U.S. women's national team forward Abby Wambach has decided not to play in the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League season, the NWSL's Western New York Flash announced on Wednesday.
Wambach decided to sit out in order to focus on the upcoming Women's World Cup, which begins in June. The NSWL season begins in April and runs through September.
"I am so proud of our league and truly appreciate the support of the Sahlens and the fans of Western New York," Wambach said. "At this stage of my career, I know what I need to prepare mentally and physically for this summer. My sole focus is to help bring a World Cup back to the U.S."
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The 34-year-old has been a member of the USWNT since 2001 and has played in three World Cups in her career. The U.S. reached the final of the 2011 tournament before falling to Japan on penalty kicks.
Wambach has played with the Flash since 2013, making 29 appearances and scoring 17 goals in two seasons. In 2012, she scored five goals to help lead the U.S. to the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in London and was later named the FIFA World Player of the Year.
The 2015 Women's World Cup is being held in Canada.
- Molly Geary