Abby Wambach is coming home.
The Rochester native and the face of U.S. women’s soccer has been allocated to the Western New York Flash for the 2013 professional season, which begins in the spring.
The announcement was made Friday as U.S. Soccer allocated 55 players from the U.S., Canadian and Mexican national teams to eight teams in the newly formed National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
Another women’s professional soccer league. So what’s different this time?
For starters, the eight-team league is being administered by the U.S. Soccer Federation – the national governing body for the sport – rather than by a private ownership group. The intention is that with U.S. Soccer taking a major role in the organization and administration of a professional women’s soccer league, a league will enjoy some longevity and maybe even growth.
U.S. Soccer is subsidizing the salaries of 23 players from the American national team while the Canadian Soccer Association and the Federation of Mexico Football are doing the same for 16 players from their respective national teams.
Along with Wambach, the Flash were allocated Carli Lloyd, Canadians Bryana McCarthy and Jodi-Ann Robinson and Mexican players Veronica Perez and Pamela Tajonar.
Wambach, the 32-year-old Pittsford native, was named 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year and is the second-leading scorer in U.S. history. Lloyd, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is an attacking center midfielder with 42 goals in 142 appearances for Team USA.
Robinson, 24, played for the Flash last year while the 28-year-old Tajonar was a goalkeeper for the team in 2010.
This marks the fourth league in four years for the regional franchise that trains in Elma and plays its games in Rochester’s Sahlen’s Stadium.
The Flash have won the championship game of the last three leagues they were a part of – WPSL-Elite in 2012, WSP in 2011 and W-League in 2010.
The other members of the NWSL are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Sky Blue FC, Seattle Reign FC and the Washington Spirit.
Game and practice dates have yet to be announced.