Report: Young USWNT star Mallory Pugh is turning pro and leaving UCLA

U.S. women's national team's rising star Mallory Pugh is turning pro. The 18-year-old attacker, who has been a staple for the national team for the last two years, is leaving UCLA before ever playing a game there, according to SI. 

The speedy, talented star began classes at UCLA in January and looked like she would play this fall but has decided to bolt. The report says Washington Spirit of the NWSL has the first chance to sign her due to the league's allocation process but she could be looking to go overseas and possibly go to Portland. 

As we have seen with several USWNT stars, going to Europe to play has been the popular trend. We've seen Carli Lloyd go to Manchester City and Alex Morgan head to Lyon, with the report saying Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain are in play for Pugh.

Her turning pro has to be looked at as a positive when it comes to the national team. There is no question that the talent she will face as a pro is far superior than the college level, and testing herself more at an early age should only foster her development. 

The Colorado native already has 22 caps with the national team, scoring four goals. Projected as a future world star in attack, she's arguably the most promising 18-year-old in the game. 

For news, stories, results and more, follow us:

- @CBSSportsSoccer - @RGonzalezCBS - Facebook

CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories