USA women’s football legend Abby Wambach announced her retirement from football on Tuesday, bringing the curtain down on a 15-year career that netted a record 184 international goals.
Wambach, 35, who has won 252 caps for the United States women’s team, will sign off in a friendly against China PR in New Orleans on 16 December 16, part of a ten-match Victory Tour to mark the Stars and Stripes’ victory in this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™. Wambach’s record goals tally is by far the most scored by a male or female player in international football.
“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,” Wambach said in a statement. “While we still have more work to do for women’s soccer, after bringing the World Cup back to the United States this summer, I’m feeling extremely optimistic about the future of our sport. It’s been an amazing, wonderful ride and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of my life brings.”
Wambach is a veteran of four Women’s World Cups, capping her career by playing a key role in this year’s victorious campaign in Canada. She also played in two Olympic Games, winning gold medals in Athens in 2004 and London in 2012.
It’s been an amazing, wonderful ride and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of my life brings.
She missed the 2008 Olympics in Beijing through injury. She scored 14 goals in the Women’s World Cup, placing her second on the all-time scoring charts behind Brazilian great Marta. USA coach Jill Ellis paid tribute to Wambach’s contribution to the development of women’s football in the United States.
“Abby is a player who has transcended our sport and her legacy as one of the world’s greatest players is set forever,” Ellis said. “What she has done for women’s soccer and women’s sports overall, with her amazing talents on the field and her personality off it, has been inspiring to watch. I am just extremely happy that she could end her career with that elusive World Cup title and go out on top, right where she deserves to be.”