PRINCETON, N.J. – I know you all know who Abby Wambach is. But you need to know more about her than just what she's done with the U.S. national team.
When former magicJack owner Dan Borislow filed suit against Women's Professional Soccer for being kicked out of the league, a whole lot of people (me included, I'll admit) lined up against him.
Abby Wambach quite prominently did not. In fact, she was one of his biggest backers.
The announcement of WPS' shutdown on Friday was accompanied by the announcement that Borislow's lawsuit had finally been settled out of court. When I got the opportunity to talk to Wambach at the U.S. women's national team's training camp at Princeton University, I knew I had to ask about both big news items.
What's your reaction to WPS closing down, and where do things go from here?
The national team's mentality is going to be the same. The outlook for us is the Olympics.
We made it our mission when they suspended operations early this year to do whatever we can that's in our control to make sure that we can bring back a professional league in the U.S., and the only way we know how to do that is to bring back gold from London.
That's something that fortunately, we can in some ways control. We hope that if we are able to do that, it would bring the popularity, buzz and excitement back around women's soccer, and you never know what would happen from there.
To not just the current generation of U.S. players, but the next generation, what should they do? Should they go to Europe, or play in a semi-pro league, or something else?
I think that there are a lot of different options for those girls. Not nearly as convenient as WPS was, but Europe is a very good option. We saw Lyon and Frankfurt play yesterday in the UEFA Women's Champions League final,* and it was great soccer.
As much as we do want to have a women's professional league here, I can speak for everybody on the national team that we all hope that the women's professional league comes back in the United States. It's just a matter of knowing how to manage it, and getting the right investors involved.
There are options. Yes, people lost their specific jobs, and I'm not taking that away from anybody. But if this is a passion of yours, you'll do whatever it takes to play - no matter where, no matter how.
* - The game drew 50,212 fans to Munich's Olympic Stadium. Such a big attendance is as good a sign of the health of women's soccer in Germany as any, and it's worth keeping in mind as American players look for a top-level league in which to play from now on.
Finally, to have the lawsuit with Dan Borislow settled – coincidentally or not on the same day that the league shut down – how important is it to have that done with?
You know what, I have no idea really what goes on with the settlement and the lawsuit that happened. This is actually the first I've heard of it being done and over with. I have no idea in terms of that stuff.
But I'm sure Dan still has a huge commitment to women's soccer, and I know he's going to be over in London. I'm sure he's masterminding some kind of plan in a futuristic way to try to help women's soccer, and maybe get women's professional soccer back on the map.