Rochester, New York native Abby Wambach is among the most popular players on the USA women's soccer team that made the final of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, and it's not surprising that she's the most popular player in her hometown. When her club team magicJack (South Florida) of Women's Professional Soccer made a trip up to Rochester to play the Western New York Flash, the club of Alex Morgan and Marta earlier in the WPS season, the Flash drew their biggest crowd of the season.
By pure chance (okay, probably not), magicJack plays the Flash in Rochester on Wednesday, just three days after the final of the Women's World Cup. Over 8,000 tickets have already been sold and there will likely be more tickets sold before the game, as well as some walk-up sales. The Flash will come close to selling out the 13,000-plus capacity Sahlen's Stadium, which they have not yet done in their short existence.
In a sane world, Abby Wambach would be a stoppage time substitute to come on real quick, run around, and wave to the crowd. After all, she's playing a World Cup final in Germany three days earlier. Expecting her to do more than that would be crazy. However, not letting her go out at all in front of a large crowd that paid just to see her would be bad for business. The reasonable compromise is giving her a five minute run-out.
Unfortunately for WPS and their fans, Dan Borislow does not live in a sane world. Borislaw is the owner of Wambach's team and the founder and CEO of magicTalk, the company that makes those magicJack things that you see advertised on television all the time. He purchased the Washington Freedom, a well-supported club with a lot of history, and moved them to South Florida. They play in a stadium with a capacity of less than 2,000. There was no video of their first few games. Oh, and instead of naming the club magicJack FC or magicJack SC, he just named them magicJack. Seriously.
Borislaw also fired his team's head coach and made Christie Rampone player-coach. Rampone has been away at the Women's World Cup. She selected a team that had a back three against the Flash in their last game. The Flash play a front three of Alex Morgan, Marta, and Christine Sinclair. That game ended poorly for magicJack.
The insane wildcard that is Dan Borislaw could start Abby Wambach or refuse to let her play at all. We simply have no way of knowing. So, let's just hope that the outcome of Wednesday's game is something that keeps both the paying customers and Abby Wambach's health in mind.
For all of our coverage of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup semifinals and how the two teams got to the final, give our Sweden vs. Japan and USA vs. France StoryStreams a read. For all of our previous coverage of the tournament, check out our 2011 Women's World Cup section. For more on the final, bookmark this StoryStream. We'll have updates in the build-up to the game. You can catch the game on Sunday at 2:45 P.M. ET on ESPN. We'll have more information on the schedule of events and where to watch as the game approaches.