Wambach doubles down on remarks about foreigners in U.S. squad
Retired United States women's national team forward Abby Wambach has again shared her opinion on the number of dual-nationals in the men's side, this time expanding on her dubious comments from December.
Wambach spoke with the New York Times on Monday, and among the topics - ranging from her struggles with addiction and thoughts on former teammate Megan Rapinoe's decision to kneel for the national anthem - were more criticisms of Jurgen Klinsmann and his reliance on foreign-born players.
When Wambach retired in December as the U.S.'s all-time leading goal-scorer and the most decorated player in the national team program - men's or women's - her post-playing exploits had become as noteworthy as those on the pitch.
Now six months sober after an arrest for driving under the influence in April, Wambach has doubled down on contentious comments she made in December and defended them, saying, "It's just my opinion, and I'm entitled to that."
"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," Wambach added.
Wambach's remarks stem from a number of German-born players with parents in the U.S. military, and among them have been some of Klinsmann's most consistent players: Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, and Jermaine Jones.
Other German-born players like Timmy Chandler, Danny Williams, and Terrence Boyd have all been capped since Klinsmann's tenure kicked-off in 2011, and like Johnson and Brooks, the trio ply their trade in European leagues.
"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," Wambach said.
In addition to challenging the motivations of those born overseas, Wambach questions their character, saying, "But do they have that killer instinct? I don't know."
When Wambach made her remarks in December, several members of the men's side spoke out, including Alejandro Bedoya and Mix Diskerud. The pair with 93 caps between them weren't bashful in expressing their distaste with Wambach's comments, and while Bedoya's approach focused on the former striker's faults, Diskerud, who was born in Norway, was more calculated in his dissent.
"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," Wambach told Sam Borden on Monday. "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."
Consider that conversation started, Abby.
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