next allocated player? I’d like an answer to that if anyone knows.

          Let’s say they pass on her, then Boston is next. No doubt Pugh will refuse to go to Boston too. My question is: Where is she willing to go? Only Portland? If so, that’s ok, but Portland will have to pay up to get her from some city she doesn’t want to go to.

          • Steglitz49

            All this with Mallory must be linked to some serious deal in the wings. Time will tell what that deal is but the chances are that it is playing in the USA, not old Europe.

          • mockmook

            Nope, Washington still takes her and lets the bidding for her begin.

          • Breakers fan

            See my other post about the possibility of getting Sullivan if they pass on Pugh and we’re right in thinking you retain #1 if you pass on the first player who becomes available. What do you think about that? They may have spoken with Sullivan to find out if she’d play there. Then I could see the NT wanting to help a struggling Washington team by allocating Sullivan within the year’s deadline for them to be able to get her at #1.

          • mockmook

            I was too hasty in my reply above — I thought you were positing Sullivan coming out early.

            Still, a bird in hand and all that.

            Washington needs help TODAY.

          • Breakers fan

            What I would ask in this regard is IF Washington really, really wants Sullivan and they’ve spoken with her and she says “By God, I’d love to come home and play!!!” then….could communication be forthcoming whereby Washington goes to the USSF and says “Hey, it would really help us if you could allocate Sullivan by ________ whatever the date of the deadline is”, the USSF saying “We’ll make that happen. She’s gonna get allocated anyway. We’ll make sure it happens by then.”

            COULD that communication happen in the real world?

          • Steglitz49

            I though Sullivan is injured, out with an ACL-tear. Her value is unclear. Or is there a different Sullivan or an O’Sullivan in the mix?

          • kernel_thai

            Which gets back to the original question….how much manipulation r u will to overlook to accommodate Mallory Pugh?

          • Breakers fan

            Reading up-to-date tweets it appears as if Portland is already offering Washington a deal, so my guess is what you’ve said, that something will happen between the 2, is right.

            We’re not even positive, are we, that if you pass on a player you retain the #1 spot, are we? Or are you certain about that. I’ll go to the NWSL site and try and see if I can find the rule on that.

          • mockmook

            90% positive 🙂

          • Breakers fan

            Are you seeing these tweets that are coming out within the last 15 minutes? Lauletta saying Portland has offered 2 Federation players for Pugh’s rights, then Merritt Paulson responding “Not even close, Dan, check your sources”? Good stuff.

          • mockmook

            Give me Cox and Eckerstrom — local kids — deal done.

            (You’re never going to get full value for a player you don’t really have)

          • Breakers fan

            Good point. One could say the Breakers found that out with Dagny, whose reputation at the time was quite good.Not sure how she figures into Portland’s plans now.
            Here, I like the 2 players you name, (I really like Meghan Cox) but have to think they could get a bit more than that. Cox didn’t make their 20 person roster but maybe she’s on it now? And Eckerstrom…would she even play in Washington?

          • mockmook

            Cox is on the roster — can’t remember when she was added.

            Eckerstrom grew up not far from the Spirit’s home — you’d think she’d be open to being there.

            I agree the trade seems thin — perhaps it could be Web or Eck and one of Portland’s first round picks in 2018 ( I don’t think u can get more and even asking for that pick might be too much for Portland to stomach).

          • kernel_thai

            If Galati/USSF does anything to help put Pugh in Portland it is bad for the league. If it’s so important to have Pugh in the NWSL isn’t it also important to put her in a place where she might drive attendance? Portland will draw with or without her.

          • Breakers fan

            I love that point! About how the League could really use her somewhere else to help drive attendance in a place that needs it. I wonder if that notion is even crossing their minds……it really should. I worry that once you establish this precedence of tying yourself in a knot to make sure someone is precisely where she wants to be….what kind of domino effect will that have? How many others will start to expect it? Will resentment start to brew among people who weren’t thinking of it before but may now get the idea in their heads that “hmm, maybe I would prefer being somewhere else…”, with the effect of players just kind of giving up on where they are? I hope that doesn’t happen and it may not, but this kind of preferential treatment doesn’t strike me as a good thing, especially to do for an 18 year old. To do that for someone so much younger than those who have “paid their dues” for many more years doesn’t make good sense.

            I think back to when the original allocations occurred. Seemed that each player accepted where she went and made a honest go of it. That attitude of humility and acceptance seems to maybe be eroding to some extent. If Pugh ends up in Portland I guess the only way we can test the extent of the manipulation is to see how much Portland is forced to give up to get her. Portland may play the card that they already gave up the 3rd pick in the draft to get her once, so “you owe us one” which would be disingenuous of them to say.

        • kernel_thai

          Well, I could see Houston as a good trade partner but I doubt they would be on the Pugh short list.

        • Sunil

          If she’s being paid a base salary of $160K by US Soccer, she will play where we tell her to play!

    • Steglitz49

      “Can’t pay? won’t pay!” was the title of a farce by Dario Fo.

      Only a few clubs can afford the sort of club salary that makes it worth Mallory’s while to forgo college. Why should they pay for a player whose merit is to have been part of USWNT that has played unusually badly?

      Just list a few clubs and you will see. Man City — Carli; Chelsea — Crystal; Arsenal — HAO; Lyon — Alex and Kadeisha, not counting all their other foreigners; PSG — likewise + Ashley; Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg — Potsdam pockets are no longer deep enough, likewise Frankfurt may be suffering.

      • CED

        “Why should they pay for a player whose merit is to have been part of USWNT that has played unusually badly?”

        You’re clueless a usual.. Btw, what had Horan done before going to PSG for big money…LESS THAN NOTHING!

  • Gary Diver

    Talent versus Hype

    Forgetting the age factor (Pugh will be 19 in a couple weeks), how does Mallory Pugh’s performances compare with other young players (23 years old or younger)?

    Superstar status needs to be earned and not anointed. Why does Pugh think she is already a superstar and worth $100,000-$200,000 a year?

    • Steglitz49

      Because she is an American. Ada Hegerberg is Norwegian — only 5 million of them — and Dagny is from Iceland — only 330k of those. As for Japanese players — those rotters won WC-11.

    • #1Fan

      Because she is. the TOTAL package is worth that because people are willing to pay it. Ive been on the island the longest here when I say she is talented, but I dont see transformational.

      I think if you took a super athletic kid and worked with her, you could get a significant amount of what Pugh has now.

      Personally I prefer Fleming as a player.

