Abby Wambach, the best female soccer player in the world

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Meeting South Africa | 0 comments

Abby Wambach on the fieldDepending on whom you ask, Abby Wambach is currently the best female soccer player in the world.  Out of the roughly 3.3 billion females on the planet, the US Women’s National Team forward is the best at playing the sport of soccer.  For those that might disagree, simply look at Wambach’s recent Olympic stats as well as her international record.

This past Monday in the U.S. Women’s National Team’s semi-final round game of the London 2012 Olympics, she scored the game tying goal against Canada, which was her fifth goal of the summer Olympics games.  Throughout her career, Wambach has played in 187 international matches and scored 143 goals, which ranks her as the second highest female goal scorer of all time.  Most international forwards, male are females, are consider in elite status if they average one goal every two game.  Wambach’s ratio is an incredible 0.76 goals per game.

Leading up to and during the US WNT’s Olympic campaign, the team has been engulfed by stories that have taken focus away from the game on the field.  Modeling in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, posing nude in ESPN The Magazine, off the field escapades that are better talked about in the locker room than in public,  and unprovoked social media arguments between players and TV commentators give little support to progressing the sport.  All of these instants land and are picked up on the national media radar, exposing the women’s game, but by no means promoting it or the great accomplishments on the field by players like Wambach.

A real storyline to promote is that the US WNT played, and won, a game at Old Trattford.  The Olympics and the ‘instant classic’ tag placed on the match aside, Wambach, a legend in her own right in the US soccer community, competed and led her team to victory on the same pitch as some of global legends of the game including Dennis Law, Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Wayne Rooney.  Placing Wambach in the same sentence as these Manchester United alumni that shaped the modern game is no accident and for a player of her achievements well deserved.

Last Thursday Wambach and the US WNT faced Japan in the Gold medal match at Wembley Stadium in a rematch of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.  The women of US soccer have been in this position several times before, most recently at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing where they defeated Brazil for Gold.  But for Wambach this will be her first Gold medal match in eight years, since the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.  A leg injury picked up just prior to Beijing forced her to watch the entire tournament from home.  Being the great competitor that she is, Wambach undoubtedly will be looking for a repeat performance of Athens as the US WNT defeated Brazil 2-1 in extra time to capture the Gold.  And who scored that extra time goal?  One Abby Wambach, of course.