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Fuel Soccer Talk: Wambach kicks her way to Hall of Fame; MLS News & Notes; US Players to Watch in France

Let’s open with one of the greatest athletes of all-time!

Abby Wambach elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on first kick

In her first year of eligibility, Abby Wambach was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Wambach will be inducted Sept. 21, along with former U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati — a key figure in the growth of the game in the United States — in Frisco, Texas at Toyota Stadium. Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.) is the all-time leading goal scorer in women’s international soccer with 184 goals. She played in the 2004 and 2012 Olympics where the team won gold medals and four Women’s World Cups from 2003-2015. The United States won the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Wambach was the only player elected this year. No player met the 50 percent criteria in the veteran player category which included Tisha Venturini-Hoch and Shep Messing.

Wambach and Gulati will be formally honored this fall at the newly completed Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas.

Among the recently retired players, former U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra was closest to joining Wambach. He appeared on 65 percent of ballots, almost his same percentage as last year.

Wambach received “only” 81 percent of the vote – how/why does 19 percent not stamp her ticket?  

MLS News & Notes from around the league

LAFC 4, Montreal Impact 2: This wasn’t going to be an easy road trip for the Impact to make, and while it wasn’t the 7-1 disaster they had at SKC back on March 30, they have to be feeling concerns about an offense that even Ignacio Piatti couldn’t get going, and a mostly-solid defense that occasionally lets this kind of match happen. Meanwhile, LAFC has earned results in their past seven matches since their lone loss at Vancouver back in April. The home fans were clearly loving it, leaving TVA reporter Nicolas Martineau to remark on all the fun they were having (at the Impact’s expense).  – Phil West 

New York Red Bulls 2, FC Cincinnati 0: It’s time to give Chris Armas some credit. Again his substitutions pay off in a big way, with Kaku and Fernandez both coming off the bench to score late. The Red Bulls claimed seven points from a three-match week, while FC Cincinnati were punished for missed first-half chances and a late defensive blunder for a seventh loss in their last eight games.– Dylan Butler

Sporting Kansas City 3, Seattle Sounders 2: Summer conditions aside, this one pulsated like a do-or-die postseason clash, and both sides paid a price, with Matt Besler and Kim Kee-hee limping off with injuries and Nico Lodeiro picking up a yellow card that triggers a suspension on caution accumulations. – Charles Boehm

For more excellent coverage of this weekend’s MLS action  

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup: 10 Players to Watch

Emily Sonnett, Fullback (NASA 12 Elite II)

Emily Sonnett has played centerback for the last several years in Portland but the talented fullback will more than likely play right back in France. She has been starting as Kelley O’Hara has been out with an injured ankle. Even if O’Hara can play – even if not at 100 percent – Ellis will need a reliable replacement as Plan B. Sonnett is a great Plan B or Plan A if that’s how things turn out. Sonnett started all three games at the 2018 Tournament of Nations vs. Japan, Australia and Brazil at right back. She played excellent games at right back against England on March 7 and Mexico on April 5 (going 90 minutes in each) and again on April 8 vs. Mexico. Throughout her career on the Cavalier back line, Virginia posted shutout wins 64 percent of the time. In 2015, Sonnett was named espnW’s National Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year. She helped her club team, NASA 12 Elite II, win the U-19 national title in 2012.

10 PLAYERS TO WATCH IN FRANCE

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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