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Abby Wambach on being lesbian: I never felt like I was in a closet

Abby Wambach Sarah Huffman

Abby Wambach was the subject of headlines when it was revealed that she married longtime girlfriend and current teammate Sarah Huffman in Hawaii earlier this month. Wambach and Huffman didn’t publicize their wedding, but they didn’t shy away from the attention once the story became news.

In an interview with ESPNW, Wambach revealed that she found the attention amusing because she has been comfortably “out” for a while and all her friends knew about her relationship with Huffman. She also explained why she never has made a big deal of her sexuality.

“I can’t speak for other people, but for me, I feel like gone are the days that you need to come out of a closet. I never felt like I was in a closet. I never did. I always felt comfortable with who I am and the decisions I made,” Wambach told ESPNW.

Wambach joined Athlete Ally over the summer, which is a group supporting gay athletes. Aside from that, she says she never felt the need to make huge statements about her sexual preference.

“I’ve never been asked a question in my soccer world about my relationship, rightfully so because it shouldn’t matter because it doesn’t have anything to do with soccer,” she added. “But I realize I’m a public figure and people are curious about my private life. I’m honestly not the kind of person who wants to step up to a podium, test the microphone and be like, ‘Hey, I’m homosexual and this is who I am, hear me roar.’ That’s not who I am.”

I think there are two aspects of her comments. One, Wambach isn’t out to make huge statements, which is fine. And two, this says a lot about the overall attitude and acceptance of gay athletes. Whether an athlete is gay or not shouldn’t be a big deal, just like it hasn’t been for Wambach, who was the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. We should be at a point where whether an athlete is gay or not is inconsequential. It seems like Wambach has long felt that way, which has probably made her life very comfortable.

Abby Wambach married girlfriend Sarah Huffman in Hawaii

Abby Wambach Sarah Huffman

When Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux were burning up social media over the past week sharing photos from their time in Hawaii, they weren’t just on vacation. They were actually in the land of paradise for a wedding of one of their national team teammates.

According to TMZ, USWNT star player Abby Wambach got married to longtime girlfriend Sarah Huffman on Saturday at the Villas at Poipu Kai in Kauai. The couple’s closest friends and family were there for the ceremony.

Wambach later confirmed the marriage with a tweet sent on Wednesday:

Huffman is also a soccer player who has played for the women’s national team at several different age levels. Huffman currently plays professionally for the Western New York Flash of the Women’s Pro Soccer league, which is also Wambach’s team.

We suspected someone was getting married when Morgan sent this tweet on Saturday night:

This tweet from Huffman also confirms she was in Kauai for the weekend:

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Abby Wambach gets her own beer

You haven’t truly made it as an athlete until you’ve had a beer named after you. With that in mind, we can safely say that Abby Wambach has officially arrived.

The women’s soccer star and gold medalist is in Great Falls, Montana, for the week, and a local brewery is doing what it can to make her feel welcomed.

Bowser Brewery created a beer named after her called “Abby’s Urbock” that they’re offering from Sept. 8-13 while she’s in town.

According to KRTV, brewery owner Evan Bowser says the beer is “perfect for Wambach because it looks harmless and is smooth but it has quite a kick with 7 percent alcohol content.”

“We Wanted to do this for Abby,” Bowser told KRTV. “I really think Great Falls is a great town and a great community and I want people to feel over-the-top welcome so they will come back and bring their friends back.”

Bowser later emailed LBS to let us know that Wambach did stop by the brewery and taste the beer (she’s pictured above along with Bowser), and that she seemed to have a great time at the brewery.

We can also safely place Wambach in the same category of sports hero as Tim Tebow. Congrats on that.

Photo courtesy of Evan Bowser

Abby Wambach gets smacked against Colombia, tweets picture of black eye

The US Women’s soccer team may have cruised to an easy 3-0 victory over Colombia on Saturday, but the win was hardly pain-free for American star Abby Wambach. The photo you see above is the aftermath of a blow Wambach took to the face, which she described as a “sucker punch.” With the US leading 1-0 in the first half and setting up an attack, Colombia’s Lady Andrade sprinted up beside Wambach and decked her. Andrade did not receive a card or a penalty since the refs missed the play, but Wambach was understandably upset about it after the match.

“I hope the Olympic Committee looks at the film and sees that this is not the type of player we want in the Olympics,” she said.

Wambach’s shiner should inspire the Olympic Committee to at least take a look at the play. It certainly looked dirty and uncalled for.

Note: This post also appeared on Medal Detector
H/T NESN

Abby Wambach Now Player-Coach for Her magicJack WPS Team

Abby Wambach arrived home in the U.S. to much fanfare after her stellar performance at the World Cup. The respect she holds in the soccer community has grown so much that her WPS team magicJack asked her to serve as their head coach the rest of the season.

Team owner Dan Borislaw explained the decision. “The thing people don’t know is she’s incredibly smart,” Borislow said. “If you gave her an IQ test, she’d probably come out a genius. Everybody respects Abby. She does a good job of getting along with everybody and motivating them.”

Borislaw says Wambach essentially was helping to coach the team before the move was made official, so the transition should be easy. I don’t know enough about soccer much less Wambach’s role on the team to say whether it’s a bad move, but my guess this was done for one reason: money. If you have someone as skilled and respected as Wambach, why pay someone else to do a job she can probably do?

The only thing I do know is that a strong personality like Hope Solo, who is magicJack’s goalie, might have a tough time taking orders from one of her peers.

Hope Solo, Abby Wambach Happy for Japan

This U.S. women’s soccer team blew 1-0 and 2-1 leads to Japan and lost in the finals of the World Cup on penalty kicks. They’re taking a lot of criticism for choking, but that’s not my focus. Sure it would have been nice to win, but this team will have a chance to earn a gold medal in London in 2012. Additionally, given the natural disasters in Japan, hopefully the World Cup win will be more uplifting for their country than it would have been for the U.S.

Many of the players on the American team share the same perspective.

Goalie Hope Solo, who said she hoped Japan would reach the finals, placed the loss in excellent context.

“We lost to a great team, we really did,” Solo conceded. “Japan is a team that I’ve always had so much respect for, and I truly believe that something bigger was pulling for this team. And as much as I’ve always wanted [to win the World Cup], if there’s any team I would give it to, it would be Japan.”

Abby Wambach, who scored to put the U.S. up 2-1, suggested a more powerful force was at work.

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New York Flash Tickets in Demand Thanks to Abby Wambach, U.S. National Team

Think all the attention and publicity the U.S. women’s soccer team is receiving isn’t having an effect? Think again.

While the U.S. team prepares for its finals game Sunday against Japan in the World Cup, tickets for some Women’s Professional Soccer games are flying fast. The Western New York Flash has a game scheduled against magicJack Wednesday, and 8,500 tickets have already been sold. That blows away the Flash’s average home attendance of 1,200 fans.

According to WHEC in Rochester, 4,000 tickets had been sold has of Thursday and that amount had doubled as of Friday. The stadium holds 13,500 people but with the tickets in such demand, they’re considering adding bleachers to accommodate additional fans.

Fans who show up to the game will have the chance to see Alex Morgan, as well as Brazilian player Marta, both of whom play for the Flash. Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Shannon Boxx, and Hope Solo all play for magicJack, which has the most representatives on the national team. Even though Wambach plays for the away team, the game is a homecoming for her. She’s from Rochester, and the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive an Abby Wambach bobblehead. Pretty cool, right?

To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the star players aren’t able to play. Traveling from the World Cup in Germany Sunday to New York for a WPS game would be tough, but it would be worthwhile to serve the new fans.