WPS Update: Sol’s Shaner Breaks Leg on Debut & More

The scorecard for the Washington Freedom’s Abby Wambach this season: 13 games, three goals – and two challenges that led to season-ending injuries to both opponents.

Wambach, who earlier this season received a one-game suspension in the wake of the May 3 game against St. Louis Athletica after an 80th minute tackle that left Brazilian star Daniela with two unspecified knee ligaments and a cracked tibia, was also involved in a tackle Sunday that left Sol defender Christie Shaner with a broken leg.

From the (edited) Sol press release:

Shaner is undergoing surgery today in the Washington D.C. area to repair a mid-shaft tibia/fibula fracture that she suffered in a collision with the Washington Freedom’s Abby Wambach in the Sol’s 1-0 victory on Sunday afternoon.

Shaner and Wambach collided as both made an effort to control a loose ball in the penalty area nearly five minutes into the second half. The match was Shaner’s first in a Sol uniform after being acquired early last week in a trade with Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY).

The 24-year-old native of Ambler, Pennsylvania is scheduled for surgery at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, Maryland. Dr. Steven Tuck of Shady Grove Orthopaedic Associates will perform the procedure. The timetable for recovery is unknown at this time.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Christie,” said Los Angeles Sol General Manager Charlie Naimo. “She is a great person and was set to make a big contribution to the Sol this season.”

After the surgery, Shaner will be driven home to Ambler before recovering enough to rejoin her Sol teammates in Los Angeles.

The Sol wraps up its home schedule at noon Wednesday against Athletica at Home Depot Center. A Sol win clinches the regular season title and ensures the club hosts the WPS Championship Aug. 22 in Carson.

Meanwhile Wambach, Sol defender Stephanie Cox and Sol midfielder Shannon Boxx are among the 21 players called in today by U.S. Women’s National Team Coach Pia Sundhage for two matches against Canada July 19 and 22. Sol goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, who leads WPS with 11 shutouts, has also been called in to the Canadian squad for the games.

BTW, Wambach who herself returned to action this season after suffering a broken leg, will seek international goal No. 100 in the games. She currently has 99 international goals in 128 games.

Why is U.S. Soccer scheduling meaningless international friendlies while the WPS struggles to attract crowds to regular season games absent some of its biggest stars? Besides which the two nations have already met once this year with the U.S. winning 4-0.

Here’s the full U.S. squad:
Goalkeepers – Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)

Defenders – Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)

Midfielders – Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Leslie Osborne (FC Gold Pride), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars)

Forwards – Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

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