Controversy On and Off the Field for US Women’s National Team
There were fireworks both on and off the field for the US Women’s National Team, who defeated Colombia 3-0 on Saturday in Glasgow, Scotland. Abby Wambach has called for the Olympic Committee to review and discipline the Colombian player who “sucker-punched” her during the game. And after the match Hope Solo went public on Twitter with her intense criticism of NBC Sports color commentator and former US National Team player, Brandi Chastain.
Abby Wambach calls for Olympic Committee to review punch she received from Lady Andrade
In the 39th minute of the match, Abby Wambach went down in a heap after making an off-the-ball run. She was pursued by Colombia’s Lady Andrade and when she closed on Wambach she gave her a right hook to her eye with an open palm which dropped the normally tough US forward. When play was finally stopped and referee Efthalia Mitsi from Germany checked on Wambach her eye was already swollen.
Video after the jump of Abby Wambach talking about the physicality of Colombia team and the sucker punch she received to her eye.
Evidently referee Mitsi didn’t see the play as Andrade was not punished for the punch which was clearly a red card offense.
Speaking through an interpreter after the game, Andrade admitted hitting Wambach but claimed it was an accident. ”That’s the way things happen in football,” she said. ”We were both running, and she ran across me and we collided. I had my hands in the air.”
Wambach had other thoughts about the play. “The way the Colombian team came out today they wanted to get into our heads and play physical. That was their game plan and they did a really good job of that, slowing the game down, going down and conceding injuries and sucker punching when they can. They did well but we did better.”
Wambach spoke directly about Andrade and the punch she received. “Quite frankly it was dangerous. In all honesty it was unsportsman-like behavior, a really terrible play. I hope FIFA and the Olympic Committee take a look at the film and see that this is not the type of player we want in the Olympics.”
FIFA would have no jurisdiction in the matter and a decision of this matter would have to come from the Olympic committee.
Wambach’s comments that were recorded on video, were interestingly filmed while the Colombian team and Andrade passed just feet in back of her.
Hope Solo attacks Brandi Chastain on Twitter.
The game itself, broadcast on NBC Sports, was called by Arlo White and color commentary was done by Brandi Chastain who did a decent enough job in her comments about the team. In last Wednesday’s match Chastain rightly criticized the team for not managing the end of the game well, being up 4-2, with just minutes left and continuing to take risks.
Today Chastain made some comments about defender Rachel Buehler and her need to get better in her passing. Within hours after the game Hope Solo, who has been known for controversy, took great exception with Chastain and gave her an earful on Twitter. Those comments seem to show Solo with a very thin skin as Chastain seemed to be doing what color commentators are paid to do: give opinion. Solo’s comments are still up on Twitter and can be seen here. Below is a visual of her comments.
The incident may remind some of the controversial episode in 2007 when US Women’s coach Greg Ryan benched Solo for Briana Scurry in the World Cup Final. Solo blasted Ryan publicly after the match. While some felt she may have been correct they questioned her method of dealing with the issue.
Video of Abby Wambach talking about the sucker-punch she received to her right eye.