03/18/2015 10:30 AM
U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach today announced that she will not be playing professional club soccer in 2015 and will not join the Western New York Flash of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) for the upcoming season.
"I am so proud of our league and truly appreciate the support of the Sahlens and the fans of Western New York,” Wambach said. “At this stage of my career, I know what I need to prepare mentally and physically for this summer. My sole focus is to help bring a World Cup back to the U.S."
As a member of the Western New York Flash, Wambach, 34, appeared in 29 matches and registered 17 goals and seven assists in two seasons with the club. She helped the Flash capture the inaugural NWSL Shield as the team with the best overall regular season record and led them to the 2013 NWSL championship game against the Portland Thorns FC before falling 2-0 at Sahlen’s Stadium.
“While it’s difficult to lose a player like Abby, we are grateful for her contributions over the past two years, not only to the Flash but to the entire Rochester and Western New York soccer community,” Flash President Alex Sahlen said. “We want to wish Abby and the rest of the U.S. Women’s National Team the best of luck in the upcoming World Cup.”
Since debuting for the USA in 2001, Wambach has become one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the world and now holds the all-time international scoring record with 178 goals. In 2012, she had one of the best years of her career, culminating in winning the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, while scoring 27 goals and adding eight assists.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist, she set a U.S. and Olympic record by scoring in the first five matches of the 2012 Olympics. One of the world's best players in the air, Wambach is a six-time U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, most recently recognized for her 2013 campaign that included 11 goals and six assists.