Abby Wambach Retires as #GOAT


#ThanksAbby (Photo Courtesy of US Soccer)

Nicole Truong, Sports Editor

On December 16, 2015, USWNT legend Abby Wambach took the field for the last time in her illustrious soccer career. The USWNT ended their 10-game victory tour, playing China PR at the New Orleans’ Superdome. As the honorary team captain for the game, Wambach played 71 minutes before subbing out for the final time in front almost 40,000 US Soccer fans. Wambach, 35, ended a spectacular 15-year international career that began in September of 2001 at the age of 21 when she debuted against Germany. She has 255 caps, which is fifth all-time in both men’s and women’s U.S. history, and 184 goals, far and away the most scored by any man or woman in international soccer (


Here are some highlights from her historical career, which only scratch at the surface of how truly amazing number 20 really is:

  • Wambach retires having played in four Women’s World Cup tournaments, capping her career as a member of the 2015 Women’s World Cup champions.
  • She played in two Olympic Games, winning goal medals in 2004 in Athens, Greece, and 2012 in London. She missed the 2008 Olympics with a broken leg.
  • Wambach finishes as the USA’s all-time leading scorer in both World Cup and Olympic competition.
  • She played 25 World Cup matches, second all-time in U.S. history, and scored 14 World Cup goals, currently second only to Brazilian great Marta.
  • Wambach played 10 Olympic matches and scored nine goals.
  • Wambach was the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year more than any other player, winning the award six times (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013).
  • She was the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and is the only American to win that honor besides Mia Hamm (2001 & 2002). She finished third in the voting in both 2011 and 2014.
  • The USA’s record when Wambach scored at least one goal currently stands at 116-2-8.
  • She is also the USA’s all-time leader in multiple-goal games with 45. She has 37 two-goal games, five hat tricks, two four-goal games and one five-goal game.
  • In her career, Wambach scored just over 500 goals for her high school, college, professional club teams and the U.S. Women’s National Team youth and senior sides. She scored 142 goals in high school at Our Lady of Mercy, scored 96 for the University of Florida, 23 in the WUSA for the Washington Freedom, 30 in WPS for the Washington Freedom and magicJack and 14 in the NWSL for the Western New York Flash. She also scored 10 times for the U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team.
  • Mary Abigail Wambach grew up in Rochester, N.Y., the youngest of seven children and excelled at soccer from the beginning, scoring 27 goals in her first three games at the age of five, necessitating a switch to competing against boys.
  • At the University of Florida, Abby Wambach led her team to its only National Championship in 1998.


Wambach, known for her tenacity and tremendous leadership and efforts stated that it was time for her to step away from the game; however, she leaves behind a legacy that will never be forgotten, as she will forever be remembered and revered for her unending contributions to the success and increased popularity of the USWNT. YLHS Women’s Soccer player Emma Wenz (12) enthuses that, “I grew up idolizing Abby. It’s always sad to see a legend like that retire, but she will always be my role model and hero.”


Farewell #20. Wambach will be dearly missed by all soccer fans, and the USWNT will never be the same.