Wambach goes to Western NY; Morgan to Portland
FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Abby Wambach has been assigned to her hometown Western New York Flash of the new National Women's Soccer League along with gold medal-winning American teammate Carli Lloyd.
The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Friday the allocation of 55 national team players to eight clubs in the league, which starts play this spring. The players include 23 Americans, 16 Canadians and 16 Mexicans, who will be backed by their national teams.
The Flash are based outside of Buffalo and will play their home games in Rochester.
Canadian star Christine Sinclair, who starred at the University of Portland, was assigned to the Portland Thorns along with fellow Canadian Karina LeBlanc and Americans Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Rachel Buehler.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo and U.S. teammates Any Rodriguez and Megan Rapinoe went to the Seattle Reign. Americans Sydney Leroux, Heather Mitts and Heather O'Reilly were assigned to the Boston Breakers, while Shannon Boxx and Amy LePeilbet were allocated to the Chicago Red Stars.
Nicole Barnhart, Lauren Cheney and Becky Sauerbrunn went to FC Kansas City. Christie Rampone, Jill Loyden and Kelley O'Hara were assigned to Sky Blue, which will play in Piscataway, N.J.
Ali Krieger, Lori Lindsey and Ashlyn Harris went to the Washington Spirit, which will play in Germantown, Md.
The league considered the players' ability and preference of teams and the teams' preference of players. The U.S. Soccer Federation is subsidizing the salaries of the 23 American players, and the Canadian Soccer Association and the Federation of Mexican Football will help fund the salaries of 16 players each.
This is the third attempt at a women's professional league in the U.S. Women's United Soccer Association folded in 2003 after three seasons, failing to capitalize on the success of the 1999 Women's World Cup. Women's Professional Soccer folded last year, also after three seasons.