Mallory Pugh has been enjoying her time with the U.S. women’s national team, highlighting the group’s chemistry in particular after the team’s Concacaf W Championship win.
“The team chemistry is really good right now,” Pugh told Just Women’s Sports on the set of Gatorade’s Beat the Heat shoot. “You have a mixture of veterans and rookies, some players that don’t have as much experience. The vibe is good.”
Pugh isn’t the only one to have praised the team’s chemistry and pushed back at the notion that all is not well in the locker room. Following the USWNT’s Concacaf win, midfielder Andi Sullivan called the team’s vibes throughout the tournament “really incredible.”
“I almost get emotional because the vibes with the team are really incredible,” Sullivan said. “The blend between the senior leaders and the young players — for some, it’s their first tournament, or for some players, this is their umpteenth tournament — and I think that blend is incredible.”
Pugh pinpointed the forward line, where she features alongside Sophie Smith and Alex Morgan, as a unit she’s looking forward to building leading into next summer’s World Cup.
“With Soph and Alex, it’s fun to play with each other and I think it’s going to be a learning experience, building into the World Cup, of each other’s tendencies,” she said. “I’m looking forward to that.”
The Chicago Red Stars standout also credited Ashley Sanchez and Naomi Girma for contributing in positive ways in their first major international tournament.
“I definitely do not want to be playing against those two in the league,” she said.
While Pugh has had an up-and-down career with the USWNT, and despite being left off of last summer’s Olympic roster, she seems locked in to a starting spot under head coach Vlatko Andonovski.
“Not making the Olympic roster was actually the best thing that happened to my career,” said Pugh. “I think it allowed me to, one, figure out some injuries but also give me some time away from the national team to work through that, work through the adversity. I’m very thankful that happened.”
Pugh was also on set with Gatorade as part of the company’s “Thirst Trap” series. Her roots with Gatorade run all the way back to 2015, when she was named Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year following a prolific junior campaign at Mountain Vista High School (Colo.).
She reminded viewers to stay hydrated in the summer before revealing her personal favorite flavor: Cool Blue.
“I think Gatorade just does such a good job with providing for so many different levels of competition and everything,” Pugh said. “I think that’s one of the big three is sleep, hydration and nutrition, so that’s always on my mind.”