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Gear

USWNT star forward Mallory Pugh will be changing the last name on the back of her jersey

The United States women’s national team is preparing for two January friendlies in New Zealand against the Football Ferns. USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski released the 24-player roster for the friendlies on Thursday and some fans were surprised to not see star player Mallory Pugh on the list.

What those fans didn’t realize was that a Mal Pugh name change had taken place since the last time the U.S. played. In December the Chicago Red Stars forward married Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson.

Mal will play with “Swanson” on the back of her jersey for the first time in New Zealand.

This isn’t the first time that a USWNT player has changed their last name. Julie Ertz is a household name for U.S. Soccer and had her maiden name “Johnston” on the back of her jersey before marrying NFL tight end Zach Ertz.

Embed from Getty Images

It’s truly a personal choice for players on changing their name after marriage. USWNT legend Carli Lloyd kept her original last name on the back throughout her career. In her final game with the national team, she took off her Lloyd jersey to reveal one with “Hollins,” her husband Brian’s last name.

Swanson and the USWNT play their first of two matches vs. New Zealand on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 10 p.m. ET.

Here’s the full roster.

Sophia Smith and Megan Rapinoe are recovering from minor injuries and won’t make the trip.

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