Last night the office of the Commissioner of Women's Professional Soccer released a statement that after review of the Washington Freedom game against the St. Louis Athletica, "further discipline is warranted."
Would this be in reference to Kia McNeill's throwing her body into Abby Wambach like a fireman into a burning building? Or is this about Wambach's two-footed slide into Daniela's tibia, knocking her unconsciousness with pain and ending her first season with the Athletica?
Oh, OK. Both then.
Wambach and McNeill are suspended one game each.
Look, a ref can't be everywhere at once. Nor, apparently, can the linesmen and fourth officials. So props to the league for reviewing the myriad "on-field incidents" and cracking down on excessive physicality.
McNeill should have been called out for that foul in the box, whether or not Wambach had a legitimate scoring opportunity.
And for her part, Wambach has earned the boot, simply for being sloppy.
Hope Solo told the Washington Post after the game: "There was no excuse for it. I know Abby means well... she would never want to see a player go down, but in the emotions of a game, it was right after the kickoff after they scored, and she went in two-footed.”
More to the point: The game was winding down, Wambach was trying to prevent a loss against the lowest-ranked team in the league, and she was tired. Shortly after Daniela was taken away on a stretcher, the Freedom equalized and the game ended in a 3 - 3 draw.
After the match, Wambach told the Post: “She came in late, I came in late, I definitely think I deserved a yellow card, but I don’t think it was malicious... That’s not my game.”
Wambach said it in all earnestness, and who's to question her? Frustrated as she was with the hard fouls she endured, I don't believe the slide on Daniela was retribution for McNeill's wrongs. It was likely a sincere effort to win the ball paired with a lack of finesse.
When it comes to ball skills, Abby's got it in the bag. But when it comes to fouls and tackling, she's an oaf. We've seen her take down all 100 pounds of Manya Makoski repeatedly when the Freedom faced the Los Angeles Sol, and it had nothing to do with retribution.
But Daniela had scored two out of Athletica's only three goals, her season is over, and the Athletica offense is hurting badly.
Props to Tonya Antonucci for trying to make things right.
Abby's a good lady, but a bad tactical fouler, which means something in the long run. And we want it to.
Because the road to the ER is paved with good intentions.
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