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  • Chicago Red Stars

Pre-Match Quotes | Mallory Pugh and Chris Petrucelli - August 4, 2022

Prior to the Red Stars’ match against Gotham FC, forward Mallory Pugh and head coach, Chris Petrucelli met with reporters. The Red Stars take on Gotham Sunday, August 7, at 5:00 p.m. CT at SeatGeek Stadium.

On the NWSL Player Association’s Ally Award and the team nominating Zoe Morse (from Jenna Tonelli)

Mallory Pugh: I think Zoe is overall an amazing person. Obviously she’s an amazing soccer player, but the work that she does off the field I think that it’s very inspiring. I think that it’s impactful to not only us as teammates, but everyone around her. I even got to know Zoe a little bit more, I’ve known her since we were 14 years old, but over the past couple of years, she’s just someone who goes about her business but also checks in on her teammates and is overall a great teammate. The stuff that she does off the field too is just it’s intriguing and I've learned a lot about her and I think overall she’s the perfect candidate for that award. I think [the award] is amazing. Ultimately, this award to me, I think it goes beyond MVP, Golden Boot, because it’s what you do off the field and how you’re impacting the world around you, so I think this award is very special and I'm very happy that the league is taking part in this.

On the USWNT playing England and the difficulties of garnering more attention to the NWSL (from Hernan Espinoza Jr.)

Pugh: I think it’s a work in progress, I think on Saturday it was a reflection of where this league can get to. I do think you see in some markets the attendance of fans is really good and I think it’s just going to be a work in progress and I'm excited to see where the league gets to with all that. I think women’s soccer in America is growing and it’s growing all over the world. It’s the number one growing sport worldwide so I think you’re definitely going to see more attendances and fanbases like that.

On injuries to players (from Hernan Espinoza Jr.)

Chris Petrucelli: I think it’s pretty similar to what it was a week ago. Obviously, we have a number of players that are out for the year and that’s not going to change. Other than that, we look pretty good.

On playing Gotham FC and the unique challenges to facing them (from Jenna Tonelli)

Petrucelli: I think the biggest challenge with Gotham is on the counter. They have players upfront that are dangerous. You can be on the front foot and dominating the game and they can hit you with the counter. They have speed and quality out front, so I don’t know if they’re ever out of the game and I think that’s the hard part of this. We want to be the team with the ball, we want to be the team creating chances. But we always have to be aware of what’s going to happen or what could happen. I think we’ve gotten burnt a couple of times her recently and I feel like we’ve been dominating a game, or controlling the game is a better way to put it, and then all of a sudden you get hit on a counter and give up a goal. So, I think that’s the scary part about playing them.

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