Mallory Pugh, soccer star from Highlands Ranch, will make her NWSL debut on Saturday

Over the weekend, Colorado’s Mallory Pugh announced her decision to sign with the Washington Spirit of the NWSL.
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Mallory Pugh will reportedly turn pro. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

Colorado soccer prodigy Mallory Pugh, who last fall became the youngest U.S. women's soccer player to ever score a goal in the Olympics, will make her National Women's Soccer League debut on Saturday.

Over the weekend, Pugh, 19, announced her decision to sign with the Washington Spirit, which came a little more than a month after she left school at UCLA without ever playing a game for the Bruins.

Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl reported last month that it was possible Pugh wouldn't wind up with Washington, who had the first choice in the NWSL's Distribution Ranking Order.

"Three sources close to the situation told that Portland was one of Pugh’s preferred destinations in the NWSL," Wahl reported, while adding that Pugh could sign with a professional team overseas.

In the end, Pugh ended up with the Spirit, who are based in Germantown, Maryland. The Spirit reached the NWSL Championship last season but have taken a step back this year after trading away several key players. They're 1-1-3 with a minus-five goal differential in five matches.

"I think trying to promote and grow women's soccer in the U.S. was super important to me," the Mountain Vista High School alumna said during her Saturday announcement special on the Lifetime network. "I think staying in the NWSL and playing for the Washington Spirit was kind of the best decision for me right now."

The Spirit play FC Kansas City at 5 p.m. Saturday at Maryland SoccerPlex. You can watch the game on Lifetime's app or online at

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