The most dominant scorer in the world will turn 35 in June, mere days before the start of the premiere tournament in Canada. The Pittsford native sent the internet into a frenzy as speculation ensued that she will retire after the World Cup.
It is clear that the way she has played the game that it is very taxing on her body and it won't hold up to the beating she gives it, much longer.
However, as she has stated time and again, she would give it all up to win a world cup. It is the one prize that eludes this phenomenal player. Knowing this will be her last chance to fulfill that dream is the reason she announced to the world that she will not play professionally for her club team Western New York Flash of the NWSL for the upcoming season.
USWNT forward stated, "I am so proud of our league and truly appreciate the support of the Sahlens (Flash team owners) and the fans of Western New York," Wambach said in a statement. "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."
This puts the club in a difficult position and former teammate and Flash president Alex Sahlen, said as much, "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."
The Flash will now have an uphill climb as they try to 'find a solution' for losing one of its two allocated U.S team players. This after the Flash missed the play-offs last year, prompting general manager and head coach Aaran Lines to make extensive roster changes, such as trading fellow U.S national teammate Carli Lloyd for U.S. defender Whitney Engen, in a blockbuster deal to Houston.
Keeping only four players from last season's roster, whom he will now have to look to assume leadership roles as he has signed all four draft-picks - defender Abby Dahlkemper (UCLA), midfielder Samantha Mewis (UCLA), forward Lynn Williams (Pepperdine) and Jaelene Hinkle (Texas Tech).
For the Flash, there's no replacing a player like Wambach. "The odds are stacked against us, for sure, this hasn't strengthened our position," Lines said. "But we've got to show a little Western New York, blue-collar mentality this season."
The Americans haven't won since 1999. Wambach was on the 2011 runner-up squad and third-place teams in 2003 and 2007. This summer is her last chance, Wambach will have little over two months to get it right with her U.S teammates, if they are to be successful at winning their third title.
To do so, they would have to battle against the most competitive opponents ever, over a controversial surface - turf and play the most games ever - 7 games - to make it to the finals.
Although the 5-foot-11 forward didn't say it, risking injury by playing in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) was a major concern as three separate injuries kept her participation on the field at a minimum. She played only 10 of 24 matches for WNYF but still managed to net 6 goals and record four assist.