By: Nick Shimkin
Though Sky Blue FC forward Mallory Pugh is, unfortunately, missing the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, it did not stop her from giving something back to the New Jersey soccer community. Pugh surprised Flemington, New Jersey native Emily Mason by presenting her the Gatorade High School Player of the Year award via video conference on June 24. Having won the award herself five years ago, Pugh was very excited to be able to present the award to Mason.
“It was like it came full circle,” Pugh told the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald. “I remember being in her position, and then being able to do that for her, it’s just really cool to see.”
It is unfortunate both for Sky Blue FC and Pugh that she is not competing with the squad in Utah for this historic tournament. However, the disappointment is met with a sense of optimism for the future, and awareness that this is the best for Pugh.
“I’m disappointed, but I think what I had to do is make the decision that was best for me — and that’s to get healthy and get my head healthy, so I can be ready for the future and next season,” said Pugh. “Obviously, we were all upset that I wasn’t going to be able to play, but I’m very excited to be able to watch them and support them and send love and good vibes their way.”
The layoff will allow Pugh to fully heal her body and prepare for a full season in 2021 with Sky Blue FC.