      • Steglitz49

        Fleming is Candian; Pugh is American. Ada Hegerberg is Norwegian.

      • Gary Diver

        The American way: marketing image over substance. (Image is easier to manage than substance.)

        • #1Fan

          image is easier to create when there is only potential. No one has dared ask the question .

          If she is so great and so far along, why have we not seen it yet? U20 WC? Oly? SBC ? Because no one dares.

          • Gary Diver

            Well said and I agree completely. I also mentioned above that “I believe that turning pro at this point will only increase the pressure on Pugh. . . . What happens to her if she cannot deal with the immense pressure to turn in Mia Hamm performances? What happens if those performances are not in her?”

          • #1Fan

            I actually think they could well be. I just question who or what is going to get them out of her on a consistent basis

          • Gary Diver

            In the US, we focus so much on OG and WC performances and those only occur twice in a 4-year cycle. Few people care what happens in between. Now, what happens at OG and WC depends a lot on Jill Ellis’ mindset and what she wants to do and who she wants to do it. The players can’t do what Ellis will not allow them to do. Two opportunities in 4 years is not much to work with.

          • #1Fan

            but if she goes to NWSL and lights up the league, the legend grows. I agree with you point about 2 data points. She is 0 fer in major competitions so far but has managed to avoid any finger pointing

          • Breakers fan

            I thought she was quite good in the U20 tournament. 10 other players on the team also need to be at or near her level for the team to win the thing. We may differ in this but I’m uncomfortable in saying “SHE is o-fer” what I think is better and more accurate to say is that “She has been on teams who are o-fer…”. As I’ve pointed out before – Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers never made the playoffs. One or two players can NOT propel a team to a world championship in a sport in which it is said you have control of the ball for 3 out of 90 minutes. It seems really obvious to me. Is Marta “a loser” because Brazil hasn’t won a huge tournament yet?

          • #1Fan

            I diont agree. Not in this case. I was being marketed that she is THE BEST PLAYER IN THE EVENTS HISTORY. So to expect others at that level is not realistic.

            She is O- fer. so are others, but so is she. My statement is perfectly accurate. You can choose the context you want to take it in.

          • Breakers fan

            Just because one person said that, we’re supposed to buy it? So you basically feel if a player is good enough that player can, should take his or her team to a championship, be it ECNL, college, pro? Have you seen this happen at even the college level where one player is on a noticeably inferior team to others in the tournament but they win due to what that player does? You’re implying you feel 1 player, having the ball 3 of 90 minutes, should be able to do that.

            Or you could just make the response “the person who called her that is crazy” laugh and move on, knowing what you yourself know and watch the tournament in the context of reality and not in the context of some person’s comment and ascribe expectations onto Pugh that are in line with what you know to be true, and not some silly marketing tag line said once.

          • #1Fan

            Im not sure if you recall, but that is EXACTLY what i did and continue to do. The hype is ludicrous given what we have seen in multiple events,. not just one. The point is that becasue perception is being shaped a certain way, all sorts of OTHER reasons have been cited for this including throwing coaches and other players under the bus in the aftermath. I nave not read a single article that says, we AS A TEAM , did not play to expectations.

            I think I said from the jump that I was against her even being there.

            im not implying anything . Im stating a fact,. You choose to interpret it a certain way.

            And it was not one person.

            And yes, I have seen individuals elevate inferior teams to victory as have you.

          • Breakers fan

            We feel the exact same way overall about her and I’ve stated it too as I think you remember. If we know the truth, as we did, and do, then just respond according to that, not what the media said. Which I think you do.

            What did the articles say, if they didn’t say that as a team we did not play to expectations? How did they describe the result?

            My point is that Pugh, to my eyes, came through, she did her part. I don’t blame the others on the team that much, I just think they’re not quite there yet. They tried. I may blame the coach but I’m not there in camp, etc, I’d be speculating. I don’t blame Pugh for the U20 result, that is for sure my view there.

            The only difference here is one of semantics. I think it’s more accurate to say “She has been on teams who are 0-fer…” because soccer is hugely, obviously a team sport. Sure one can say “She is 0-fer” and she is, but that. to me, implies that SHE is primarily responsible for the team losing, way more than the other 10. If you buy into the media hype then you agree with that, but you don’t. I’m trying to represent the big picture the most accurately, thus my choice, between the 2 ways of presenting this, of “she has been on teams who are 0-fer in big world tournaments.”

            I’ve seen individuals on lesser teams win games, one could say, with what they do in that game. My question was: Have I seen that happen in entire national or world tournaments where it’s clear that one player did that? No.

          • mockmook

            “being marketed that she is THE BEST PLAYER IN THE EVENTS HISTORY”

            She’s not responsible for how they were marketing her. Why does she have to meet those impossible expectations?

          • #1Fan

            She doesn’t. Have said many times that the creation of those expectations is the issue and that there is no way to meet them.

            The funny thing is at the time, those who disagreed with that were in the minority.

          • guest

            i think he means this more as an indictment of uswnt and ussf practices than any particular player.

          • Steglitz49

            Which player so far has lit up the NWSL? I can’t think of any. Maybe Marta will?

          • Steglitz49

            Because there is nothing in-between. The Europeans have Euros and the Asian teams the AFC but the US has nothing.

          • Terry Lash

            She would have other opportunities, including returning to college to prepare for non-soccer life. We are not privy to the family discussions and we do not know what sponsors have offered. The considerations will reveal themselves in time and then it will be easier to formulate a well reasoned opinion. For now, the emphasis should be on wishing her the best.

          • #1Fan

            Disagree. its a hot topic. For now the emphasis is on fun discussions and I cant think of ANYONE here who wishes her anything BUT the best. Its friendly debate and discussion .

            I am really enjoying all the different PoVs

          • Breakers fan

            I just had a speculative thought or question cross my mind. What if in her time at UCLA she saw that among her peers there she actually wasn’t dominant and that if she played even one college season that others would also see that she maybe isn’t quite the wunderkind that many think she is? Would, ironically, — compared to how people imagined her in college ball — that risk of playing college soccer, assuming it happened the way I’m saying, then dramatically lower her marketability, money-earning potential?

          • #1Fan

            There is no doubt that a marketing person will be telling her your value will never be higher than it is now realtive to p[performance.

            They are right. if ashe goes out and dominates College teams, its expected. If she stays at UCLA and does not excel on the NT then it was a bad decision and value goes down.

