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U.S. women's national team forward Abby Wambach hasn’t made a decision about retirement yet, but said her sights are set on playing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, if the team asks her to participate.
“If I’m asked to play on the team, at that point I’m going to have to make a decision the next couple of months depending on my fitness level and whatnot,” Wambach told Yahoo Sports. “I’m getting older, definitely not getting younger, but the reality is, if I’m asked to play for my country it might be difficult to say no. But I haven’t made any definitive decisions yet.”
The weeks since the USWNT hoisted the World Cup trophy have been a whirlwind for Wambach, who is currently in the midst of a media blitz she’s using to promote the need for all sports to be played on natural grass. She's so passionate about it that she's even started a blog to promote the need for sports to be played on natural turf.
She said playing the FIFA Women’s World Cup on artificial turf disrespected the women’s game and showcased a diminished product. As many who watched the games saw, balls would often take funny bounces or skid across the turf faster than anticipated.
“It was horrible the whole tournament,” Wambach said of the turf. “Every field we played on was horrible. Yeah, we won the World Cup and I’m so thrilled to bring home the cup, but fans didn’t see the best soccer they could have seen.”
Wambach said she’s still recovering from the toll the artificial turf took on her body throughout the tournament, which is part of her hesitation when she talks about her future. But she also feels that even though the USWNT won the World Cup, she didn’t finish on the level she knows she can play.
Wambach is the all-time leading scorer in international soccer with 183 goals in 259 matches.
“It’s just no fun to play on,” Wambach said of the turf. “And to be honest, I’m not as good of a soccer player on artificial turf as I am on natural grass. I believe that this is something that I owe to the next generation.”