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Wambach to Miss Olympics

X-rays confirmed the USA women's team worst fears: Abby Wambach broke her leg in the first half of a 1-0 victory over Brazil and will miss the Olympics. She was diagnosed with a mid-shaft oblique fracture of the tibia and fibula.

She will have a titanium rod inserted during surgery today and be sidelined about three months.

"I want to thank all the fans, the doctors, the players on the team and Tasha Kai for scoring the winning goal," Wambach said is a statement released by the USSF. "Obviously, it's devastating, but above everything else, I'm only one player, and you can never win a championship with just one player. I have the utmost confidence in this team bringing home the gold."

Wambach had 13 goals and 10 assists this year and 99 goals in 127 career matches.

"I'm excited to watch them and cheer them on during this challenge they've been presented with," said Wambach. "It's really going to take everyone coming together. I love them all so much, and appreciate so many people involved with this game and the team. I put my heart and soul into this game every day, but sometimes accidents happen. I've gotten so many calls already, and I just want to say how much I appreciate that."

Alternate Lauren Cheney, 20, is the top candidate to replace Wambach on the Olympic roster. She has four goals in 12 career appearances.

By Steve Goff  |  July 17, 2008; 8:46 AM ET
 
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Comments

As Goff noted. this year Wambach had 10 assists to go with her 13 goals. She had been going into the corner and crossing a lot more, just as she did to feed A-Rod for the winning goal on Sunday at the Dick.

Before this latest development, PS planned to take these alternates to China: Lauren Cheney; Ali Krieger; Brianna Scurry; Kacey White. Being the one forward in the group, Cheney would indeed be the logical choice for elevation to the first 18. But now we can start guessing who will replace Cheney as an alternate. I believe that under the Olympic rules, PS has until Wednesday to decide. In the previous thread, someone had suggested Christie Welsh, but she has not been called up lately. Another ex-Freedom player whom I'd like to see considered is Joanna Lohman.

It was nice to see a sellout crowd (and the near-sellout at the Dick the other day), even though it was known that Brasil would be bringing a slightly less than A side. But I thought that for the second straight game, the USA played down to Brasil's level. Brasil is really ordinary without Marta et al. The USA's A-mids (O'Reilly, Tarpley, and Lloyd) are capable, but not especially creative.

I am always concerned about NBC, because for all practical purposes they only deal with football once every four years. I hope they know what they've got in Kai, with her tattoos, one red shoe and one white shoe, etc.

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Horrible news. Under Pia, Abby's game grew into more than just being a target for long balls, and her increasing ability to hold the ball and distribute made the our attack unpredictable.

I turned on the match just after she was injured, so I'll only comment on the 2nd half. I thought it was very exciting, particularly for Amy Rodriguez' intensity in winning impossible balls, like the one that led to the game-winning set piece.

Heather Mitts had a strong second half, with several solid tackles and one outstanding tackle.

We had a problem getting the ball out of our defensive third. The passes frequently arrived at Brazilian feet. I think most of the issues there were on the left (Chalupney and Markgraf?).

Lloyd was tremendous in the 2nd half. Unfortunately, her shots were straight to the well-positioned GK.

I really liked the way Natasha Kai came on the field, firing everyone up, and bumping into a couple of Brazilian defenders just to let them know that Tash has arrived. And yeah, the goal.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 17, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to add. I don't know who Dave Johnson was teamed with in the booth, but Dave provided better analysis than she did. Dave would make an insightful point and lob it softly to his partner, who would agree. Maybe she's new and needs prompting.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 17, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: WNT | July 17, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The award for the Moronic Post of the Day was given at 9:29 AM.

The call for nominations is now closed and no further entries will be accepted.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 17, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Wo! Major doping news on Le Tour...

Posted by: RK | July 17, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to add. I don't know who Dave Johnson was teamed with in the booth, but Dave provided better analysis than she did. Dave would make an insightful point and lob it softly to his partner, who would agree. Maybe she's new and needs prompting.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 17, 2008 9:26 AM
=========================================

That was Lori Walker, the Ohio State coach. I couldn't hear her (or Johnson) because I was at Summers, and the audio was turned down. I don't know about her performance last night, but in the past I've noticed that she was good at pointing out details, such as how someone's shot went off into the ether because she didn't have her hips oriented properly to shoot on frame. NBC used her four years ago, and I wouldn't be surprised to see her again next month.

