01/14/2015 12:34 PM
On Wednesday, the National Women’s Soccer League announced the list of players allocated for the 2015 season. The Western New York Flash will again receive two familiar faces, as U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach and defender Whitney Engen have been allocated to the club.
Wambach, 34, returns to Western New York for her third-consecutive season with the Flash. A native of Rochester, N.Y., Wambach has contributed largely to the club over the past two seasons, ranking as one of the team’s top three scorers each year. In 2013, the club’s inaugural NWSL season, Wambach finished with a team-leading 30 points (11 goals, 8 assists). She followed that up with a 16-point 2014 season (6 goals, 4 assists) despite playing only 10 games in an injury-shortened year.
On the international stage, Wambach is the most prolific goal scorer in the game, men’s or women’s. With a world-leading 177 international goals, Wambach has tallied her share of accolades over a 231-cap career. She was recently awarded 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Player of the Year and also finished third for 2014 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. It was her fourth-consecutive season as a nominee for FIFA’s top award, having won in 2012.
Engen, 27, returns to Western New York following a trade with the Houston Dash on October 17, 2014. A native of Torrance, Ca., Engen was an integral part of the Flash’s 2011 WPS Championship, where she was named Defender of the Year.
Engen joined the NWSL midway through the 2014 season after finishing time with Swedish side Tyresö. She made 11 appearances for the Dash, all of them coming on starts, and missed just 12 possible minutes.
With the U.S. National Team, the center back has 23 caps and three career goals.
Both Wambach and Engen are expected to start the season in Western New York and be available for 3-4 matches while continuing preparations with the U.S. Women's National Team for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.
A total of 42 allocated National Team players will be participating in the upcoming season with 25 Americans, 13 Canadians and four Mexicans. Once again, the Canadian Soccer Association, Federation of Mexican Football and U.S. Soccer will be subsidizing the salaries of their respective players.
For the full list of national team allocations by club, visit www.nwslsoccer.com.