Abby Wambach hung up her historic cleats for good yesterday during a 0-1 loss to China. In the 72nd minute of play, Wambach was substituted for in front of a standing ovation from the crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. That substitution meant that her storied career as a player ambassador for women’s soccer had come to an end.
Wambach totalled 255 career games with the USWNT, and an all-time record of for international goals for both women and men with 184 total goals. She paired that with 73 assists and a heading technique that is unmatched. 67 of those 184 goals have been scored via Abby’s forehead. Perhaps one of her most memorable goals came in stoppage time against Brazil, with Brazilian players faking injuries to stall time, Rapinoe fired a laser sent for Wambach’s head and she buried the goal to force more time and eventually won the game in penalty kicks.
Wambach’s career is littered with honors including gold medals and World Cup Championships but one of the most impressive is winning the NCAA Championship as a freshman at the University of Florida. Winning a NCAA Championship is a tough feat for anybody to accomplish but even as a freshman Abby dominated and that championship is the only women’s soccer championship for a SEC school to this day.
Wambach is a gamer, and there is no denying that. In a game against Mexico in 2010, Wambach went up for a header and had a collision with a Mexican player. Both players went down, and both bleeding badly from the head. While the player from Mexico walked off the field with a towel on the wound. Abby didn’t leave the field, the medics came onto the field and stapled her head shut (I won’t put that picture in here), Abby barely wincing at the pain, and of course she finished the game.
Wambach is competitive, a leader, an American hero and perhaps the most proficient goal scorer to ever play the sport. Now she ends her successful career coming off of a 2015 World Cup (convincing) victory of Japan. Hats off and good luck to Abby from all of us here at N2K Sports!
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