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Wo! Major doping news on Le Tour...

Posted by: RK | July 17, 2008 9:50 AM
=========================================

Wouldn't the absence of doping news be more noteworthy?

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

well it's good that i've finally won something!

Posted by: WNT | July 17, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Who knew -- there were Champions League games yesterday, and Cup games today.

Posted by: RK | July 17, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Too bad for Abby. Yesterday she was trying to get her 100th goal and today she's getting a titanium rod inserted in her leg. Wow!

Posted by: Bart | July 17, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

While the loss of Wambach may hurt the U.S. on the pitch for the tournament, I'm not sure I care.

I'm still dismayed by the lack of leadership in the past year shown by U.S. captain Wambach and the continuing sorority girl mentality among the players as they continue to give Hope Solo, their keeper, the cold shoulder. I'm dismayed by the sheer cattyness of the majority of the U.S. women's -- oh wait -- GIRLs team. These girls are not role models for my daughter.

Posted by: Soccer Mom | July 17, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Whatever mom says goes for me too.

Posted by: Soccer Dad | July 17, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't have broken my leg.

Posted by: Hope S. | July 17, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

It is a big hit to the WNT but it is time for other players to step and fill the void. The pool of talent is very deep, look at Kai, she is have a great year.

On a related subject, can someone please wake up U.S. Soccer and get them to give equal time to the WNT? They have yet to post any thing about Abby. Their focus seems to be on the MNT trying to qualify for the World Cup. Excuse me but what team is more likely to bring home the gold or the cup? Isn't it about time the women get their fair share of support.

Posted by: Sean Wharry | July 17, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Every time Solo touched the ball last night, the crowd went wild. She and Kai were crowd favorites.


Posted by: LD | July 17, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Soccer Mom: Do you have some inside source of information? About two months ago, Jere Longman wrote a lengthy piece about this subject in the NYT (link below). His reporting seemed to indicate that a lot of progress had been made with Wambach, Scurry, and others. One notable holdout is Whitehill, but she is injured and not going to China, and even before that she was riding the bench.

In any event, I hope the players realize they will have to refurbish their images before WPS launches. If WPS had launched immediately after the WWC, it would have had some real PR problems.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/sports/soccer/25goalie.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

What game does she play anyway?

Posted by: Stick | July 17, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

On a related subject, can someone please wake up U.S. Soccer and get them to give equal time to the WNT? They have yet to post any thing about Abby.
========================================

Huh? Where did you think Goff that Wambach quote? He got it from an item that was posted on the US Soccer site either late last night or early this morning:

http://www.ussoccer.com/articles/viewArticle.jsp_7962629.html

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

uh...Soccer Mom? I don't know where you get that they are freezing out Hope Solo, but I saw two of the WNT games in March and they were all smiles and hugs then.

besides, she's the best keeper we've got (and we have some good ones).

that said, I chuckle whenever the "Hope Solo" poster says she would have saved whatever goal is under discussion.

Posted by: troy | July 17, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm still dismayed by the lack of leadership in the past year shown by U.S. captain Wambach and the continuing sorority girl mentality among the players as they continue to give Hope Solo, their keeper, the cold shoulder. I'm dismayed by the sheer cattyness of the majority of the U.S. women's -- oh wait -- GIRLs team. These girls are not role models for my daughter.

Posted by: Soccer Mom | July 17, 2008 11:02 AM

That's a little harsh.

Last year was a collossal collapse. I was mad about it too, but got over it and so you need to do the same. It's ancient history. Moreover, the leadership problems last year started with Ryan who refused to let the younger players grow. But this team has grown under Pia -- witness the emergence of Carli Lloyd. That's who should (and I think will) wear the armband for this team in Beijing.

As for Hope, she and Kai are the team rebels, no doubt. But there were plenty of hugs to go around after last night's game. Give this team a chance, they have more heart than the WWC '07 squad.