            There is also a risk she is outplayed by Fleming or even Sanchez when/if she arrives. Or other big time recruits in the Pac-12 do better – Kuhlmann. Macario, Smith etc

            Im not saying any of this would happen, but its a clear risk. Pugh is nowhere near as far ahead of these kids as some would have you believe. She is the most athletic of the bunch but i would not put her soccer IQ ahead of them.

            I also think Sanchez effectively NOT making the predetermined ascent is a clear warning sign

            Strike while the hype is hot.

          • Breakers fan

            Well-said.

          • Steglitz49

            You can’t be “really enjoying all the different PoVs” because you block so many commentators.

          • guest

            don’t forget two failed U17 WC’s too.

  • Gary Diver

    Timing

    The timing of this seems a little strange. The European seasons are over and won’t start up again until fall. Is the timing to put pressure on USSF and NSWL to accommodate Pugh’s wishes? When she initially was wavering about going pro versus college over a year ago, reports claimed Pugh has family living around Portland and she wanted to near her family there. How much leverage does Pugh have to live near her relatives?

    This this mean Pugh has immediately dropped out of college? Did she take her spring semester final exams or skipped them?

    • MrTemecula

      Pugh should try to catch on with a big team from the WSL Spring Series and the fall 2017/18 season and then see if she can join, hopefully, the new LAFC women team in the summer of 2018.

      I’m sure Nike will have a lot to say about where Mal can maximize her endorsement potential. Money is going to matter if she gives up her college eligibility.

      • Steglitz49

        Like Ms Horan, Mallory had better get a hefty signing-on fee and a good salary over 4 years at least.

        There were how many ACL-tears this first weekend? At least 2 tears and maybe an MCL bruising that I can think of.

        • MrTemecula

          If Mal can get a high six figure signing bonus, then she should sign for four years in Europe, but she would probably get higher endorsement money in the US and max USWNT money if she played at home.

          Injuries are tough to factor in.

          • mockmook

            She can’t stay 4 years in Europe (and not play in the NWSL) if she wants to remain on the USWNT.

          • #1Fan

            An incredible rule in and of itself really. but the league is full of them

          • kernel_thai

            That’s not a league rule. It was part of the MOU and likely is still in the new CBA. The US expects to have the players they have under salary at their beck and call in WC and OG years. If player would rather stay in Europe then just give up the USWNT contracts.

          • MrTemecula

            Good point and probably the reason she won’t sign for four years, but for only one and half years.

      • CED

        WSL? You’re insane!

        • MrTemecula

          What is wrong with the WSL? It’s good enough for Dunn and Lloyd.

    • CED

      It’s not strange really. The CBA has been finalized and the terms of national team spots for players allocated to NWSL and players playing abroad on NT roster. Pugh was not going to gain soccer wise at UCLA, playing against lesser competition than internationally. She would have just been throwing away 4 years of earning potential. She will get 6 figures abroad or from NT playing for NWSL under contract. If she plays abroad for 6 figures she would still get a decent amount from NT going by the old CBA(tier I was like 72K) and that surely increased

  • Gary Diver

    Potential Talent versus Actual Performance

    Shortly after Mallory Pugh’s star quickly rose due to Jill Ellis’ anointment, her talent development seemed to stall. She simply wasn’t getting better. (Much of her early effectiveness may have been due to being an unknown to her opponents.)

    It has been suggested that Pugh did not deal with the pressure of being proclaimed “the next Mia Hamm”. I will argue that turning pro at this point will only increase the pressure on Pugh. What happens to her if she cannot deal with the immense pressure to turn in Mia Hamm performances? What happens if those performances are not in her?

    • sixseven3

      Subjective assessment. It has been said by multiple WNT coaches that she is one of the more mentally tough individuals they have coached.

      • rkmid71

        Mentally tough? However you are defining it, evidently not enough to lead a team (U17, U20 multiples times) to an important victory. If I recall, she was subbed out against Sweden in the OG quarterfinal…an ankle issue if I recall. She’s been given more opportunities than anybody and hasn’t delivered. At some point, they should have selected someone else and let her think about it. Now it appears it’s too late for that.

        • guest

          omg, really? You are slighting her mental toughness because of an injury? Or because she couldn’t single handedly lead a team to victory? Jeebus, we could say the same thing about Christen Press and she should have been thrown out with the bathwater two years ago.

          • rkmid71

            You’re just giving a few of thousands of potential complaints or excuses. I’m slighting the WNT coaches on their alleged assessment. Unless winning is not part of the equation. Or playing and finding a way to get the job done in less than ideal circumstances. Fine with me re: Press. Press is another one who has had plenty of opportunities and hasn’t done much with them. And aren’t you are slighting Pugh’s teammates?

          • Steglitz49

            She should not even have been in the bath in the first place.

          • Mineral Springs, AR

            Unless it was with Tobin.

          • guest

            there is one big difference. no uswnt team mallory pugh has been on has won anything. her teams have also underperfomed badly. press was on a uswnt team that won a world cup.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            16 Jun 2015
            USA 1 NGA 0
            Minutes Played 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/00/60/eng_31_0616_nga-usa_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press was BENCHED!

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            30 Jun 2015
            USA 2 GER 0
            Minutes Played 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/52/49/eng_49_0630_usa-ger_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press was BENCHED!

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            05 Jul 2015
            USA 5 JPN 2
            Minutes Played 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/66/12/93/eng_52_0705_usa-jpn_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press was BENCHED!

            Nevermind Christen Press started eleven of the first twelve matches for the USWNT in calendar year 2015.

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/lineups/2015-lineups

            http://media.moddb.com/images/groups/1/3/2933/ROFLMAO.png

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press was even worse at the 2016 Rio Olympics than at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup:

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            Goals 1, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 7, Shots on Goal 2
            Penalty Kicks Attempted 0, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

            Christen Press
            2016 Summer Olympic Games
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 6, Shots on Goal 1
            Penalty Kicks Attempted 1, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

            Christen Press is the quintessential international FRAUD.

            4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
            85 caps
            2 head coaches

            Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

            garbage time
            prima donna
            selfish shot hog
            tomato cans

        • Silver Frost

          Is that the term of art now, “issue”? When I was a child they called it an injury. I guess 17 yr old Mal was a wimp because she couldn’t lead grown women to OG victory.

          • rkmid71

            What’s the relevance of her age? When is that no longer an excuse for her? Isn’t she a grown woman? Are you saying we should expect less from her? If so, why the hell is she is on the field playing? Somebody needed to lead. She had the option to step up just like the other players on the field. She didn’t play badly, but she also didn’t do enough. It was a must win. It was the Olympics. I have no doubt that every player has or had some “injury”, some more significant than others. If they are there, in the game, there is no excuse. Only 3 subs allowed. Otherwise, stay at home.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press
            2016 SheBelieves Cup
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            Christen Press
            2016 Rio Olympics
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 6, Shots on Goal 1
            Penalty Kicks Attempted 1, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

            Christen Press
            2017 SheBelieves Cup
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            Christen Press stay at home.

