In perhaps the biggest trade on a draft day full of them, Sky Blue FC acquired forward Mallory Pugh from the Washington Spirit Thursday. Three draft picks, including this year’s fourth overall pick, went to the Spirit in exchange.
Spirit head coach Richie Burke earlier told Pro Soccer USA he was eager for one of the first picks in the draft. With the fourth pick previously owned by Sky Blue, the Spirit selected highly-regarded UCLA forward Ashley Sanchez. Sky Blue also gave the Spirit the 13th and 17th overall picks, with which the team selected USC’s Natalie Jacobs and Washington State’s Averie Collins. When the trade was confirmed, Pugh was not named, but it is expected she will be later.
Pugh, a U.S. women’s national team regular, has been with the Spirit since signing in May 2017. She was a mainstay with the Spirit, barring injury and national team responsibilities, and scored 10 goals in 40 games.
For Sky Blue, Pugh is emblematic of the team’s attempts to improve both on and off the field. Sky Blue has shown a particular dedication to bettering the squad this offseason, making a series of high-profile trades in recent weeks. Acquiring Midge Purce and McCall Zerboni in trades are part of the team’s effort to make Sky Blue an attractive destination for players, but Pugh marks the most notable acquisition in recent memory. With her status as a World Cup winner, Pugh will likely headline the team as Sky Blue begins its first season at Red Bull Arena in 2020.
— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) January 16, 2020