Former US women’s soccer star Abby Wambach is once again questioning the U.S. Men’s National Team’s use of dual-nationality players.
Wambach, now retired, has spoken critically of USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann, particularly his signing of foreign-born players to the team.
In a interview with The New York Times on Monday, Wambach was asked about her prior criticisms of Klinsmann and dual-nationality players.
Wambach said she finds it “odd” that USMNT uses such players and questioned their “killer instinct” and love for the United States.
“Do I agree with everything Jurgen has done? No, I do not. It’s just my opinion, and I’m entitled to that. 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. 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.
“But do they have that killer instinct? I don’t know. 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. 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.”
In 2015, Wambach said Klinsmann’s use of dual-nationality players is not something she “believes in wholeheartedly.” She also called for Klinsmann to be fired.
In the interview with the Times, Wambach also commented on Megan Rapinoe’s decision to kneel during the national anthem. Wambach said while she respects Rapinoe for doing something she believes in, she could not kneel during the anthem because she’s “fiercely patriotic, and the flag and the anthem is something that I really, really respect.”
Wambach, who is now a TV analyst, may offend some people with her comments, but as she admits, she’s willing to take them back if she’s wrong.
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