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Wambach: 'I was just counting'

Aware that Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod was constantly holding the ball more than the permitted six seconds -- over 15 seconds at times -- U.S. striker Abby Wambach began running near referee Christiana Pedersen and counting off the seconds that McLeod held the ball.

"I wasn't yelling. I was just counting," Wambach told Dan Wetzel. "Probably did it five to seven times."

In the 78th minute, with Wambach counting again, Pedersen finally made the call, which led the indirect kick that led to the penalty kick Wambach tied the game with at 3-3.

"Yes it's uncharacteristic [for refs to make the call]," Wambach said. "But the rules are the rules. You can say it's gamesmanship, you can say it's smart, but I'm a competitor. We needed to get a goal. They're trying to waste time; I'm trying to speed it up."

Read the whole story at Yahoo!Sports »

4 comments about "Wambach: 'I was just counting'".
  1. Bill Anderson, August 7, 2012 at 7:07 p.m.

    This is an unfortunate comment by Abby Wambach and will erode support for the US Women's Team. It would be better if she let the federation speak to any controversy surrounding the botched call from the Center Official. We don't want to present ourselves in this light. Please leave the image of the US Women as the "Never Say Die" fighters, not the "look how I manipulate the ref" whiners. As I stated on another thread, we don't want to become FIFA's Pets like the Brazilian Men's Team.

  2. Ramon Creager, August 8, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.

    Allowing this sort of behavior is a good way for a referee to lose control over a game. Had I been refereeing and a player starts repeatedly counting next to me like this, she gets a yellow for dissent. I do the refereeing, she does the playing. Bet Wambach wasn't counting when her own 'keeper had the ball. Now I'm convinced this referee was overawed. Also, this is rich coming from a USWNT player; this is a team that is used to being ahead, and is as guilty as any other of using time-wasting tactics.

  3. John Caine, August 8, 2012 at 2:36 p.m.

    The truth of the matter is that the referee favored the USA team. Let us be honest about it. She was looking for the minimal margin of error from the Canadians to "punish" them. It is absolutely irrational to call a keeper for retaining the ball more than the allowed time. The truth of the matter is that the referee favored the USA team. Let us be honest about it. She was looking for the minimal margin of error from the Canadians to "punish" them. It is absolutely irrational to call a keeper for retaining the ball more than the allowed time in a competition like this. However, it was clear they wanted the USA in the finals. The hand-ball was also a "gift" from the ref to the USA. Everyone face it: for marketing and other purposes they wanted a Japan-USA final. Well, they have it. Now Japan will not only have to battle 11 USA players but refs as well. Japan will outplay the USA if the refs allow it.

  4. Sam Rogers, August 8, 2012 at 3:12 p.m.

    It is technically the most violated rule in the game and as referees we are told to never call it until our count reaches at least '10'. The Cnandian GK took it to an extreme and probably should have been called for it earlier. Once she was warned by the ref, she was playing with fire. The call was justified and the way that Solo is/was different is that she usually drops the ball to her feet while the McLeod continues to hold it. I have cautioned a player for repeatedly counting for me just as I have cautioned a player for counting off ten yards after I have already moved the wall back. Wambach should have been told to stop and then cautioned when she continued.

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