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Global Jan 30, 2012

Wambach: “I’m always going to back” Dan Borislow

By Charles Boehm

Monday brought startling news that the owners of Women’s Professional Soccer have elected to cancel the league’s 2012 season, a decision apparently being blamed on their ongoing legal tussle with Dan Borislow, the rebellious owner of former WPS club magicJack who filing an injunction for reinstatement in a Florida court after the league suddenly announced that magicJack had been “terminated” in October due repeatedly violating league rules and allegedly causing “irreparable harm” to the league.

Many fans of the league, and women’s soccer in general, quickly blamed Borislow for striking a hammer blow against the sport. But less than 72 hours earlier, the telecommunications magnate had been the subject of warm praise and strong support from one of the top players in the nation’s history, U.S. Women’s National Team striker and second all-time leading goalscorer Abby Wambach.

Speaking to ESPN’s Julie Foudy in the aftermath of Friday’s 3-0 victory over Costa Rica in Vancouver, which assured the USWNT of a berth in the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Wambach singled out Borislow and pledged to continue her involvement with magicJack. Wambach has long been the team’s most prominent player, dating back to its previous identity as the Washington Freedom, and she also served as player/coach for magicJack during the latter stages of the 2011 WPS season.

“As of right now we’re just trying to figure out exactly what’s going to happen,” Wambach told Foudy after her former teammate asked whether her professional plans for the months leading up to the Olympics would include playing in WPS. “I know that Dan Borislow, he’s got some ideas up his sleeve and if you know me, I’m always going to back that guy.

“He’s an inspiration to me and as much as I can be a part of women’s soccer and keeping women’s soccer going in this country, I’m going to support it as long as I can.”

Foudy responded by asking whether she would “play for another team outside of Dan’s.”

“Probably not,” answered Wambach. “We’ll see. I don’t know exactly how things are going to fall. I want to do right by this game, but you know, I think some of the WPS teams know that I’m a little partial to him, and we’ll see what happens, we’ll see how the cookie kinda crumbles.”

Some members of the USWNT roster had already committed to playing in WPS for 2012, while others were out of contract or members of foreign clubs. When asked whether this would pose problems for the team’s Pre-Olympic preparations, Wambach gave an answer that, in light of Monday’s news, seems even more cryptic than it did at the time.

“Well, either way, with or without the WPS teams, this team has a responsibility to prepare for the Olympics as its priority, and we all know that,” said the legendary striker.

“So whether you’re gone with your WPS teams, or you’re idle, or you’re not doing much, or you’re resting your Achilles [Wambach has a chronic Achilles tendon problem], whatever the situation is, we’re all professionals and we’re all going to show up when national team call-ups happen, to prepare for winning another gold medal.”

[ +Click here to watch the ESPN video of Foudy’s interview with Wambach ]

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