Posted by: CMJ | July 17, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I have to wonder at all those US camps ... Lori Walker would mention how under-financed Brasil's team was ... while their players would ping multiple quick passes together. They looked like a real team.

For all that time spent together, the US women couldn't string more than a couple together. Time and again Boxx seemed to pass to where she expected a US player to be, but no-one was home.

Perhaps she's passing to players no longer on the team?

And while I'm on about it - USSoccer and the WNT still seem focused on a few blessed saviors, and go to pieces when something happens to one of them. Like retiring, or being benched for a key match, or breaking a leg ... How many times last night did I hear Abby was stuck on 99 goals ...?

Really, these girls go to pieces; for all the excellence they do possess, they're so positive 100% of the time - when reality intrudes it totally throws them.

The bright stars from last night were the younger players - they dove and dug and put Brasil on their back foot and gutted out a goal. Truly a brilliant performance by Lloyd, A-rod, Kai and Chalupny.

Posted by: EastMont | July 17, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

-

On a related subject, can someone please wake up U.S. Soccer and get them to give equal time to the WNT? They have yet to post any thing about Abby. Their focus seems to be on the MNT trying to qualify for the World Cup. Excuse me but what team is more likely to bring home the gold or the cup? Isn't it about time the women get their fair share of support.
---
Why should they? Football at the Olympics is a side show, women's football in particular. The real action and focus for world football is the World Cup, not some tinpot tournament in China

Posted by: Brian | July 17, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Why should they? Football at the Olympics is a side show, women's football in particular. The real action and focus for world football is the World Cup, not some tinpot tournament in China


Posted by: Brian | July 17, 2008 11:59 AM
==========================================

Everything you say is true. (Except that football is a sideshow. In fact, it fills stadiums about as well as track and field, and it draws a huge worldwide TV audience.) However, especially in the United States, the Olympics represent an unparalleled marketing opportunity, reaching tens of millions of sports fans who don't watch much football at any other time.

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a huge blow to the USWNT. Love her or hate her, Abby Wambach has been one of the best strikers in the world for the past five years. The most memorable goal of the 2007 World Cup for me was the magnificant pass from Kristine Lilly that Wambach received with her chest then power volleyed into the net. Get well soon Abby!

This will give younger players the opportunity to show what they've got, but the US's chances for a medal have gone down significantly. I can't imagine us winning a gold without The Wombat.

Lori Walker, the Ohio State coach, would be a better commentator if she took a breath and shut up once in a while. She speaks constantly and it is tiring to listen to her after a while. (it's like drawing. If you don't leave white space on the page, you can't see the lines. In announcing, silence is golden.)

Posted by: truth | July 17, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

To those of you who don't understand what "karma" has to do with Wambach, read the following story from Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/grant_wahl/07/15/hope.solo/index.html

What Wambach, Lilly, Whitehill et al did to an emotionally vulnerable person was nothing short of diabolical.

Now, it's very interested what has happened to many of the protagonists of that conspiracy:

Lilly: Pregnant and unable to compete in the Olympics. International future uncertain.

Briana Scurry, who could have ended the whole controversy with one public word yet refused to do so: Demoted to third on the depth chart. Olympic action unlikely, international career likely over.

Cat Whitehill, who sold out her "best friend" (Solo) by accusing her of manipulating her father's death to get publicity for herself: torn knee ligament. Out of Olympics, international career uncertain.

Wambach: Devastating injury. Out of Olympics, international career uncertain.

Now, I have no problem with such players competing in the WPS. I just want their sorry self-absorbed posteriors off the WNT, now and forever.

Karma, indeed

And, yes, I hope the U.S. wins gold in Beijing. That will secure Pia's tenure as head coach and spell doom for the international careers of Wambach, Whitehill, Lilly and Scurry.


Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | July 17, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Then I will break two legs.

Posted by: Tisha V. | July 17, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

was this game even shown on TV in the DC area? What channel? Must have missed something, as that would have been better to watch (despite Abby's unfortunate severe injury) than anything else, including the Spanish coverage of Superliga... (Sorry to my Latino/a friends...)

Posted by: dtrince | July 17, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

RIGHT ON Soccer Mom... finally someone has the courage to call out Abby Wambach!

