Abby Wambach is holding firm on her stance against the U.S. men's national team's use of dual-national players, doubling down on previous comments in an interview with the New York Times.
Last December, Wambach told Bill Simmons on his podcast that she would fire manager Jurgen Klinsmann and questioned his reliance on "foreign guys," saying "The way that he has changed and brought in these foreign guys, it’s just not something that I believe in."
Wambach was subsequently the target of ire from a number of U.S. dual-nationals, most prominently Colombian-American Alejandro Bedoya and Norwegian-American Mix Diskerud, with the latter imploring Wambach to "think about who you try to disenfranchise."
The U.S. men's team, like many international teams around the world, has turned to dual-nationals for years, long before Klinsmann took charge in 2011, but Wambach continues to question their passion for representing the United States, going as far as implying that they're only playing for the USA because they couldn't make it in their birth nations.
"Do I agree with everything Jurgen has done? No, I do not. It’s just my opinion, and I’m entitled to that," Wambach told the Times' Sam Borden. "It feels a little bit odd to me that you have some guys that have never lived in the United States that play for the United States because they were able to secure a passport. To me, that just feels like they weren’t able to make it for their country and earn a living, so they’re coming here. But do they have that killer instinct? I don’t know.
"I’d love to sit down with Mix Diskerud and some of these other guys and talk to them about it. I’d love to understand how much they love their country. I believe they can have love for both countries, but I’d love to hear it, and I think so many other people would, too. If this is an ignorant opinion, I’ll raise my hand in the end and say, 'My bad.' But I’d want to have that conversation."