Athlete Spotlight: Abby Wambach, U.S. Soccer Great
Name: Mary Abigail “Abby” Wambach
Country: United States
Height: 5’ 11’’ Weight: 180lbs
Date of Birth: June 2, 1980
Accomplishments: Two-time Olympic gold medalist, Six-time U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award, FIFA Women’s World Cup champion
Wambach, an American retired soccer player, is a FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and a two-time Olympic gold medal winner. From 2003 to 2005, the soccer player was a regular on the women’s national soccer team of United States. She won her first cap in 2001. She currently holds the highest goals record for the national team as a forward. In addition to this, Wambach holds the world record for both female and male soccer players for international goals with 184 goals.
While attending the University of Florida, Wambach played college soccer for the women’s soccer team of the Florida Gators and assisted the team in winning its first NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship. For the Western New York Flash, the magicJack and Washington Freedom, Wambach played at the professional level.
She competed in four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments including 2015 in Canada, 2011 in Germany, 2007 in China, and 2003 in the United States. She was the champion of two Olympic tournaments including 2012 in London and 2004 in Athens and won the gold medal in both Olympics. Overall, she has scored 22 goals and played 29 matches in the five international tournaments.
Achievements and Losses:
Wambach has won the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award six times. In addition to this, she won the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year Award and became the first American women to win that award in a decade. On the 2015 Time 100 list, she was included as one of the most influential people worldwide.
On October 27, 2015, the star player announced her retirement. On December 16, when the U.S. played its last match of its 10-game Victory Tour, Wambach played her last game as well. She was awarded 2011 ESPY Award for Best Play of the Year of ESPN for the last-minute goal against Brazil in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match.
Off the field:
Wambach released her autobiography, Forward, in September 2016. She became a New York Times best seller author with “Forward.” She also signed endorsement deals with Nike, Panasonic, MVP Healthcare, and Gatorade. Wambach starred in a Dodge commercial in 2010 with several of her national team teammates. In July 2011, the soccer player signed a one-year endorsement deal with Bank of America.
Wambach was awarded the Silver Ball and Bronze Boot of the tournament for her amazing performance in the 2011 World Cup. Wambach was praised for her tenacity, determination and leadership in addition to her playing abilities. Wambach starred in a commercial for LED lighting company Cree last year. She has also appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and the Late Show with David Letterman. The star player can be seen in the HBO film, “Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team.”