Listen folks, the rest of the world has caught up to the US women. The world has changed and evolved their games where the US continues to stick by their brute force methods.

Abby running through defenders doesn't work anymore. The US women are woefully lacking in footwork and ball control skills. Many of the US women look like they don't know how create time and space. If anyone doubts me all I gotta say is, "Brazil 4 - US 0."

Posted by: CW | July 17, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

... was on FSC.

Posted by: Da game | July 17, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Karma to me...karma for Wambach's total disregard for Hope Solo's predicament last year. Now who will be sitting at the end of the bench?

Jon

Posted by: Jon | July 17, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The players on the U.S. World Cup team had the chance to take the high road and stand up for Hope even when Ryan made a foolish move. However, no one spoke up for Hope and instead banished her from the team. Funny how your actions catch up with you. Now Wambach is out of the Olympics, and I doubt she will get much sympathy (based on the way she acted last year). "What goes around comes around."

Posted by: Nancy | July 17, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I would have saved Abby's leg. She doesn't doesn't understand soccer.

Posted by: Hope Solo | July 17, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Abby is hot.

Posted by: Letch | July 17, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

But this team has grown under Pia -- witness the emergence of Carli Lloyd. That's who should (and I think will) wear the armband for this team in Beijing.

Posted by: CMJ | July 17, 2008 11:51 AM
=========================================

Rampone has worn the armband for the past year, and there is no reason to believe that PS will make a change at this point; that would be (forgive me) too Ryanesque. However, Lloyd may well be a worthy successor to Rampone when the time comes.

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

And, yes, I hope the U.S. wins gold in Beijing. That will secure Pia's tenure as head coach and spell doom for the international careers of Wambach, Whitehill, Lilly and Scurry.

Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | July 17, 2008 12:54 PM
==========================================

I certainly look forward to seeing PS around for a long time. However, an extension of Sundhage's contract would hardly be a bad thing for Wambach's international career, given that she started nearly every match under PS and produced 13 goals and 10 assists.

As for the others, Lilly's pregnancy hardly "happened" to her. It is apparently something that she long sought. Her international career and Scully's were effectively over for reasons that had little to do with who is the head coach. Whitehill was riding the bench before her injury; she is the one person for whom Sundhage's hiring was not good news, and for whom an extension of Pia's contract would not be good news.

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

...speaking of karma and the emergence of Carli Lloyd:

Here's an except from the SI article:

Solo wasn't allowed to play or train with the team during the tour, and only midfielder Carli Lloyd broke ranks to sit next to her on the bench, visit her in her room and join her for meals. Before the meeting in St. Louis, Lloyd sat next to Solo and tapped her on the shoulder. Stay strong, Hope, she whispered. Lloyd was risking her own standing within the group, but, she says, "I just knew she was a great person and a phenomenal goalkeeper, and we need her on this team."

When I read this article in SI, it reminded me of one of the lessons from the Milgrim study -- a bit, not a lot course! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_character). The lesson is that it takes a lot of moral fiber to stand up against the will of the crowd. Cheers for Carli Lloyd for doing so. I hope my daughter will grow up to be like her.

The bottom line is I don't wish any of the U.S. Women's team bad luck. (In fact, I wish those with injuries speedy recoveries.)

I just hope they can learn to be more forgiving towards others. Everyone makes mistakes. It just doesn't seem right to continue peer-pressure types of punishment of Hope Solo for months after she apologized.

It would have been better to take the high road.

Posted by: Soccer Mom | July 17, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Time to move on.....Hopefully hometown girl, Ali Krieger will get a chance to play as well!!

Posted by: LO | July 17, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

To those of you who don't understand what "karma" has to do with Wambach, read the following story from Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl:
[...]
Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | July 17, 2008 12:54 PM
=====================

Karma indeed.

Heather Mitts missed the WWC due to ACL damage. For what act was she punished?

Carli Lloyd has a broken nose. Karma for breaking ranks with the others?

Lily has two Olympic gold medals and two World Cup winner medals. That aside, I fail to see how pregnancy is some sort of cosmic dispensation of justice.

