Figuring out how to best use 32-year-old Abby Wambach will be one of the first priorities of the incoming U.S. women’s national team coach.
When asked if she had any advice for her replacement, whoever that may be, Sundhage immediately thought of Wambach.
"Do the right thing with Abby, because she’s unique," Sundhage said. "That doesn’t necessarily mean she needs to play every single minute, but use her and create a role for her because she’s unique."
The U.S. is also adding a more technical approach to the attack, with ball-pixies like Rapinoe and Alex Morgan adding another wrinkle to the offense. Sundhage talks of a team with two devastating weapons: an unstoppable long-ball option and an increasing technical ability.
"I would say that the next step for this team is, if you find technical players, you can decide how you want to play," Sundhage said. "Because you have speed and you have strength, so if you want to play that way you can do that. If you want to keep it sexy you can do that."
"We always need to keep evolving," Rapinoe said. "The game’s evolving every day, especially the women’s game – just exponential growth."
As the world game matures, Sundhage thinks a new generation needs to fold into this current crop of gold-winning women. She continued her advice to her successor: “At the same time make sure you have some new players … and find that mix.” [x]