Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-11-19
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Sponsor
DANCIN' FEATS Da' Von Doane embraces all facets of himself DANCIN' FEATS
Da' Von Doane 
embraces all 
facets of himself
After a 16-year absence, Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) comes into town ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Soccer sensation Abby Wambach set for the 2014 season
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2014-04-18

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Abby Wambach has been out since she was 22, just not to the world.

Her soccer coaches and teammates knew. So too did her friends and family.

And over the past 12 years or so, Wambach has developed into one of the best soccer players in the world, hands down.

Her sexual orientation has had no impact on the field.

Wambach was a member of the University of Florida's first NCAA Division I women's soccer national championship team and a three-time All-American. She is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner and the 2012 World Player of the Year from FIFA, the international governing body for the sport. That's just the start of the amazing kicks from her career. Just consider:

—She is a six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year.

—She has been a regular on the U.S. Women's National Team since 2003.

—She stands as the highest all-time goal scorer for the national team and holds the world record for international goals ( 167 ) for both men and women soccer players.

—She won the 2011 ESPY Award for Best Play for an amazing goal against Brazil.

—She was the 2011Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year and the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, the first individual soccer player ever—man or woman—to receive the award.

"It's always fun to turn a new chapter, create a new story. I think that's part of why I love doing what I do so much because every year you get to keep exploring yourself individually, but the team too. And every year, every team is different, be it because of personnel, personalities, talent, whatever," Wambach said in an exclusive interview. "I think the teams that have the most success are those that open to the options, the ideas of writing a new book. And if you can all get on the same page as quickly as possible, you'll find a lot of success that way."

Soccer is simply fun for this flashy forward who will celebrate her 34th birthday in June. Wambach, born and raised in Rochester, N.Y., has been playing soccer since she was 4.

"Obviously there's the grind of long seasons, [prolonged] fitness, all of the things that become habitual more than anything. But at the end of the day, I'm still a competitor. I compete doing the most random things, even off the soccer field," said Wambach, whose competitive nature drives her to be the best, always—even just playing card games.

"I like competing and I like putting myself in an environment where I have to push myself physically and mentally. If there is a chance that I can try to win at something, I'm going to make it into a game."

Wambach is now the star for the Western New York Flash of the National Women's Soccer League ( NWSL ), and the team plays its home games at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. This is her second season with the team, and Wambach will be in uniform when the Flash play against the Chicago Red Stars for Chicago's season-opener on Saturday, April 19, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview following the Chicago Fire game. The Red Stars are slated to kick off at 5:45 p.m.

The NWSL, she said, proved last season that it can be successful.

"I think there are some really, really good soccer players [in the NWSL]," she said. "Every game is close. Almost every game last season was a one-or two-goal game; that kind of shows the parity among the teams, which makes every single game important and every single game winnable and losable. That's kind of what you need to get fans to come and watch, getting them excited about the product on the field.

"You want to get better year after year; you want the stadiums to look prettier, to look nicer, to be newer; you want the product on the field to be better. Otherwise, what are we doing here? I think the reason why all of us sacrifice and participate in what we do is, so we can hopefully grow the game. If we continue to do what we've been doing over the past few years—at the National Team and in the professional level—then we will continue to grow the game, which we are doing now."

Wambach has had an amazing run on the international stage, with eye-popping, jaw-dropping goals around the world. She's shined in the Summer Olympics and sparked in the FIFA Women's World Cup—and multiple times for each memorable tournament.

"I feel lucky in that I can really focus my energy for a year or two, getting as fit and healthy as I can possibly be for those couple of years. I think I'm really good at knowing the times in which I can peak and I think that's something that definitely has extended my career," she said. "It's almost as if I've had multiple careers, based on who the coach is, who my teammates are, and where we're at as a National Team.

"My career has been steady, long, and hopefully it can keep going.

"I don't really get too wrapped up in the stuff that I've accomplished. I guess those are the moments for retirement [to reflect]. I'm confident, comfortable with the things that I've done. I don't look too much at who I am as a celebrity, or [winning the] World Player of the Year [honor]. All of that stuff is a by-product of working hard, committing yourself to playing the game, and hopefully growing and evolving the game. I definitely think that's how I look at myself. I also think staying modest and humble is super important because there are so many great futbol players in the world, and I've been lucky to play with a lot of them and been lucky to play against a lot of them. I try to keep the mindset that I'm not better than anybody. Even on the field, it doesn't make me a good person, if I'm a good soccer player—and that's very, very important for me to continually express and feel."

Wambach said her biggest on-field regret to date is never having won the World Cup. She also regrets never having had a normal 9-to-5 job … well, sort of.

"Not that I regret it because I love what I do. But, I think it would be real interesting to learn what it's like to have a job and … feel what normal people feel," she said. "It's hard to even say things that I regret because I don't really live like that; I live life to the fullest and have no regrets.

Her life—her personal life, that is—was shot into the public eye last October, when she revealed she had married fellow soccer player Sarah Huffman in Hawaii. The two had been teammates many times on the field, even last season with Western New York, yet Huffman now plays for the Portland Thorns FC.

Their wedding, Wambach said, "was really special with a lot of friends and family [attending]. We're still riding the high of year one of marriage."