          • rkmid71

            Mostly JE sees fit to not have Press on the field playing, especially when it counts. Given the history to date, I can understand that decision. It doesn’t explain why Press was taking the 5th PK at the OG. If I recall, Press had about 20 minutes versus Sweden as a sub in OT. Enough time to do something. I’d like to see others given a chance. I guess Press has proved her worth (to the USWNTPA) off the field at the negotiating table — apparently that’s enough to keep her on the team and give her some minutes here and there.

          • HOFCToDi

            The statute of limitations for Christen Press excuses expired on 12/31/16.

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            16 Jun 2015
            USA 1 NGA 0
            Minutes Played 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/00/60/eng_31_0616_nga-usa_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press was BENCHED!

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            30 Jun 2015
            USA 2 GER 0
            Minutes Played 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/52/49/eng_49_0630_usa-ger_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press was BENCHED!

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            05 Jul 2015
            USA 5 JPN 2
            Minutes Played 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/66/12/93/eng_52_0705_usa-jpn_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press was BENCHED!

            Nevermind Christen Press started eleven of the first twelve matches for the USWNT in calendar year 2015.

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/lineups/2015-lineups

            http://media.moddb.com/images/groups/1/3/2933/ROFLMAO.png

        • Ethan

          Why do you bring up the Sweden match in your comment? Dunn was the only player who did more for the US in that match.

          • rkmid71

            Sweden was a high pressure knockout game so to me most relevant. Quarterfinal of OG. Dunn subbed into the game in 65′ and did more? What does that tell you? Pugh started and was subbed off for Horan in 114′. She had 114′ to do something or make something happen. She was an attacker. She’s supposed to be the 2nd coming of Mia Hamm or Marta. Dunn had less than half that time. Morgan scored the tying goal with 13′ left in regulation and gave them a chance … I would say she did more. And at the end of the day, it’s not so relevant how she did relative to others on the team when the whole team sucked, including the coach. And if Pugh is so great, that is the time to be great, when it counts — not in friendlies, against weak Concacaf opponents, in meaningless low pressure competitions, in camp, etc. She couldn’t do it in YNTs or in club soccer either. I’m tired of people making excuses for Pugh. I know, people keep telling me how great she always is and that her teammates are never good enough. Btw — Bill Belichick says its very hard for players to overcome bad coaching. I’ll admit that game was very bad coaching.

          • HOFCToDi

            Summer Olympic Games
            Games Started
            Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 0
            Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 1

            Summer Olympic Games
            Minutes Played
            Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 77
            Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 123

            Summer Olympic Games
            Goals Scored
            Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 1
            Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 0

            If Christen Press was so great, that is the time to be great, when it counts – not in international women’s friendlies versus tomato cans, not against weak CONCACAF opponents during the group stage of tournaments, not in training camps.

          • rkmid71

            No comment on Press. Not sure why you’re including Leroux in this. Way back in 2008, at least she delivered for the U20s in the World Cup. Leroux and Morgan both scored in the final 2-1 win versus North Korea. Won Golden Ball and Golden Shoe (5 goals). Alex Morgan awarded Silver Ball and Bronze Shoe.(4 goals).

          • Steglitz49

            You are living dangerously by criticising a USWNT icon-in-waiting.

          • rkmid71

            Well I’m also currently quite critical of Lloyd, who is rightfully already an icon. Albeit a now past her prime icon who I wish would have the self awareness to recognize the truth of how she can best contribute to the team, do what’s best for the team, and transform herself into a true leader and captain rather than a self absorbed player. If she did that, I think she could have real value in 2019 — it’s not playing 90′ minutes every game.

          • Steglitz49

            Let’s revisit this after the FA women’s Cup final on May 13th.

            Meanwhile we can contemplate the SF of the ladies Champions league between Man City and Lyon, and then the final on June 1st depending on who prevails.

          • rkmid71

            The first leg at home didn’t go so well for Man City. 3 away goals and the win for Lyon. Man City has a lot of work to do on leg 2. I guess we’ll wait and see how things play out.

          • Steglitz49

            Because it is a key match in the USWNT history — or demonology, if you prefer.

            You are correct. Dunn did the most — unless you count the inept ref crew, who almost stole the match.

    • #1Fan

      I dont think you can look at it that way. She has dealt with expectation for a long time. I do agree that her performances have fallen well short of the advanced billing , but I knew they would. The billing was ridiculous.

      i think she is a talented player and will do well. Im not sure there is any incentive, other than a personal one to be driven to be truly exceptional.

      The trappings have already come to her and I dont see that stopping

      • Gary Diver

        “I’m not sure there is any incentive, other than a personal one to be driven to be truly exceptional.”

        True, but isn’t this always true? Isn’t this the factor that drove Michelle Akers, Mia Hamm, and Christine Sinclair to become great and legendary?

        • #1Fan

          No. There is a financial incentive for some as well. Fear of getting cut. No safety net. etcv

          • Gary Diver

            You may be right. I’ve try to figure out what makes Christine Sinclair a great player for a long time and still can’t figure it out. But one thing I’ve noticed is her burning intensity on the field, which reminds me of Abby Wambach. Sinclair probably is getting a fraction of the yearly compensation that Carli Lloyd or Alex Morgan is getting, but I doubt Sinclair really cares about the money.

          • #1Fan

            Sinclair is a great player. great awareness. Makes the most of what she has. As a player I would rate her above Wambach and Morgan .

          • Gary Diver

            “Makes the most of what she has.” Isn’t that a cornerstone of being a great player?

          • #1Fan

            well the tools have to be there to be great.

          • DNG

            Big fan of Sinclair. But a Canadian being a better player than two American icons. That just can’t be. *Wispers* Sinclair crushes Wambach’s scoring record if she and Wambach switched nationalities.

    • Bill

      maybe…just maybe she is a person who is smart but does not like school and has the option of getting on with it instead of ( to her) sitting for 4 years.

      The world is full of smart people for whom structured school based learning is not an effective learning style.

      Maybe to her mind, she tried it and for her it is not effective. She could be an experiential learner or a process learner or a listener or a reader. As long as she is a good person and a compassionate person why do we care how she progresses through the world>

    • mockmook

      What happens when a commenter keeps repeating the same line over and over and not adding anything to the discussion?

