83. Mal Pugh

Mal Pugh was the ultimate breakout star of 2016 and the teenager took a big step into the unknown this year by joining NWSL side Washington Spirit at the start of 2017.

In just 16 appearances, she scored six goals in a struggling side, emphasising her fledgling talent as well as remaining a regular member of Jill Ellis’s USA squads.

Pugh scored in a recent friendly against New Zealand, and still just 19, one wonders just how high Pugh’s ceiling is over the course of the next decade.

Tori Huster, Washington Spirit team mate says:

“Mal Pugh is as fun to watch as she is to play with. She is both dynamic and technical and provides a flare to the game that is hard to compare. Mal is easy-going, poised, very driven and eager to learn and win.”

Jen Cooper, US women’s football writer says:

“Mal Pugh made her professional debut in May for the Spirit, becoming the youngest American to play in the league. Clearly the most talented player on a roster with more than its fair share of injuries, she led Washington with six goals in 16 appearances.

“Balancing the challenges of club and country for the first time, Pugh also started nine of the 12 USA games she played, netting two goals and providing four assists. Her pace on the flanks and pinpoint passing were sorely missed whilst she was out due to injury.”

 

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