Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach
Abby Wambach
Abby Wambach USA vs Can Sep17.jpg
Abby Wambach of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team
at a friendly against Canada in 2011
Personal information
Full name Mary Abigail Wambach
Date of birth June 2, 1980 (1980-06-02) (age 31)
Place of birth Rochester, New York, United States
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current club magicJack
Number 20
Youth career
1998–2001 University of Florida
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Washington Freedom 36 (23)
2009–2010 Washington Freedom 39 (21)
2011 magicJack 11 (9)
National team
2003– United States 165 (125)
Teams managed
2011 magicJack (Player-Coach)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of August 20, 2011.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of September 22, 2011

Mary Abigail "Abby" Wambach (born June 2, 1980) is an American professional soccer player, coach and Olympic gold medalist. A four-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award, she has been a regular on the U.S. women's national team since 2003. Wambach currently stands as the third highest all-time goal scorer for the USA Women's National Soccer Team, after Kristine Lilly and Mia Hamm. Wambach currently plays for the Boca Raton magicJack of the Women's Professional Soccer league, and also serves as magicJack's interim coach.


Early life

Wambach was born in Rochester, New York and raised in its suburb Pittsford, the youngest of seven children of Pete and Judy Wambach.[1][2] In her first youth soccer league, she was transferred from the girls' team to the boys' team after scoring twenty-seven goals in only three games.[3] Wambach attended Our Lady of Mercy High School in Rochester, New York, where she lettered in soccer and basketball.[1] Following her high school senior season, she was named to Parade magazine's high school All-America team, and the national Player of the Year by Umbro and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).[1][4]

College career

Wambach received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she played for coach Becky Burleigh's Florida Gators women's soccer team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition from 1998 to 2001.[1] While she was a Gator soccer player, the team won an NCAA national championship (1998), and four consecutive Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001).[1] Individually, she was the SEC Freshman of the Year (1998), a first-team All-SEC selection for four straight seasons (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), and a two-time SEC Player of the Year (2000, 2001), and twice received SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors (2000, 2001).[1] She was also a freshman All-American (1998), and a three-time first-team All-American (1999, 2000, 2001).[1]

In addition to leading the Gators to the Final Four of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament as a senior in 2001, she set school career records for assists (50), points (242), game-winning goals (24), and hat tricks (10).[5] Ten years after she played her last college soccer game, she remains the Florida Gators' all-time leading scorer with ninety-six goals. Wambach will be inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in Spring 2012.[6]

Professional career

In 2002, Wambach was the second overall draft pick in the WUSA. She went on to play for the Washington Freedom rather than completing her degree at Florida. Her contributions in Washington, playing alongside Mia Hamm, helped to propel the Freedom to a victory in Founders Cup III (the WUSA championship match), where Wambach was the MVP.

In the Women's Professional Soccer allocation draft for the 2009 season, Wambach was assigned back to the Washington Freedom.[7] She was voted WPS Player of the Week for the week of April 26 (Week 5) after scoring two goals in the Washington Freedom's 4-3 victory over the FC Gold Pride,[8] the Freedom's first victory in the new league. On May 3, 2009, in the Freedom's next game, she received a yellow card for a tackle on St. Louis Athletica midfielder Daniela that left Daniela with two damaged knee ligaments and a crack in the tibia and sidelined her for the rest of the season.[9] Wambach was suspended for one game after the challenge was reviewed by the WPS commissioner.[10] She won the WPS player of the week for the week of July 28 (Week 18) for scoring two goals against the Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC [11] and for the week of Aug 11 (Week 20) for scoring two goals and having one assist against the Sky Blue[12] She ended the 2009 season with eight goals—more than any other American player in the WPS.[13] She returned to the Washington Freedom for the 2010 WPS season, winning the WPS player of the week in week 2 for scoring one goal and having two assists against the Atlanta Beat.[14]

The Washington Freedom, founded in 2001 as part of the Women's Professional Soccer league, relocated to Boca Raton, Florida and became the magicJack in 2011.

On July 22, 2011, Wambach was named the player-coach for the magicJack for the rest of the 2011 WPS season.[15]

On October 26, 2011, the Women's Professional Soccer League Governors voted to terminate the magicJack franchise.

International career

Wambach's WUSA credentials earned her a spot at the U.S. Women's National Team's training camp, and was named to the 2003 World Cup team. She scored a goal against arch-rival Norway, helping the U.S. team to a position in the semifinals and a bronze medal.

After the suspension of the WUSA, Wambach trained with the U.S. Women's National Team for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Her header in extra time against Brazil gave the U.S. team a 2–1 victory and the gold medal. She finished the year with 31 goals and 13 assists. She finished fourth in the voting for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year.

After the Athens Olympics, Wambach was a major contributor to the U.S. Women's National Team, playing in the 2005 Algarve Cup and a number of exhibition games. The team ended the 2005 season without allowing a single goal.

At the end of 2006, Wambach had 66 goals in 84 international matches, scoring more goals in fewer games than any player since Michelle Akers. She was one of twenty players nominated for FIFA Women's World Player of the Year for 2006; she was not named as a finalist.

In the 2007 Women's World Cup, Wambach scored six goals in six matches, despite receiving 11 stitches to her head after a collision with Ri Kum-Suk,[16] a North Korean player, in the first game. In the quarterfinal match against England on September 22, 2007, she became the twentieth American woman, and thirtieth American soccer player overall, to reach the 100 cap plateau.

