July 2, 2011
SHE'S NOT WORRIED
Wambach not concerned she isn't scoring
HEIDELBERG, Germany -- What's up with Abby Wambach?
|U.S. Women's National Team forward Abby Wambach has only scored once in her last 12 games.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The U.S. scoring machine can't hit the broad side of a barn or buy a goal these days.
She hasn't scored in the first two games of the Women's World Cup.
In fact, including Saturday's 3-0 Group C win over Colombia, the 31-year-old Wambach has scored but once in her past dozen games. That is very un-Wambach like, considered the Rochester, N.Y. native has struck for 118 international goals in 158 appearances, the third highest in U.S. women's history.
But if Wambach has any problems with her lack of scoring, she isn't telling or letting the world know.
“I'm just so content with us playing well and winning these games. As for the goals, it's soccer and that's the way it goes sometimes. We're winning and I'm happy for my teammates who are scoring goals…I'm optimistic the goals will come. I can't emphasize enough that if I score zero goals this tournament and our team wins, it doesn't matter.”
While she enjoyed the victory Wambach personally endured a long match.
She had enough close encounters to take over the tournament scoring lead.
Her most memorable chances? Let us count the ways:
* Wambach found herself in a one-on-one situation with Sandra Sepulveda, but the goalkeeper made the save. The rebound went to an unmarked Amy Rodriguez in the penalty area, but the forward knocked her shot over the crossbar. The game was held up for a few minutes while team trainers worked on the right thumb of Sepulveda, who was injured on Wambach’s attempt.
* After Sepulveda saved O’Reilly’s shot from the right side in the 22nd minute, Wambach headed a Lauren Cheney corner kick wide left from close range only seconds later.
* Wambach was open at the far left post but somehow headed her shot wide left in the 30th minute.
* Continuing her frustration, Wambach hit the right post in the 80th minute and received a yellow card for accidentally kicking Sepulveda while going for the ball in the penalty area four minutes later. That yellow could be costly if Wambach gets another against Sweden, meaning she would have to sit out the quarterfinal match.
“Abby Wambach had a couple of chances and she didn't put them away today," U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. "She will before the tournament ends, I have no doubt in my mind. She's a very experienced player. If you look how teams play against her it helps teammates around her. She will score a goal sooner or later.”