      • #1Fan

        you skip over his posts or block him.

        • Steglitz49

          You do not block. You skip. Blocking is for cowards who can’t cope with the truth.

    • HOFCToDi

      Never has an USWNT player been hyped up more than Christen Press without any substance.

  • sixseven3

    I don’t understand why people cannot be simply happy for the athlete following her dream. Its not your $, your child, your life… let it go and stop giving her unsolicited advice.

    • Gary Diver

      In the past year and a half, Mallory Pugh and her family have flip-flopped on her future a number of times. (Seriously, do you think Pugh actually looks at this site?)

      • Steglitz49

        The risk is that they do. The EQ used to be the site for WoSo at least in the US.

    • #1Fan

      you are in the wrong place if you dont expect discussion d, debate and differing opinions

      none of which preclude people from being happy for her.

      • sixseven3

        It’s not the debate – I actually enjoy it and participate from time to time. It’s more the assessment of who she/her family are as people that is disheartening. Yes, she’s a pro, but she’s only 18. Either way, the pure negative responses are only from a handful of people. Carry on

        • Constant Weeder

          Your original comment reads like a reply. Are you responding to a specific comment (or comments) here?

          • sixseven3

            FWIW – the first comments I saw were Gary Diver’s series including: “Why does Pugh think she is already a superstar and worth $100,000-$200,000 a year?” among others Who knows how she perceives herself? Its everyone’s right to earn what the market will pay them.

          • Constant Weeder

            Thanks.

          • Gary Diver

            True, but the easiest person to deceive is oneself. I am concerned that Pugh has bought into the hype about herself and she believes she has already arrived on the pedestal. Sports history is full of stories of hyper-hyped athletes with rich contracts who eventually turned out to be duds. Only time will tell whether Pugh is a true superstar or a superstar wannabe.

          • guest

            Remember Freddie Adu a cautionary tale, the guy ripping it in the u-20 against Cavani and Willan.

          • HOFCToDi

            How many UEFA Champions League matches did Freddie Adu play?

          • Bebe

            None, he’s a young talented player who didn’t live up to expectation.

          • HOFCToDi

            Hype on the men’s side is only justified when players are starters on the best teams in Europe. Everton and Fulham were not even considered the best teams in the EPL.

          • rkmid71

            Hype on the women’s side is almost never justified. Except maybe if you’re Marta. There is just not enough meaningful competition. As you’ve pointed out, 2/3 of the countries in Concacaf don’t even have a ranking as they are so disorganized, unfunded or never train. On the women’s side, Concacaf has 2 teams in the top 25. What can anyone say about women’s pro soccer on the club side? It’s survived this 3rd iteration in the US so far and appears to be growing in # of teams, interest level in expansion, etc — though the popularity remains stagnant and continues to need life support from USSF. The men’s side has true global competition and it’s big money.

          • Steglitz49

            There are several players on M who are sanctified, not just Marta. Morgan and Miyama for starters, to whom you could add Sawa and Solo.

          • HOFCToDi

            The Western Hemisphere does not give a damn about WoSo aside from BRA, CAN, CRC, USA. MEX has only played one international women’s friendly since the conclusion of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying.

          • ARED

            Any 18 year old has a long way to go to be a superstar. Yes being overconfident can have effects, but the USWNT isn’t really built for new players to be “superstars” anyway, so there can be many factors.

            Her career will progress with time, but in WoSo can you blame any player for moving to a better opportunity? It’s not as if she is a man leaving La Liga or EPL for China.

          • Steglitz49

            Mikaela Shiffrin? Going further back, how about Marie-Therese Nadig? or Anne-Marie Moser-Proell?

          • Steglitz49

            Precious few WoSo players apart from Allocated US players earn $200,000 a year. The number who take home $100,000 a year is not huge.

            Let’s wait and see how this pans out.

        • Breakers fan

          Not sure who you think the “purely negative” are but the only thing I did was to ask questions. I made no accusations about people. I did question dismissing so many cities, perhaps, if she is doing that, but that’s because it doesn’t happen in other sports. I then added “maybe this is a soccer thing.” Implying that if others have gotten away with it, then why shouldn’t she also try to?

          • ganostr

            Then clearly you are not who he/she is referring to. See her/his response below.

    • Breakers fan

      I get your point. Not a time to be a downer. One could say that this is one of the biggest days of her life. It should be a happy one and I hope it is for her!
      I hope the next step she makes proves to be one she’s really happy with. It’ll take time but I hope she has happiness wherever she goes. It’s not that easy to leave your peers and friends at school behind, so I think she also needs support now. I give it to her. She’s taking a road less traveled. I wish her the best!

    • guest

      it’s not about pugh. it’s about nwsl corruption. the rules don’t apply to everyone.

      • #1Fan

        Its a very fair point. The degree of manipulation required to maintain this “status quo” is eye opening.

        • DNG

          I’d argue manipulation to get things to work is the status quo.

          • #1Fan

            i think you need to define what work is. And I dont think it means the same to everyone.

          • DNG

            From the federations perspective they want ‘their’ players playing in the united states in favorable situation to keep them sharp for NT duty. Overall league success and viability is secondary although it would benefit them in the long run as well.

          • #1Fan

            Hence it would be ironic if a crown jewel went abroad. It won’t happen imo. They will “create” the situation they want.

          • DNG

            I suspect you are spot on here. I think the USSF really does not want to see her go abroad and I’m betting they are willing to push their weight around to get a deal done.

          • DNG

            I wouldn’t say that their actions exactly work for me at least. I’m still trying to understand how one of the best CMs in the league can’t get a cap in a position of need.

          • #1Fan

            2 federation players from Portland for the 1 pick. 🙂

          • DNG

            I can’t see Portland voluntarily break up the core of their team for Pugh. Washington has no leverage on Portland right now. Pugh has made it clear she won’t play for Washington and really wants to play for Portland. Who are probably still the best team in the league with or without Pugh.

          • #1Fan

            thats what I read. Spirit turned it down. Not sure what is real or spin.

          • DNG

            The Thorns probably offered something that akin to Dagny/Nadim maybe both and a 1st round pick. I seriously doubt the Thorns would get rid of any of the other starters for various reasons. Lynch can play hardball if he wishes but given the fact that I haven’t seen any other NWSL teams names thrown in, I’m guessing Pugh is perfectly content going to Europe and trying again next year.

          • #1Fan

            Who knows. Paulson said that offer was never made, but what is he going to say ?

