Abby Wambach is a World Cup champion. Finally. But what's next for her?
Wambach is on vacation right now, recovering from the World Cup. She won't play in NWSL this season, so that's out, but she is hoping to play in the Americans' friendlies over the next five months as they tour the country celebrating their world championship.
And after that? She plans on playing in the Olympics ... if they choose her.
"I haven’t made a decision about the Olympics next summer and I would have to make the 18-player roster, first and foremost," Wambach told the Washington Post. "It’s not a foregone conclusion I would be chosen. I will be 36 years old and there are a lot of things that have to happen between now and then before I come close to making that decision. I am planning to play at this point, but I haven’t decided and the coaching staff hasn’t made that final decision yet."
The most important part of that comment is "18-player roster." That's five fewer players than teams were allowed to carry at the World Cup. With that in mind, it's tough to imagine Wambach making next summer's Olympic team. She wasn't a starter, or even one of the first choices off the bench, by the end of the World Cup. After another year, having not played club soccer at all in 2015, it would be staggering if she was really one of the 18 best players the U.S. had next August.
Of course, teams are not just about picking the 18 best players. They're also not always about the best team, especially with the United States, where older players have a huge voice in how things are run.
Will Wambach play in the Olympics next year? It sounds like she wants to. Now we'll have to see whether she should make the team, and whether they will.