Washington Spirit forward Mallory Pugh will be out for 8-10 more weeks due to a sprain of her right PCL. After exiting the Washington Spirit’s game against Houston two weeks ago in the 80th minute, Pugh’s precise injury was unknown at first, before the Spirit and USWNT jointly announced that she had “right knee swelling.” She didn’t appear in the Spirit’s 2-0 defeat to the Chicago Red Stars last week and was already determined out for tonight’s game at Sky Blue FC, though she was a lock to miss those games anyway to join the United States for their friendlies against China.
Pugh’s knee injury is a big blow to a Spirit team that is currently second to last in the NWSL and struggling to turn a challenging season around. The most recent injury report for Washington includes six different players who are out, along with three more that are considered questionable and four others away on national team duty. Every player listed as out (Pugh, Mallory Eubanks, Cali Farquharson, Arielle Ship, Havan Solaun, and Cheyna Matthews) is either a forward, winger, or attacking midfielder. Striker Ashley Hatch is also questionable, and then Francisca Ordega is away on international duty. Yanara Aedo and Rose Lavelle — a midfielder/forward and attacking midfielder, respectively — are also with their national teams.
The shortage forced Jim Gabarra into an unusual lineup in last night’s scoreless draw with Sky Blue. Defensive midfielder Tori Huster played as a right forward, while winger Tiffany Weimer started as a center forward. Later in the game, right back Taylor Smith was moved up to center forward.
Fortunately, the Spirit have a full week until their next game, at home against Seattle Reign FC, and should at the very least have their international quartet back.