Retiring U.S. women's national team star Abby Wambach promised that she wasn't going anywhere. That she would retire, but that she would remain vocal and involved somehow.
On Wednesday, the very day of her retirement, she went on The Bill Simmons Podcast and threw a haymaker at U.S. men's national team head coach and technical director Jurgen Klinsmann.
[ USWNT Live: Follow Wambach's final game in USA-China friendly ]
Hours before her 255th and final U.S. game against China in New Orleans, as the national team wraps up its post-World Cup Victory Tour, the podcast was published and delivered some choice quotes that set Twitter ablaze.
Wambach called for Klinsmann to be fired.
Simmons asked her if she could fix one thing about the men's program, which stumbles and bumbles along as the women lifted a third World Cup trophy this summer, what it would be.
"I would definitely fire Jurgen," Wambach said without hesitating (about 37 minutes in). "Sorry, [U.S. Soccer president] Sunil [Gulati]. Sorry, U.S. Soccer. But I don't think the litmus test on him has worked. First of all, I feel he hasn't really focused enough attention on the youth programs. Although he says he has, I don't think he has. I also believe that he has changed and brought in a bunch of these foreign guys. It's just not something that I believe in, wholeheartedly. I don't believe in it. I don't believe it in my heart."
"I love Jermaine Jones and I love watching him play," she continued, alluding to one such "foreign guy." "I love Fabian Johnson and he plays in Germany and is actually killing it right now, after being sent home [from a U.S. camp] for, quote-unquote, faking an injury. I just think that this experiment that U.S. Soccer has given Jurgen isn't one that personally I'm into. It's got to be interesting for those guys to see their coach take off in the helicopter and fly home and then back to training."
The swipe at Klinsmann comes just two months after U.S. men's national team legend Landon Donovan delivered much the same message, suggesting Klinsmann should be fired if the U.S. lost to Mexico – which it did. And just last week, one of Klinsmann's former charges at Bayern Munich criticized him heavily as well.
While Wambach is well within her rights, and eminently qualified, to deliver her critique, many took issue with her definition of, and aversion to, "foreign guys" given the current political climate.
Her comments are probably much less xenophobic than they are protective of the American player development mechanism, but all the same, that choice of words – delivered live, it must be said – felt tone-deaf. Some pointed out that Wambach's U.S. teammate Sydney Leroux, with whom she's seemingly always been close, is Canadian-born and raised.
I mean I agree with Wambach. Foreign players have no place in US national teams. pic.twitter.com/mEzkq7NicJ
— Richard Whittall (@RWhittall) December 16, 2015
Still, Wambach was never one for bottling up her feelings as a player. And from the looks – and sounds – of it, she'll hardly change in retirement, which could well segue her into a broadcasting career.
Leander Schaerlaeckens is a soccer columnist for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.