Soccer players like Abby Wambach are born only once in a generation. And when they come, they leave huge footprints on the sand in their wake. Wambach is a former U.S. women’s soccer striker and, with 184 goals, the best scorer (both male and female) in U.S. history.
Her characteristic goal-shooting technique consists of hitting the ball with a header, especially from the set ball, a skill which, according to her high school coach Kathy Boughton, developed through constant practice in her high school days. There is so much more to learn about the soccer puzzle and the former World Player of the Year. Read on!
Abby Wambach’s Bio, Age
Abby Wambach was born on June 2, 1980, and was given the name Mary Abigail Wambach on June 2, 1980. Her parents are Pete and Judy Wambach, and she was born and raised in Rochester, New York. Abby comes from a relatively large family, in which she happened to be the youngest of her parents’ seven children. She had to grow up under four big brothers (her other siblings were two sisters), which made her tougher and also introduced her to soccer.
Soccer was the family sport, almost like a tradition, she started playing at the age of four, and when she was five, she was unplayable in the girl’s team of her age group. Abby was so good at that age that she scored 27 goals in only three games in the soccer league of her age group. This forced the administrators to transfer her to the boys’ team instead. In fact, Abby Wambach was always one step ahead of her peers in the game at every stage she played.
High School and College Soccer Career
In 1994 she enrolled at Our Lady of Mercy High School and of course, she played soccer. By the time she graduated in 1998, she had scored a total of 142 goals, but soccer was not the only sport she was good at. Abby also played basketball in high school. In soccer, she was named Umbro National High School Player of the Year and won the High School All-America Team award from Parade magazine.
She also received both state (New York) and regional and national player awards from the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America), among so many other recognitions, including a trip to China in 1997 as part of the first U.S. youth soccer team to achieve this.
As expected, she was one of the most sought-after qualities in football after high school, and there were several opportunities to choose from, including the University of Virginia, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of North Carolina, but she would eventually choose to pursue a scholarship program with the University of Florida. Her decision outraged all who watched her because the University of Florida’s soccer program had only been in existence for three years, while the schools that came after her were lost in the proud history of her soccer program and achievements.
During the period she played for the Florida Gators between 1998 and 2001, she not only led the team to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship finals one after the other but also won the four championships. Abby then won the NCAA national championship against the University of North Carolina’s Tar Heels (women’s soccer team), who had won the title fifteen times; this was in her first season with the Gators – 1998.
Overall, she set several records at school that has not been broken to this day, including the highest scorer with 96 goals in her career at the Florida Gators. Other records include 10 hat tricks, 24 winning goals, and 50 assists. Recognitions of her college career include her acceptance into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002, her acceptance into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002, her selection into the first team of the All-SEC from 1998 to 2001, the awards at the SEC tournament MVP and the SEC Player of the Year 2000 and 2001, etc.
Abby Wambach’s Pro Career
Abby Wambach joined the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) draft in 2002 and was selected by Washington Freedom as the second overall selection of the draft. In her first season, she won the title of “Rookie of the Year”. The WUSA was dissolved in 2003 and Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) was created in 2009 as a replacement. Wambach played in the league with Washington Freedom, which was renamed MagicJack and was given the name MagicJack. In October 2011 the club was dissolved and a few months later, in 2012, the WPS was also suspended.
When the league returned in 2013 as the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the existing players were distributed among the clubs that played in the newly formed league, in which Wambach appeared in a new club – the Western New York Flash.
Representing the Stars and Stripes – USWNT
She began her international career in 2001 when she represented the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which was held on home soil. That would only be the beginning because Abby Wambach played 255 games for the Stars and Stripes and scored 184 goals – a number that has since become the highest number of goals scored by any US player in the USA.
She has represented the USWNT at three other FIFA World Cups, including two Olympic Fiestas. At 2007, 2011, and 2015 FIFA World Cups, which were held in China, Germany, and Canada, she traveled with the US team and won the 2015 edition, and at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and 2012 in London, she won the gold medal in football and missed the 2008 tournament only because of a football injury.
She won the Silver Shoe and Bronze Boot when the USWNT finished third at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, as they did in the 2003 edition. In the 2011 edition, she would take a step forward and take second place after losing to Japan in the final. Her goal – her trademark goal – in the final moments of extra time in the quarter-final match against Brazil kept the USWNT in the tournament, as she ousted Brazil in the subsequent penalty shootout.
Abby Wambach was named FIFA Women’s Footballer of the Year 2012 and was the first US player to receive this award in ten years. She was also named US Player of the Year six times. Her last-minute goal against Brazil, which forced a penalty kick at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011, won the ESPY Award for the best game of 2011. Abby announced her withdrawal from the round-robin leather game on October 27, 2015, before publishing her autobiography “Forward” in 2016.
Is Abby Wambach Gay? Girlfriend
The former professional soccer player is gay, but for her, this is not a topic to talk about. Abby believes that if heterosexuality is not a topic for discussion, then gayness should not be an issue either. Her first known gay relationship was with Sarah Huffman, a soccer colleague from USWNT, who she married in 2013. Regarding the marriage, she insisted that it was not a “coming out of the closet” as she had never been in such a relationship before.
Married Life – Wife, Divorce, Kids
Abby Wambach married her lesbian friend Sarah Huffman on October 5, 2013, in a wedding ceremony that took place in Hawaii. The relationship did not last long, however, and three years later they were divorced. Wambach moved on in 2016 with bestselling author and blogger Glennon Doyle Melton. In February 2017 they got engaged and three months later they got married. Wambach has no known children except her wife, Glennon has three children – two girls and a boy – from her 14-year marriage to Craig Melton, whom she divorced.