          • DNG

            Yeah I take every thing Paulson says with a grain of salt. I think he was just trying to diffuse some of the worry that the Thorns had offered two of Horan, Heath, Long, Kling, and Sonnett.

          • #1Fan

            Cant talk anymore. Im way over my allotted post count.

          • DNG

            I kind of got a laugh at the comparison to NYRick and Reality. Besides the fact that they are both way less cynical than I am, I actually thought I spent a good deal of time defending Pugh the last two days.

          • #1Fan

            This really is my last comment. I dont think anyone was being attacked. Basic discussion is twisted into all sorts of rubbish. I have no issue disagreeing with someone or expressing an opinion without insulting them on purpose.

            I care about the youth side of it because I have young kids. The way some people twist that into something else is actually pretty pathetic.

          • DNG

            I’m with you here. Some people just mistake criticism for hate. I’ve learned to just ignore those posts.

          • Steglitz49

            To go to Europe requires that a team signs her. As I noted elsewhere, there are few European teams with the kind of spending power that Ms Pugh — or at least her parents — want. There is no guarantee that those clubs would bite and if they did, they would write tough contracts.

          • mockmook

            Can’t International Players reject deals?

          • DNG

            What do you mean? Like veto the trade. I don’t think so. They could refuse to sign with a team if they were transferred the way players normally change teams in Europe but right now they are under contract and if the league works the way most American teams work they can trade those contracts. I haven’t taken too close of a look at the league rules regarding trades though so I might be wrong.

          • guest

            an interesting question is does washington hold pugh’s rights for two years. if so there is no hurry to make a bad trade now. the uswnt will want her back in the nwsl the year before the world cup. at that point washington could take the best offer.

          • DNG

            That’s not how the distribution draft works. The only way they get a shot at Pugh two years in a row is if they finish at the bottom of the table and the league owners don’t change the rules.

      • guest

        they learn from the best. the uswnt corruption.

      • kernel_thai

        The problem with a league that has so many back room deals is the fans start wondering exactly where the manipulation ends. The best way to give the impression that ur league is above board is have a set of rules that equally effects all the teams and stick with them.

        • DNG

          The league and owners find these backroom deals acceptable though. It seems like it’s only the fans that have an issue with it. Like I said in defense of Jordan and Payne, I have no issues with Pugh using her leverage.

          • kernel_thai

            Sure but the success of the league depends on the fans buying into the league. Here’s what I see happening. Galati gets involved and next thing u know Washington has whatever deal Portland will offer plus a guarantee from the league that they will get Sullivan. Now is this bad for Washington? Nope, it’s good cause they aren’t getting Pugh regardless. But is it really good for the league to have exceptions made for certain teams. As a Dash fan I still hear grumblings about the deals that were made when the Dash entered the league. Every body wants to believe it’s a level playing field.

          • DNG

            It’s never going to be a level playing field. There will always be team that have more. Portland put in a lot of work to advertise and grow their following even if they had a rather unique starting point. They deserve to be where they are and the standing they have with the prospective players that they do. Competitive league is going to have enough.

          • #1Fan

            i dont think your PoVs are far apart. I set of rules that are adhered to would be beneficial for all . The problem I have is that once you start manipulating, you have to continue. I dont see where it ends.

            Pugh is not a generational talent. there are more kids with similar abilities right behind her. The individual technical level of players is improving simply by the fact that more kids put in more hours now. We dont always see this in its best light becasue I still think the USSF struggle to build coherent TEAMS. They are too afraid of NOT including some “star” so they usually end up playing hero ball.

            That said, there ARE some very desirable HS/Club players out there. The USSf allocation does provide leverage, but I think the NWSL need to address the draft and its methodology before things go haywire.

            In reality, it the league MORE than just a training vehicle for the NT?

            if it is, then we need to have rules that are adhered to for all players. The problem always comes back to $$. people point to the 3rd iteration and sustainable growth for the NWSL, but are there enough owners out there passionate enough to indulge in the NWSL ?

            I dont know

          • guest

            more like the other owners have no power to protest the deals with the current state of most teams. and you have portland bribing, i mean giving revenue sharing, to the league for which they get influence. it’s about time the nwsl fans, in the name of fair competition,demand the nwsl front office make public the extent of portland’s revenue sharing.

          • DNG

            Fair competition. Lol. Read my other comments. There is no such thing as fair competition. There will always be teams who have the a leg up.

          • guest

            sure certain teams will always have different competitive advantages. but this is very different. when one of the teams is giving revenue to the league that should be made public to all. the risk of corruption and thus the risk to the integrity and future success of the league is too great. especially in light of different questionable nwsl rule changes that have taken place in the past.

          • DNG

            What corruption? The owners agree to these backroom deals. Transparency with fans is not a priority and it couldn’t be clearer. You know what would really be ‘fair’ a free market where the teams that can afford to pay are the teams that get the players.

          • guest

            sure owners are very agreeable to accepting money. but the league is more than the owners. it is also about the nwsl coaches, players and paying fans. by all accounts, more than a few nwsl coaches were strongly critical of the nwsl rule change that took place five minutes before the draft started as one example.

          • guest

            i’m sure at certain point in the leagues future, a players union and free agency will be addressed like in other american sports leagues. but i would imagine that won’t be till around year ten.

          • guest

            these owner decisions affect coaches and players who have to perform with their jobs on the line.

          • DNG

            NWSL coaches are employees of the owners. If they don’t like the way things are run they can quit(they won’t). Players may be jealous of other players using their leverage, but just because they’re jealous doesn’t meant they wouldn’t do the same thing if given the chance and they know that. If paying fans don’t like the way things are run they can leave. That would be a way to get a message across if fans can organize league wide.

  • Gary Diver

    Savannah Jordan

    Mallory Pugh’s meteoric rise started with Ellis’ call-up in 2016 January camp. And the rest is history. Ellis could have called up Savannah Jordan in the 2017 January camp. She didn’t and Jordan apparently is on the outside looking in. If Ellis had called up Jordan in January, Jordan develop could have been greatly altered and she could now be playing in NWSL instead of disappearing off the radar.

    So Jill Ellis has the power to pick winners and losers before the performances actually occur? Is Jordan is a loser? Is Ellis a psychic?

    • Constant Weeder

      Jordan is hardly off the radar. She’ll very likely be playing in NWSL next year.

      • Gary Diver

        Is there any indication that Jill Ellis has positive vibes about Jordan? Again, she could have changed Jordan’s trajectory by calling in for the January camp and a lot of people were surprised Ellis didn’t do it.

