U.S. women’s star Pugh joins Washington Spirit

USA standout Mallory Pugh (pictured) was named the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year in 2015. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

BOYDS, Maryland – United States women’s national team star Mallory Pugh has joined Washington Spirit, the National Women’s Soccer League side announced Saturday.

The 19-year-old forward has made 22 appearances and scored four goals for the Americans since netting in her international debut against Ireland on January 23, 2016.  She became the youngest player in U.S. history to score an Olympic goal while competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, finding the net in a 2-2 draw against Colombia.

 "I am very excited to begin my career in the NWSL and with the Washington Spirit," said Pugh.  "Being part of a professional team will allow me to grow and develop as a player, and I look forward to helping the Spirit win championships."

 Pugh has played in two editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (2014: 4 games/0 goals; 2016: 6/2).  In 2015, she led the U.S. to the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship title, scoring seven goals and registering four assists en route to capturing the Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards.