Memo to WPS Commish Tonya Antonucci: Save Suspensions for Headbutts and Brawls

Shobha KondraguntaCorrespondent IMay 8, 2009

Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league commissioner Tonya Antonucci's decision to suspend Washington Freedom forward Abby Wambach and St. Louis Athletica defender Kia McNeil is uncalled-for unless the league is looking for some controversy to promote the game.

Play was rough during the entire game between the two clubs, and the referee let every foul in the early part of the game go by. He decided that Wambach's tackle deserved a yellow card and the league disciplinary committee judged the decision to be fair. The league commissioner overruling these decisions and elevating this incident into a controversy is a nuisance and a distraction. 

Post game reviews and suspensions come for incidents where players behave unprofessionally with physical or verbal attacks on opposing team players or when fights break out between different players. Aggressive playing does not fall into this category and WPS league commissioner is overreacting to this incident.

Wambach has certainly become more physical since coming back from injury to play for Freedom. However, she is playing a different style of game now and that calls for aggressive play. 

Prior to the WPS league, playing for the United States national team, Wambach was always a target player. She stayed up top and did not roam around the field much.  Thanks to coach Jim Gabbara, she is evolving into a play maker and at times even drops back all the way to defend. 

Watching Freedom play soccer is so much fun because the game is not direct anymore. There is a lot of creative movement with Bompastor, Sawa, De Vanna, Lindsay, and Wambach collectively building the attack. The decision to suspend Wambach puts a break to Freedom's momentum toward creative and entertaining soccer. This is as unfortunate as Daniela's season-ending injury. 

Photo Credit: WPS