Mal Pugh continues to thrive away from the USWNT

Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Mallory Pugh’s brilliance once again led the Chicago Red Stars to a 3-1 victory over the Washington Spirit Sunday night.

The 23-year-old striker opened up scoring for Chicago in the 20th minute, evading a swarm of defenders to slot a low shot past Washington’s keeper for the go-ahead goal.

Since joining the Red Stars for the 2021 season, Pugh has injected Chicago’s attack with a newfound intensity, notching three goals and two assists in 11 starts with the team, while also forcing a number of game-changing own goals.

Pugh’s NWSL renaissance comes after the forward was left off the USWNT’s Tokyo roster, missing her first Olympics since being called up to the USWNT in 2016.

With the help of Pugh, the Red Stars are now third in the NWSL standings, having won four of their last five regular-season games.

And after the USWNT’s dismal offensive showing in Tokyo, Pugh might have done enough to earn another invite to the team.