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Wambach won’t play for Flash in 2015

The Western New York Flash suffered a major setback Wednesday before the National Women’s Soccer League season has even begun.

U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach announced that she will not be playing professional club soccer this year for the Flash in order to concentrate on the Women’s World Cup.

“I am so proud of our league and truly appreciate the support of the Sahlens and the fans of Western New York,” said Wambach, a Rochester native and the team’s major draw for games at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester. “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.”

Since her debut the with national team in 2001, Wambach has scored an international record 178 goals. In 2012, she was FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, while scoring 27 goals and adding eight assists.

The Flash will open their league schedule April 12 at Seattle Reign.