On Wednesday, July 17, in the final tune-up match before the Beijing Olympics, top US play Abby Wambach suffered a broken tibia and a broken fibula (both lower leg bones) after a violent collision with Brazilian Andreia Rosa during the "friendly" match. Obviously this puts more of a challenge on the US as they had hoped to medal during the Olympics.
There is no love lost between the Brazilian and the US teams. Over the past 5-6 years, the rivalry has grown increasingly physical (arguably more from the Brazilian side...but I can't claim total objectivity). Wambach, like Hamm before her, is often a target for greater physicality in general during international play due to their position on the pitch and import to their team.
Wambach has led the US in scoring, scoring percentage, and has just generally been a scoring nuisance to other teams. Her size has always made her a danger during corner kicks and other set plays. She will be having a titanium rod inserted into her leg and is expected to be out of commission for at least 12 weeks.
Can the US still medal? They certainly have the talent if they can rally from this blow. The team isn't only about Abby Wambach. It was going to be a challenge in any case...now if they medal, it might actually mean that much more.
I don't follow women's soccer closely except during the Olympics. I would think that the Americans went from being gold medal favorites down to maybe hoping for a medal in general. I hope they can pull it together and make a good run.
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