The Western New York Flash are reaping the rewards of Abby Wambach’s refusal to play ball.
The National Women’s Soccer League side was hamstrung by Wambach’s desire to stay in the Pacific Northwest ahead of this summer’s World Cup, and her decision not to play club soccer at all this summer.
[ MORE: How will US line up vs. Switzerland? ]
But now they’ve made a mega deal based around Wambach’s rights going to Seattle in return for USWNT star forward Sydney Leroux Dwyer (That’s what she calls herself on Twitter since marrying Sporting KC man Dom Dwyer).
Seattle also gets midfielder Amber Brooks and a first round pick in 2016, while the Flash land defender Amanda Frisbie.
WNY lands a budding superstar that will put butts in the seats at Sahlen Stadium in Rochester. From their web site:
“As everyone knows, Sydney Leroux is a top goalscorer who has had both a fantastic club and international career so far,” said Flash general manager and head coach Aaran Lines. “I’m excited about the opportunity that she presents for us and the offensive threat that she adds to our attack.”
Wambach could change her mind on a season away from the league, as her rights are now much closer to wife Sarah Huffman, who lives in Portland since retiring from the Thorns last season.
“Abby is a fantastic player who has proven over the years she is one of the best forwards in the world,” Harvey said. “We understand and support her decision to focus on the World Cup this season. The contribution she is capable of making is obvious, so we will welcome her to our club at whatever point she is ready to rejoin the league.”
It’s risk-reward for both clubs, but WNY’s glut of first-round picks this year set the table for the future and made Brooks and the ’16 first expendable, especially when they could land a draw like Leroux Dwyer.