Mallory Pugh out for Red Stars due to COVID protocol

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Mallory Pugh is out of the Chicago Red Stars’ semifinal match against the Portland Thorns after being placed in COVID-19 protocol.

Teammate Kayla Sharples will also miss Sunday’s game due to COVID guidelines, while Casey Krueger is still out for the Red Stars because of an undetailed illness.

Chicago’s opponent, the Portland Thorns, will miss Crystal Dunn due to pregnancy and potentially Lindsey Horan, who is ruled questionable on the injury report with a facial issue.

Sharples addressed the injury report on social media on Sunday, stating that she is fully vaccinated and has received her booster shot. “I wish I could be with my team today but I have so much belief in them,” wrote Sharples.

According to the NWSL’s medical protocols, if a player tests positive for COVID-19, they must complete a 10-day isolation before returning to the team. If a player is determined to have low-risk exposure to COVID-19, then they can leave quarantine after seven days with two negative tests on day five and day seven. Higher risk contacts, who have had more prolonged exposure to COVID-19, can return to team activities after seven days if they remain asymptomatic and have two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Pugh, a 2021 NWSL MVP candidate, scored Chicago’s lone quarterfinal goal and leads her team in assists alongside Kealia Watt. She recently opted out of the latest USWNT roster, which is headed to Australia to play two friendlies in late November.

Chicago will face off against Portland on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.