Pittsford native Abby Wambach is coming home. The new National Women's Soccer League announced Friday that Wambach will play for the Western New York Flash, in the league's inaugural season, beginning this April.
When Abby Wambach comes to town, Rochester gets a little soccer-crazy.
The crazy is expected to continue all summer long.
Abby Wambach is being sent home to Rochester by the newly-formed National Women's Soccer League. She'll play at Sahlen's Stadium for the Western New York Flash.
Abby is one of 23 Team USA soccer players divided among eight teams. Fresh off winning the FIFA World Player of the Year Award, Wambach is by far the prized possession.
"To have the just newly-announced FIFA World Player of the Year, and Western New York native, Abby Wambach, coming to play in her own backyard... is a piece of history right there,” said Aaron Lines, WNY Flash coach.
Abby will be joined on the Flash by Team USA co-star Carli Lloyd. Lloyd scored both goals in Team USA's Olympic gold medal match in London.
There's also Pamela Tajonar and Veronica Perez. Both are Mexican nationals. Tajonar played goalkeeper for the Flash back in 2010, and soccer fans will remember Perez for scoring the game-winning goal against Team USA in the 2010 World Cup qualifier.
The Flash get Bryana McCarthy and Jodi-Ann Robinson from Canada, as well.
"McCarthy and Robinson, they're younger players,” said Pat Ercoli, Sahlen’s Stadium president. “So they're not familiar names, but they've certainly played at a high level."
A college draft and free-agent signings will fill out the roster. The new season begins in April, with 11 home games planned in Rochester for the Flash.
Sahlen's Stadium box office opens Saturday morning to sell season tickets.
Rochester: Abby Wambach Coming Home to Play For WNY Flash
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Abby's full-time return to Western New York was welcome news to local soccer fans.
Wambach coming home was the buzz at the Rochester Sports Garden on Friday.
"To have a player of her caliber playing in not the biggest city, but Rochester, I find it kind of amazing because you don't get to see that talent locally a lot," said Jeff Scalamera.
"It's just really cool that she's from our hometown and you can watch her when she's goes to the World Cup and scores all those goals, it's really cool," said Kelsey Berry.
Both expect Wambach to be a big draw this summer.