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Abby Wambach joins ESPN as analyst, podcast host

Photo by Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports
Photo by Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports

Abby Wambach’s post-soccer future as been made clear.

The former U.S. Women’s National Team star will join ESPN as an analyst and contributor. As part of her new job, Wambach will cover this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament in France and the Rio Olympics in August. In addition, Wambach will work across multiple platforms including ESPN Films while also hosting a podcast titled “Fearless Conversation with Abby Wambach”.

“Talking and reporting on things that I’m passionate about really, really was the selling point to me,” Wambach told The Associated Press. “Because I don’t want the rest of my life to be based on the fact that I played soccer. I want to be able to venture and learn about different things.”

Wambach, international soccer’s all-time leading scorer, says the first episode of her podcast will include discussion of her controversial comments surrounding what she called “foreign” players on the U.S. Men’s National Team. The comments drew criticism from several, including Mix Diskerud and Alejandro Bedoya.

“Why not? I think people tend to steer away from stuff that has caused controversy in their lives,” Wambach said. “For me, what better place to start? To be quite honest, it’s been few and far between in my career, the reason being that I’ve been speaking for 23 other women, so I kind of towed the party line during that time.”

What do you think of the Wambach news? Excited to see her work with ESPN? What do you expect from her new post-soccer career?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I think that the retirement piece they did on Abby just before her last match was not put
    together well, and appeared more impromptu instead of extemporaneous. It cast her as
    a rambler. I think she will be better on live TV around match time.

  2. Wow.
    Fire someone for their political beliefs,
    Hire someone who willingly endangered other’s lives as a drunk driver.

    Seriously, real classy organization there ESPN

  3. Of all the people they could have added to the team at ESPN, even if you’re looking just as USWNT former players, Abby Wambach has to be the most nonsensical. From the xenophobia, to the way she often incoherently rambles about former coaches (and teammates, some of whom are still in the team playing), and the whole drunk driving thing, you have to wonder is ESPN really cares anymore.

  4. Two things to keep in mind here:

    1. Abby Wambach literally translates to “luxury car crashing into a church”

    2. She looks like a Nun or she belongs on the front of an oatmeal box

  5. Over her career, besides being the all-time goal scorer in Women’s Soccer, Abby has given her body up for the cause more times than the rest of the team combined. If it were up to me, I would
    have a bronze statue of her in front of the USA Soccer HQ. (Along with one for Michelle Akers).
    As for the ESPN Gig, it appears that she will be telling it as it is, and I find that refreshing. Too
    many sportscasters try to be politically correct.

  6. Absurd to compare Schilling’s hateful comments with someone saying passport Americans shouldn’t be in the national team. ESPN can tell the difference but I guess many others can’t.

      • Pretty obtuse thinking to classify as xenophobic the opinion that a national team should be made up of players from that nation. In fact, that’s the majority view around the globe. We aren’t the only country that picks passport players but it’s against the spirit of international football in my view. It’s compounded by the fact that, in the case of the USMNT, most of these guys aren’t any better than the players actually from the US (with the exception of Fabian and JJ).

        You may disagree but dismissing a contrary view as xenophobic is ridiculous, as is comparing Abby’s comments to genuinely bigoted comments like the ones that got Curt Schilling fired from ESPN.

      • Strictly speaking, international football itself is “xenophobic.” So our the Olympics, at least in team sports, or any other intentional team competition. It’s our best against your best. People can’t just sign up for whatever country they like. Why not? Let’s just get rid of that xenophobic institution known as international sport.

    • I understand your view, but as I have said before, until and unless you can come up with a rule for determining who is “American enough” to compete for the NT, you don’t really advance the debate. Whether it’s birthplace, or years in the US, or when those years were spent in the US, or whatever, you need to be able to decide the hard cases. Otherwise, it’s just an arbitrary “I know a real American when I see one” situation.

      • That’s fine but suggesting we shouldn’t fall all over ourselves to convince passport Americans to commit to the USMNT (say for example by promising them a world cup spot even though they’ve only played in the fourth division). And suggesting this doesn’t make someone a xenophobe. That’s silly. International football is itself an us against them type of situation, so I suppose it’s inherently “xenophobic”.

      • Slow, I didn’t call you a xenophobe. I never have. I’m just asking where you would draw the line. I know that Jermaine Jones is on one side of your line, and Christian Pulisic is on the other. I’m just asking you to define where the line is in terms of objective criteria.

    • And no, she doesn’t and never did speak for 23 other women. She threw Hope Solo under the bus (“I’d like to think that I’d like to forgive her…”), and one of the main reasons the USWNT won the last World Cup is because the coach put Abby Wambach on the bench.

    • Unfortunately, ESPN isn’t alone. That’s the way of the world now days.

      One segment is given a hero’s treatment for being outspoken while another is classified as hate-speech for nearly the exact same rhetoric – just different views. I won’t need to define which is which because we all know.

  7. Her previous comments aside, I have never cared for Abby. In the entire USWNT pool, she is the player I have always cared for the least. However, I suspect I may be in the minority.

  8. Isn’t this the same network that just fired Curt Schilling? I’d rather listen to Lalas on an endless loop than this xenophobic oaf.

  9. Julie Foudy has been one of the smartest announcers in American soccer for quite some time and I look forward to seeing what more women can offer television.

    Best of luck to Abby!

  10. I didn’t care for her xenophobic remarks but I appreciate her willingness to speak her mind (even if it was ignorant). She screwed up with the drunk driving and everyone deserves a second chance.

    Should be a good gig for her moving forward. Good for her.

    • Dan, the best policy would be to ignore your sexism, but maybe you will think twice next time before demeaning women as eye candy.


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