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Abby Wambach will sit out NWSL season to focus on 2015 World Cup

A blow for NWSL, but surely a boost to ticket sales for the upcoming USWNT send-off series.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Per an announcement put out by her club, the Western New York Flash, Abby Wambach will not be playing in NWSL at all this season.

Wambach, who will turn 35 shortly before the USWNT's World Cup kicks off in June, makes her intentions clear in a quote included in the Flash's statement:

"At this stage of my career, I know what I need to prepare mentally and physically for this summer. My sole focus is to help bring a World Cup back to the U.S."

All well and good. The NWSL season starts in April and players bound for Canada in June were not expected to make many appearances for their clubs before being called into national team training camps for the summer's big event.

But Wambach has stated she will sit out the entire season, which includes two games against Sky Blue FC (scheduled for July 19 and August 1) which she might otherwise have been expected to play.

The decision to sit out the entire NWSL 2015 schedule strongly suggests there is more at stake for Wambach than just the need to focus on a tournament that ends at the beginning of July. Whether Wambach's post-World Cup plans include rest, retirement or testing herself in a different pro league in another country remains to be seen - but there surely is a plan that will eventually explain her absence from the entire domestic pro soccer season.

In the meantime, local fans hoping for a glimpse of the USWNT's all-time leading scorer will have to content themselves with chasing down tickets for the national team's send-off series match against South Korea, which will be held at Red Bull Arena on May 30. Tickets go on sale on March 20.