Retiring U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach set to play final international match Wednesday

The legendary and unforgettable international career of former Florida Gators soccer star Abby Wambach officially ends Wednesday when Wambach suits up for the final time with the U.S. Women’s National Team to compete against China in a friendly hosted in New Orleans (8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1).

The all-time international goal-scoring leader, who announced her pending retirement on Oct. 27, called her career an “amazing, wonderful ride.”

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Abby Wambach, United States and Florida Gators soccer star, announces retirement

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.”

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WATCH: Florida Gators soccer player scores thrilling buzzer-beater goal in double overtime

No. 8 Florida Gators soccer saw a double-overtime duel against the No. 17 South Carolina Gamecocks come to as thrilling and dramatic a conclusion as possible Friday night at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Faced with an impending draw in the final seconds of the game, the Gators pulled out a shocking victory as junior midfielder Liz Slattery corralled a rebound in the box and fired it into the back of the net as time expired.

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Florida Gators put out call to audition walk-on kickers; former walk-on already set to tryout

The Florida Gators need help at kicker. As much was made obvious Monday when the team’s recruiting-centric Twitter account put out an all-points bulletin calling for current students to sign up for tryouts.

Redshirt freshman walk-on Jorge Powell, who had been playing in place of redshirt junior Austin Hardin (hip flexor), suffered an injury of his own Saturday at LSU and missed the remainder of the game. Though Hardin was able to step in and play – he traveled with the team to Baton Rouge, Louisiana – his presence may not be enough for the Gators for the remainder of the season.

No status update was available on Powell as Florida did not hold its normal Monday afternoon press conference due to the bye week. However, head coach Jim McElwain should address the kicker’s status by Wednesday’s SEC teleconference at the latest.

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6 BITS: Florida CB Hargreaves props up Wilson; Calathes to Greece; Gators add baseball talent

1 » When not talking about himself (let’s face it, those were the questions he was asked), Florida Gators junior All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III spent time at the 2015 SEC Media Days on Monday propping up his teammates. Hargreaves believes the Gators will be the best secondary in the nation next season – and for good reason – but thinks that an overlooked member of that unit may be the reason why it could go from great to dominant as the year progresses.

“He reminds me of a Brandon Browner-type corner or an Antonio Cromartie-type of corner – one of those big lanky cornerbacks,” Hargreaves told FoxSports.com’s Bruce Feldman of Florida sophomore Quincy Wilson. “That’s his game, how he plays. He plays big and physical. I want y’all to watch him on Saturdays this fall. It’s remarkable (how much better) he’s gotten this offseason. Him and also Jalen Tabor, they’ve really grown and matured. They’re ready to play. They understand.”

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Abby Wambach stars at 2015 ESPYS but other nominated Florida Gators fall short

Former Florida Gators striker and U.S. Women’s National Team captain Abby Wambach played a starring role at the 2015 ESPYS on Wednesday, presenting one of the most prestigious awards of the night and taking home an honor herself.

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4 BITS: Gators up for 2015 ESPY awards, Florida basketball players summer updates

1 » After showing out during 2015 NBA Summer League action in Orlando with the Orlando Magic, former Florida Gators point guard Scottie Wilbekin earned a second opportunity in Las Vegas with the Philadelphia 76ers. That kicked off for Wilbekin on Saturday as he scored nine points on 3-for-8 shooting in 21:02. He earned the start for the 76ers the following day and once again impressed, scoring 19 points on 4-of-8 shooting from deep with two assists and three steals in 29:38, the second-most minutes on the team. Wilbekin last week signed a one-year deal with the Cairns Taipans of Australia’s NBL after leading the team as its Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. There is an out in that contract allowing Wilbekin to pursue his NBA dream if the opportunity presents itself, and he may very well be making strides in achieving that goal as soon as this season.

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USA wins 2015 Women’s World Cup 5-2 over Japan: Abby Wambach inspires, Gators react

Abby Wambach did not have much say on the field over the United States‘ victory on Sunday, but she was undoubtedly the team’s emotional leader throughout the entire 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Wambach saw the final World Cup action of her career, playing in her 25th career match as a substitute at 79′ on Sunday with the Americans already leading the Japanese 5-2 in the event. The U.S. held on for the victory, winning its first World Cup since 1999 (third ever, the most of any nation) and avenging a penalty kick loss to Japan four years ago.

For Wambach, who only scored one goal in this year’s World Cup, the victory was just as sweet as if she had started every match during the month-long event. Instead, she watched on as Carli Lloyd – the heir apparent team captain – registered a hat trick in the first 16 minutes of competition, scoring at 3′, 5′ and again at 16′ from midfield. Between Lloyd’s three goals was one by Lauren Holliday at 14′, and Tobin Health responded to two Japanese goals with an insurance strike at 54′ for the Americans.

Lloyd gave her captain armband to Wambach when she entered out of respect.

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