Abby Wambach (born June 2, 1980 in Rochester, New York) is an Olympic medalist and professional soccer player. She has been a regular on the US Women's National Team since 2003.
Abby Wambach is a 1998 graduate of Our Lady of Mercy High School where she lettered in soccer and basketball. She was named the NSCAA Player of the Year and the Umbro Player of the Year in her senior year.
Abby Wambach went on to achieve success playing for the University of Florida Gators. Wambach continued to earn accolades in college, taking the NSCAA first team all-American, NCAA National Championship, and freshman All-American Awards (all in 1999). She is also the University of Florida's all-time leading scorer.
Abby Wambach was the second overall draft pick in the WUSA in 2002. She went on to play for the Washington Freedom rather than completing her degree at Florida. Her contributions while in Washington, playing alongside greats like Mia Hamm, helped to propel the Freedom to a victory in Founders Cup III (the WUSA championship match), where Wambach was the game MVP. Wambach was also the recipient of a number of other soccer-related awards during her WUSA career.
Abby Wambach's impressive WUSA credentials earned her a spot in the US Women's National Team's (US WNT) training camp. Initially thought to be a bubble player, she increased her fitness, and her talents sealed her position with the 2003 World Cup team. Although the US Women did not win the 2003 World Cup (having taken home a bronze), she scored a historic goal against arch-rival Norway, helping the US team to a position in the semifinals.
After the suspension of the WUSA, Wambach trained with the US Women's National Team for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, which they won on her header in extra time against Brazil, 2-1. She finished the year with 31 goals and 13 assists, a one-year performance ranking with the best years of greats like Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm. She was recognized by coming in fourth in the voting for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year.
Also in 2004, she hit the campaign trail with previous teammate and captain, Julie Foudy, in an effort to get John Kerry elected to the Presidency of the United States, as well as participating in exhibition games with the Freedom to raise awareness and garner support for women's soccer in hopes of reviving the league.
Since the Athens Olympiad, Wambach has been a major contributor to the US WNT, 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, Abby 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, though she was not named one of the three finalists.
Her current career totals stand at 86 goals in 105 international matches. The two goals she scored against New Zealand on August 12, 2007 moved her past Cindy Parlow for fifth place on the all-time United States goal scoring list.
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, 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.