Lalas rips Wambach over officiating comments, Wambach responds

This hasn’t been the easiest of World Cups for United States star Abby Wambach.

Thus far, she has only one goal in four matches. In the Americans’ last match, Monday’s 2-0 victory over Colombia in the Round of 16, she sent a penalty kick wide of the net with the match scoreless in the second half. And with each passing match, though the U.S. continue to win, the media hammers on the squad’s struggles to score, and much of that falls on Wambach’s broad shoulders.

And now, she has found herself taking shots for something she said … in defense of her teammates.

After the Colombia match, Wambach was critical of the officiating when asked about the yellow cards American midfielders Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe received; yellow cards which will force the duo to sit out Friday’s quarterfinal match against China.

"It’s definitely a great question," she told the gathered media after Monday’s game in Edmonton, Alberta. I don’t know if they were yellows. Who knows?

"It seemed like she was purposefully giving those yellows to the players she knew were sitting on yellows. I don’t know if it was just a psychological thing. Who knows?"

Immediately after the comments, there were reports of a possible FIFA reprimand. And United States men’s legend and FOX Sports soccer analyst Alexi Lalas certainly didn’t hold back. You can hear his bold words in the video above.

How bold? He ends his sound bite with this, and yes, the ALL CAPS is for emphasis.

Later on Tuesday, Wambach granted FOX Sports an exclusive interview during which she heaped praise on the referee and apologized for any offense people took with her words. Here is some of her statement.

You can see the full interview below (and here).

Of course, win three more matches beginning with the China affair, and all the bad will likely be forgotten.