        • Constant Weeder

          I certainly can’t read Ellis’s mind. There are a lot of players who should get a look for the NT but don’t, partly because of the limitations in the old CBA. It’ll be interesting to see how much things change now that those have been loosened.

          • Gary Diver

            Agree with your last observation:)

          • #1Fan

            time will tell if they have been loosened

          • Terry Lash

            Time well tell how long Ellis remains the WNT coach, too.

          • HOFCToDi

            Jill Ellis is bullet proof. No coach in world soccer could have survived a Summer Olympics debacle and SheBelieves Cup debacle in less than twelve months.

          • Gary Diver

            There was something odd about the 2015 Victory Tour. USWNT did not play like world champions during the Victory Tour and haven’t played like world champions since.

          • HOFCToDi

            Non sequitur.

          • Steglitz49

            In a way Silvia Need did.

          • Steglitz49

            Till after WC-19.

          • guest

            I don’t think they’ve been loosened at all which really annoys me. Lloyd, Morgan, Press, Rapinoe et al preach about equality (the new Nike $pon$or$hip campaign) but they made sure they got their cake and ate it too with the new CBA. Higher salaries, same restrictions.

          • sunil

            if they are carrying the current roster to the world cup I really don’t think they’ll take gold. Hopefully other countries are watching carefully to strategize against the US – 80% at least of the roster is likely already in place.

          • HOFCToDi

            Jill Ellis and Allie Long will singlehandedly torpedo any chances of silverware at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

          • guest

            So will a 37 year old Carli Lloyd, (possibly) a 35 year old Sauerbrunn, an increasingly ineffective Morgan, a still figuring it out after 6 years Christen Press, a highly overrated by Ellis Casey Short, a too slow for the professional game Meghan Klingenberg, a played out of position ineffective Midfielder in Lindsey Horan… the list goes on.

          • Steglitz49

            Whine, whine, whine. Whinge, whinge, whinge. Good grief. The same negativity over and over again.

          • guest

            don’t forget a one-armed 38 year old hope solo making her return. it will be a high school reunion.

          • HOFCToDi

            This is all I need to know going forward:

            2017 SheBelieves Cup
            USA 0 FRA 3

  • FawcettFan14

    Somehow I don’t think the hashtag #BruinForLife is the most fitting here. I mean, she isn’t even playing one season for them. #BruinForAHotMinute?

    • #1Fan

      I agree. It made me laugh. It shows how this stuff is so stage managed.

      its like lets not alienate any UCLA folk. My view is she has no right to call herself a Bruin really, but hey. No one really cares. Its all part of the story. You know how up in arms people were with HS kids going to the NBA and making $$. They changed the rules . This registers zero on the Richter scale of indignation.

      Middle Class sport, middle class issues

      • Steglitz49

        Like hockey?

    • kernel_thai

      If all she wanted was a UCLA hoodie Im sure they would have given her one.

      • Allisonkodriscoll

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  • Terry Lash

    Now that Orlando has Marta, would Orlando give up Morgan to get Pugh?

    • Steglitz49

      No.

    • guest

      orlando should do that in a heart beat straight up. she misses a quarter of the season anyway.

      • Terry Lash

        That was my thought. Plus it’s a play for the future.

        • guest

          yes morgan is well past her peak and pugh hasn’t even started to reach hers. she still has another ten to fifteen years.

  • Gary Diver

    History of USSF Hype

    O.K., this is about USMNT, but the lessons still apply to WoSo. Hype cannot replace substance and performance.

    “U.S. Soccer and the Teen Phenom: A History Lesson”

    http://americansoccernow.com/articles/u-s-soccer-and-the-teen-phenom-a-history-lesson

    • HOFCToDi

      The USMNT never won the FIFA World Cup. The U-23 USMNT failed to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics.

      • Steglitz49

        The men did jolly well in 2002 and but for an inattentive ref they could have done even better. The men did more than OK in the 2009 Confederations Cup in SA.

    • HOFCToDi

      U.S. Women Win Olympic Gold Medal as Carli Lloyd Scores Game-Winner in 1-0 Overtime Thriller Against Brazil

      web.archive.org/web/20081203213455/http://www.ussoccer.com/articles/viewArticle.jsp_9306114.html

      Sierra Mist Woman of the Match:

      Please fill in the blank, so to speak.

    • HOFCToDi

      Never has an USWNT player hyped up more than Christen Press without any substance.

  • Gary Diver
  • guest

    OMG, Lil’ Mal is rivaling old school Christen Press in comment numbers!

    • guest

      #1 Fan and DNG are the new Rick and Reality for commenting on youth players

      • HOFCToDi

        Commenting? More like bashing.

        • guest

          lol true. Rick and Reality were sycophantic followers bowing at the alter of Christen Press… the Mal threads are considerably more cynical

          • HOFCToDi

            If my daughter is not good enough for the USWNT, then no one is. The prevailing attitude is so apparent.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear! Well spotted.

            They block those that have the temerity to disagree with them. Thus, count yourself blocked.

    • guest123

      Speaking of Little, the youngish players are kind of undersized… Lavelle, Dunn, Pugh (who got knocked down really easily by Russia)…

      • Steglitz49

        Tell that to the Nadeshiko!

  • Gary Diver

    USWNT/NWSL Questions

    1. What does the new CBA say about USWNT players playing in NWSL? I assume that Pugh will have to play in NWSL next year if she wants to play in WC19.

    2. NWSL currently has a lame-duck commissioner. When is the last time Jeff Plush was seen or has done anything? If some fancy footwork needs to be done by NWSL to keep Pugh, who in NWSL has the authority to make it happen?

    3. USWNT has a vented interest in Pugh. Do they have a vented interest in her playing in NWSL?

    • #1Fan

      careful, you are getting near your post limit according to the “experts”

  • Gary Diver

    Timing Is Everything

    “SI.com has learned that Portland has proposed a significant trade with Washington for the potential right to sign Pugh, but the Spirit, who have the first attempt to sign her through the league’s allocation process, aren’t budging. The stalemate could be settled at the NWSL owners meetings this Friday in Orlando, with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati brokering.”

    Could explain the timing.

    https://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2017/04/18/mallory-pugh-portland-thorns-nwsl-washington-spirit-france-uswnt

    P.S. I wonder who Portland was willing to trade for Pugh. How many players is Pugh worth?

    • guest

      ugh.. ussf/portland/gary “fraudster” paulsons trust fund kid holding the cards in this league.

      • guest

        and by gary i mean hank… I guess i read The Hatchet too many times as a kid.