I think you don't understand what coincidence means.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

@ CW | July 17, 2008 1:37 PM
Have you watched any of the post-Ryan WNT matches?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 17, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

But given the rules governing the use of alternates, hoping that Ali gets to play is equivalent to saying that you hope someone else breaks her leg.

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@I-270 4:15 PM

Sure... That's a pretty open ended question.

Lets use a recent example... I saw the first Brazil 1-0 match this past weekend.

1. Abby Wambach... awesome in the box... rarely knew what to do with the ball from 18 yards out. Dribbles straight forward, doesn't know how to use her feet to create space in 1 v 1 situations.

2. Heather Mitts... loved her moving forward, right up until her last touch. She'd attack for 20 yards and then looked absolutely lost. Turned the ball over every single time.

3. Same for Boxx... no footwork, doesn't know how to work in traffic, horrible finishes.

4. Midfield play... looked very tentative. To their credit they weren't just blasting the ball forward and tried to string some passes together. Sure they're learning a new style of play under PS but they've also had what 20 - 30 games under PS and they still cannot chain passes together?

Now look at the Brazilian side w/o their top players. They move the ball through the middle 1/3 effortlessly every single time. For the US, it's a moral victory if they can complete three consecutive passes.

Listen, I want to see the team win gold. But the level of the WNT just isn't there. So what part of my original post do you disagree with?

Posted by: CW | July 17, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

India Trotter replaces Cheney as an alternate:

http://www.ussoccer.com/articles/viewArticle.jsp_7962633.html

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

1. Abby Wambach... awesome in the box... rarely knew what to do with the ball from 18 yards out. Dribbles straight forward, doesn't know how to use her feet to create space in 1 v 1 situations.
==========================================

Wambach doesn't just plow straight ahead; she does work the corners. She had several dangerous crosses in Sunday's game, including the one that produced A-Rod's goal. She had 10 assists to go with her 13 goals this year.

I actually agree with your other comments to varying extents, CW. Still, somehow they're undefeated for the year, including several wins over the Canarinhas whom you praise.

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

BTW, did anyone notice that a onetime member of the Freedom, Pretinha, started for the Canarinhas in both of these most recent friendlies?

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

So what part of my original post do you disagree with?

Posted by: CW | July 17, 2008 5:07 PM
=================

Parts, plural.

1. The world has changed and evolved their games where the US continues to stick by their brute force methods.

Agree on the world change. Disagree on the continuation of brute force. It's not just "bang the ball upfield to Abby" anymore. There's a lot more midfield work. Not all successful, but a vast improvement over the Heinrichs- and Ryan-coached squads.

2. Abby running through defenders doesn't work anymore.

Because it's not the primary weapon in the arsenal. Abby holds the ball more, plays on the wings better and looks for her teammates. More players are involved in scoring goals.

3. Many of the US women look like they don't know how create time and space.

I agree with some of this, but I've noticed that the defenders are much more apt to play out of danger than before, when they just cleared the ball upfield.

I didn't see the previous Brazil match, but Mitts had an excellent match against Canada @RFK, moving forward well, and earned an assist.

We do still lack some of the individual creativity, but the other aspects of our game give me much to be hopeful about.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 17, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Here's some interesting commentary by Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/soccer/20080716-9999-1s16soccer.html

Posted by: tri-village | July 17, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Devastating news, not just for player but for the side. To lose a striker of Abby's caliber (99 goals, 127 caps) on the eve of the games is such a cruel fate. Worse yet she joins defender Cat Whitehill and midfielder Leslie Osborne as experienced regulars who are each ruled out of China due to injury. Get well Abby!

Posted by: YanksMarching | July 17, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

silver lining, maybe this takes some pressure off Pia -- it would be hard to fire her for poor results after 8 months on the job and 3 starters missing.

I hope we get a re-match with Brazil.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 18, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we can get another SUV commercial out of this.

Posted by: Sam | July 18, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I have read the comments above and obviously none of you have ever played soccer. Abby is a true team player. It is awful that she broke her leg but each game she goes out and gives it her best. Why don't we focus on that? Instead you all have your opinions...that's great...but maybe be in her shoes and then we'll talk

Posted by: trish | July 20, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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