After a thrilling summer of celebration from winning the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup, forward Abby Wambach announced her retirement from the U.S. Women’s Soccer team on October 20, 2015.
Mary Abigail “Abby” Wambach has played for the U.S Women’s Soccer team since 2001 and since then has won many awards for her outstanding performance on and off the the field. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and won Fifa’s World Player of the Year in 2012. The forward has since earned a reputation for scoring goals with diving headers (hitting the ball into the goal with your head, for all my non-soccer people out there), which is extremely hard to do. She also is a six time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year Award.
“Abby Wambach is my absolute favorite soccer player ever. Her skills are sick and she’s just a genuinely awesome person,” says senior and MTHS soccer player Erin Buttler.
Wambach always played forward and stands as the highest all-time goal scorer for the national team. She also holds the record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 184 goals.
Wambach says her love of soccer goes back to her childhood. Being the youngest of seven siblings, there was always a sense of competition between them. Her soccer career began when her sister joined, because even at the age of four, Wambach could not help but compete with her. In high school, her coach remembers her staying after to practice those diving headers and not leaving until she got at least half of the bag of balls in the goal.
In college, Wambach played forward for the University of Florida and eventually took them into their first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 Women’s Soccer Championship.
After trials and tribulations with the team, she finally had her chance with the U.S. Women’s team and played her first national game on September 9, 2001. Since then, she has played in four World Cup tournaments and has proven herself to be a vital part of the team.
“I’ll never forget the header she scored in the last second of the Brazil VS. U.S. game; that was legendary,” says senior Kayla Landis.
Prior to playing in Fifa 2015, there were rumors that Wambach was thinking of calling it quits and that this would would be her last tournament, but it was not until recently that she officially declared her retirement. On October 20, 2015, after the whole team met with President Obama for their win over the summer, she told everyone.
“After much deliberation and talking with my friends, family, teammates, and our coaching staff, I’ve decided to finally bring my soccer career to an end,” she said in a statement.
When asked about what is in the future for her, she replied saying that she did not really know, but that she was excited for whatever comes her way.
Her fans, of course, are very upset and she addressed them in a tweet saying, “Nothing made me prouder than to wear the red, white, and blue. Thank you for sending your thoughts and kind words.”
Where does the road go from here? What lies ahead for the U.S. Women’s team? Wambach’s legacy will always remain in the world of soccer, and we can all agree it was a pleasure to watch her on the field.
What do you think about Abby Wambach’s retirement?