    • Steglitz49

      Either the rules apply or they don’t. The US is good at waiving the rules when it suits them, not just in the America’s Cup.

    • guest

      what a joke league if pugh goes to portland. no nwsl team in their right mind would trade the #1 youth uswnt player who is only 18 years old. even for a package of three players that don’t have close to her long-termpotential. for marketing reasons alone. the only reason washington would trade pugh to portland was if the nwsl and portland forced them to. of course they wouldn’t say that publicly. they still want all the ticket buying nwsl fans to keep coming to the games and thinking their team has a chance to win it all and that the nwsl is a level playing field.

      • mockmook

        The alternative is she takes a contract overseas — so Washington needs to move her if she isn’t willing to play for them.

        • guest

          does washington have her rights for two years? that would change the equation. the uswnt would want her back in the nwsl the year before the world cup if she want’s to be on that team. she could go to europe for a year and then come back. then washington could seek the best offer.

  • Gary Diver

    “Don’t Blame Mal Pugh for Setting Her Own Terms”

    “So Pugh is now trying to work out a deal that sees her land in Portland if she stays in NWSL, and there’s some concern that the league would let her circumvent the allocation order like this, as well as the imbalance of having yet another WNT player on Portland’s roster. But the circumstances of this situation are not Pugh’s fault. She didn’t create the allocation process, nor did she create the disparity between Portland and Washington. Why shouldn’t a player aim to go to the team she thinks is the best? It’s up to the teams and the league to say no if the deal would hurt them.”

    This could get interesting if Gulati gets involved with NWSL so Pugh can go to Portland. What does NWSL owe Washington?

    http://www.starsandstripesfc.com/2017/4/18/15341718/mal-pugh-going-pro-demonstrates-growth-nwsl

    • #1Fan

      if we are producing more generational players, are they still generational ?

    • Steglitz49

      “What does NWSL owe Washington”. I presume you mean DC and not Seattle, which is in Washington state.

      DC had a horrific first season but their fans stayed loyal. The NWSL slighted them. They have continued to do well but something snapped towards the end of last season.

      But. WoSo must be represented in the nation’s capital. This is not negotiable. Ideally the Chief Ideologist ought to have made sure of a Championship win for DC by now. This lack again illustrates the lack of marketing nous.

  • MrTemecula

    That’s too bad. Flemming, Pugh and Sanchez would have been the new Messi, Suarez and Neymar. Good luck in France, Mal. Or, maybe a women’s LAFC? That would be something to look forward to.

    • Steglitz49

      Which of them would you anoint as the biter?

      If we stay with females of the species, Marta, Miyama and Morgan — keeping to Ms.

      • MrTemecula

        Oh, please, that was so overblown. Everybody has a little vampire in them.

        • Steglitz49

          He should have been banned for life.

          • MrTemecula

            Everybody deserves a third or fourth chances if they can put the ball in the back of the net.

          • Steglitz49

            No. Not everyone does. Common decency speaks against.

          • MrTemecula

            Biting is horrible, but there have been tackles in football that have crippled players but were never punished.

          • Steglitz49

            Do you have a particular American player in mind?

  • Rizuh

    It was really stupid to ever even consider college. In one year she’ll make up her entire scholarship, then every year after that is just profit. It’s what the financial industry calls a no brainer.

    • CED

      Also, this isn’t 20 years ago. If she wants to she could take courses online and eventually get a degree.

  • Allisonkodriscoll

    Managing director of Google!, is explaining to users to start off “Work at home” method, that People have been doing for about one year now. These days alone, I generated close to $36,000 until now with no more than my home computer as well as some spare time, despite that i have a fulltime 9 to 5 job. Even everyone not used to this, can make $89/per h easily and the earnings can go even higher over time… This is how i started
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  • guest

    It feels to me as if these young players (Pugh, Sanchez, Pugh, Howell, Smith) are being “fabricated” into superstars by the USSF in general and JE specifically. It is not their complete body of work that appears to be “identifying” them as super special players, but instead it is the singular fact that JE chooses to call them to camps that consequently stamps them with the label “super star”.

    2013 Pugh was captain of the u17 team that failed to qualify for the 2014 WC. She herself in concacaf qualifying scored 5 goals. 2 each in 8-0,7,0 drubbings of T&T and Guatemala and a goal in the 2-0 win over Canada. She did not score to tie or break the tie in the 1-1 Mexican game, but she did make her PK. This is a totally respectable performance don’t get me wrong for a 16 year old, but far from clearly identifying her as the next Mia Hamm.

    Then they push her, to the u20s as a 98 in the 2014 wc for 94s. She starts the first game against Germany at the 10 and plays very poorly in their 2-0 loss. So badly that French has to move her to I believe wide forward. Rather than keep Horan in her natural #9, and move Lavelle forward to her natural #10, she moves Horan back to the 10 and keeps Lavelle in her box to box role to compensate for Pugh’s inability to manage as a 10. That’s a discussion in and of itself…

    The US looks marginally better with these changes and Horan scores in their 1-0 win over Brazil, Horan with a brace and Lavelle with one in the win over China and Doniak in the 1-1 tie with Korea DPR. Pugh did not take a PK. She was clearly out of her class in that tournament which ostensibly launched her career along with those of Lavelle and Horan. Zero goals- really minimal if any impact in the 2014 WC. I could even make an argument that her presence hurt the team.

    The more recent u20s and the OG16 have been commented upon extensively.

    I am left wondering, “Where’s the beef?”

    I think she is a hard working kid with excellent pace and Ok skills. She is not particularly strong. She takes the ball end line using pace to beat defenders and usually does a good job angling back a ball to the runners. Her finishing needs work. I think she needs some more tools to impact the international game. She certainly warrants development opportunities consistent with her age and I am not knocking her as a top ’98 player, but I fail to see all of the star quality at this point in time. That she has experienced any success as a full international leaves me wondering exactly what level is most international woso? I am thinking pretty low…

  • Ellie_Light

    Let’s see, spend 4 years risking injury and no $ at the end, or take the money and run with it as far as you can. Smart move Mal.

    • Steglitz49

      Lindsey Horan was even smarter. She never went to college and got to experience Paris.

      Maybe Mallory was ill advised and chose a college that did not suit her?

  • J. P.

    Not sure forgoing college is a good idea but I understand the money is hard to pass up.

    As far as UCLA is concerned so what. With all of the nonsense that goes on in college compasses, particularly in the liberal loon state of California, Pugh will be a better person if she never attends UCLA.