Wambach said she has been approached by many LGBT community members, for any number of reasons, including requests that she be a further spokesperson for the LGBT community. But, Wambach added, "The reality for me is that I don't really try to make statements with things that I do with my life. Not because I don't believe in it, but, I play sports, and I think there definitely is an avenue and an environment where you can cross over and gain popularity and publicity because of your sport in political arenas, but, I never really was in the closet.

"After I turned 22, I was out with my teammates and everyone. It's interesting now because people were saying last year that Abby finally came out of the closet. But the reality for me was, I never felt like I was in [the closet]. I don't feel any different because everyone in my life knew."

Still, she added, "I appreciate if [my coming-out to the rest of the world] helps someone feel more comfortable in their world.

"I definitely think there will be people who are positively impacted by Jason Collins and Michael Sam coming out, especially men. But I also think, at some point, hopefully in the very near future, that we can stop talking about people's sexual [orientation], and start the conversation on the bullying and sports overall. First and foremost, I want to be known as a good person and a soccer player. All of that other stuff is irrelevant, based on what I do on the field. And I think most other athletes will agree."

Wambach's world has not changed, at all, since her wedding last October, she stressed, "except having more responsibility with the relationship."

"I don't see myself as a spokesperson for the gay community; I don't look at myself as that. I would see myself as the spokesperson for something different, but what, I don't really know right now," said Wambach, who has attended Pride Parades in the past.

When asked about the challenges male athletes seem to face more than women when coming-out, Wambach said it stems in the "machismo" of male athletes.

"Unfortunately, there's also a stereotype that, if you're gay, you're less manly. But that's just not the case," she said. "So, I think it's been harder for men, and probably will continue to be harder for a while longer. Hopefully the Jason Collins' and Michael Sam's of the world will keep coming out and opening the door, so someday there is no conversation around this subject—and I really believe that."


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Michael Sam on coming out, his childhood, being at bottom 2014-11-21
2016 Bingham Cup heads to Nashville, not Chicago 2014-11-20
Jason Collins to retire from NBA 2014-11-19
LGBT sports airing through live Web streaming network 2014-11-19
OUT! Bowling in Naperville through Dec. 18; Sports news 2014-11-19
Veteran killed; Perry disrupted; Collins honored 2014-11-19
LETTER Lesbian and Gay Bar Association Pres to Gov.-elect Rauner 2014-11-17
PASSAGES Trans lesbian author Leslie Feinberg dies 2014-11-17
Lakeside Pride, Lea DeLaria and Artemis celebrate Women In Music 2014-11-17
Roosevelt U. hosts Equality vs. Liberation forum 2014-11-15
Artemis Singers to present "Loves Lost, Loves Found" in 2015 2014-11-15
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame honors new inductees 2014-11-13
BUSINESS Calif. clothiers for masculine-identified opens pop-up store 2014-11-12
Eileen Myles reads from forthcoming dog memoir 2014-11-12
Artemis Singers: Celebrating 35 years of shows 2014-11-12
Report: Bisexuals face more discrimination than gays, lesbians 2014-11-11
Queer musicians Alber and Henderson in Chicago Nov. 14 2014-11-09
NUNN ON ONE Lea Delaria talks 'Orange Is the New Black,' trans backlash 2014-11-05
LGBT races across nation: mixed results 2014-11-05
Film shines spotlight on gay White Sox fans 2014-11-05
Coming up: 'CLLAW XX'; OUT! Bowling 2014-11-05
Think Tank convenes to create inclusive athletic climates 2014-11-04
Armatrading on final tour, at City Winery April 23-24 2014-11-04
Rita Mae Brown at Chicago Public Library Dec. 9 2014-11-01
After 18 years, lesbian moms happy with donor choices 2014-10-31
Chicago Gay, Lesbian Hall of Fame to induct people, groups 2014-10-31
BETTY returns for holiday show 2014-10-29
'Out' lesbian Moms Mabley was comedic pioneer 2014-10-29
LBTQ Giving Council creates video for fundraising campaign 2014-10-29
Melissa Etheridge: On marriage, performing 2014-10-29
Chicago Dragons: Staying busy and winning 2014-10-29
Sports notes: Visits, honors, bullying 2014-10-29
Women honored at Center on Halsted event 2014-10-26
Lesbian veteran to be buried with late wife in Idaho cemetery 2014-10-22
Johnny Weir: Bringing the 'Love' in new documentary 2014-10-22
Alison Bechdel: Artist, genius and instigator of change 2014-10-22
OPALGA's 25th- anniv. gala Oct. 25 2014-10-22
Upcoming events in film, music, poetry 2014-10-22
Chicago doctor, 75, cellist, traveler, marathon runner 2014-10-21
Michael Sam waived from Cowboys squad 2014-10-21





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Federal judge: Montana's anti-equal marriage rule unconstitutional
 
TRAVEL Eureka Springs, Ark.: Living on mountain time
 
National Women's Hall of Fame hosts forum in Chicago
 
DISH: SAVOR Old Crow Smokehouse; Kokopelli
 
Leaving a legacy: Danny Kopelson reflects on Hall of Fame life
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.