Wambach was named to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team on June 23, 2008.[17] In the final match before the Olympics on July 16, she broke her left leg in a collision with Brazilian defender Andréia Rosa,[18] preventing her from playing in the Beijing Olympics. Wambach was the team's leading scorer and had just reached 99 goals, one shy of becoming the fifth U.S. player and ninth female player in world history to notch 100 career international goals.[19]

The goal she scored against Germany on October 29, 2009 moved her past Tiffeny Milbrett for fourth place on the all-time United States goal scoring list.

As of July 10, 2011, Wambach's international career totals stood at 120 goals in 158 international matches. Her 100th goal was scored in a friendly match against Canada in her hometown of Rochester on July 19, 2009. She reached 100 goals in fewer games than any of the four other American players who had previously reached 100 goals: (Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Michelle Akers and Tiffeny Milbrett).[20]

Wambach is a four-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Federation's U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010).

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup

On May 9, 2011, the U.S. roster for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup tournament in Germany was announced, including Wambach.[21] The 2011 Women's World Cup tournament is the third in which she has played. After playing without scoring a goal in the USA's first two group stage matches against North Korea and Colombia, Wambach opened her tournament scoring in a 2–1 loss to Sweden in Team USA's final group stage match. Having lost to Sweden, the USA WNT finished second in their group and went on to face Group D first-place finishers Brazil. On July 10, 2011, during the USA Women's National team's quarterfinal game against Brazil, Wambach scored a header goal in stoppage time after the 120th minute (120th+2 minute injury time) to even the score at 2–2 against the Brazilians; Team USA went on to win the game on penalty kicks and advanced to the semi-finals.[22] In all World Cup matches – men's or women's – her goal stands as the latest ever scored. Her last minute goal was awarded ESPN's 2011 ESPY Award for Best Play of the Year. Wambach scored her third goal for USA in Team USA's semi-final 3–1 win over France. In the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final against underdogs Japan, Wambach's trademark header goal, her fourth in the tournament, in the first half of extra-time made her the United States' all-time scoring leader in FIFA Women's World Cup with 13 goals, second to Brazil's Marta and Germany's Birgit Prinz (14 all-time goals each). Team USA was forced to a penalty shootout after a late equalizer by Japan. In the PSO, Japan won 3–1, with Wambach converting the fourth and only penalty. Wambach's final goal tally for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup was four goals and one assist, an effort that earned her the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Bronze Boot after Brazil's Marta (4 goals, 2 assists, Silver Boot) and Japan's Homare Sawa (5 goals, 1 assist, Golden Boot). Interestingly, all 4 of Wambach's goals in the tournament were scored using her head.[23] For her efforts, Wambach was awarded the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Silver Ball to go alongside her Silver Medal and Bronze Boot.[24]

Professional statistics

League Year G A PTS
WUSA 2002 10 10 20
WUSA 2003 13 7 20
WPS 2009 8 5 13
WPS 2010 13 8 21
WPS 2011 9 2 11

See also

External Links


  1. ^ a b c d e f g, Soccer History, 2001 Roster, Abby Wambach. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  2. ^ "Abby Wambach : Biography". Retrieved December 23, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Bio". Retrieved December 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ Michael O'Shea, "Meet Parade's All-America High School Girls' Soccer Team," Parade, p. 12 (February 22, 1998). Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  5. ^ "Official Site Of Abby Wambach". Retrieved December 23, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Florida Announces 2012 UF Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees," (September 7, 2011). Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  7. ^ Goff, Steven (September 17, 2008). "Wambach in League With Freedom Again". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 17, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Wambach voted WPS Player of the Week". Washington Freedom. April 28, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Daniela sidelined indefinitely with knee injury". Women's Professional Soccer. May 5, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Wambach, McNeill receive one-game suspensions". Women's Professional Soccer. May 7, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Wambach selected Week 18 WPS Player of the Week". Women's Professional Soccer. July 28, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Wambach selected Week 20 WPS Player of the Week". Women's Professional Soccer. July 28, 2009. Retrieved November 17, 2009. 
  13. ^ "WPS Season Ends with Celebration of League’s Best". Women's Professional Soccer. July 28, 2009. Retrieved November 17, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Wambach selected Week 2 WPS Player of the Week". Women's Professional Soccer. April 20, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  15. ^ Wambach hired to coach her pro team
  16. ^ "Abby bleeds red, white and blue". FIFA. September 13, 2007. Archived from the original on December 21, 2007. Retrieved October 5, 2007. 
  17. ^ 2008 U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team. USA Soccer (June 23, 2008)
  18. ^ Associated Press, "Wambach's broken leg mars US win over Brazil," Yahoo Sports (July 16, 2008).
  19. ^ "U.S. Women Defeat Norway, 4–0, in Fredrikstad; Wambach Scores 99th Career International Goal". US Soccer. July 2, 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2008. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Abby Wambach Scores 100th Career Goal in Hometown As U.S. Women Defeats Canada 1–0". US Soccer. July 19, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2009. [dead link]
  21. ^ "Hope Solo back for Women's World Cup," (May 9, 2011). Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  22. ^ "FIFA Player Statistics: Abby Wambach". Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  23. ^
  24. ^

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