Wambach to Play in D.C.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Abby Wambach, the U.S. soccer star who missed the Olympics with a broken leg, will play for the Washington Freedom in a new national women's league set to kick off next spring, sources close to the process said yesterday.

Each of the seven clubs in Women's Professional Soccer, which replaced the defunct Women's United Soccer Association, will be allocated three players from the U.S. national team program today. Foreign players will be assigned beginning next week.

Wambach, 28, is fifth on the all-time national team scoring list with 99 goals, including 13 this year before breaking her leg in the team's final tuneup before the Olympics. She is expected to fully recover in time for the start of Freedom training camp this winter.

Wambach began her pro career in Washington in 2002 and spent two WUSA seasons with the Freedom, starting alongside superstar Mia Hamm. She was the league's rookie of the year before tying for the scoring title with 13 goals and seven assists in 2003, when the Freedom won the championship.

Meantime, Hope Solo, the controversial goalkeeper who shut out Brazil for the Olympic gold medal, will play for St. Louis, and Carli Lloyd, who scored the winning goal in overtime of that game, is headed for Chicago, sources said.

-- Steven Goff

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