Abby Wambach, arguably the greatest soccer player in United States history and unarguably the world’s all-time leading goal scorer (male or female), announced Tuesday that she will retire on Dec. 16, ending her storied and tremendously successful career at the age of 35.
“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,” said Wambach. “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, a Florida Gators forward (1998-2001), led Florida to a national title in 1998 and helped the Gators win four straight SEC Championships.
As a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team (2001-15), she scored 184 goals in 252 international appearances – tops all-time for either gender. Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2004, 2012) with the Americans, provided endless highlights in the 2011 World Cup and helped the United States win the 2015 World Cup.
“I want to finish my career off on a high note, play in this World Cup and bring home the World Cup to the United States,” she said before the World Cup. “That would be absolutely a dream come true and a perfect way to end a career.”
Wambach’s greatest individual accomplishment was being named the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year, the first American woman to win the award in a decade.
Nothing made me prouder than to wear the red, white and blue. Thank you for sending your thoughts and kind words. pic.twitter.com/0Sj1YgVsKm
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) October 27, 2015