Legend. Champion. Role Model. Fearless. Advocate. Leader. Record-Breaker. G.O.A.T.
These have all been used to describe Abby Wambach on her retirement from football. These aren’t just words—she embodies the spirit of what is great about the beautiful game. She gave her life, every ounce of sweat to be the greatest and to make those around her great.
Tonight a grateful nation will be watching as she puts on the Red White and Blue one last time in the final match of the team’s Victory Tour. Tonight is about Abby. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, where they are playing, or about looking forward to preparations for Olympic qualifying. Tonight is about sending off a hero.
Her legacy on and off the field will endure, but in the meantime, to get you ready for tonight here’s a list of farewells, interviews and tributes to the legend.
1. USSoccer.com – “Career Quotes: Abby’s Impact Lifts Her Teammates”
Wambach’s teammates talk about the legend they have come to know on and off the field “She’s just helped transcend the sport. She’s just been a leader to push women’s soccer to where it is now.” – Carli Lloyd
2. ESPN “Abby Wambach Retires”
One US great interviews another Julie Foudy and Abby Wambach chat about her past, her plans for the future, and Abby reveals her fear of having an ugly face cry during her final game.
3. Fox Sports “Wambach’s Future Role Outside Football Nothing Short of Grand”
Great article on Abby’s career and as a bonus, includes the emotional confessional from Abby Fox aired on the eve of the World Cup final this summer – a must watch for any fan.
4. USSoccer.com – “In Her Family’s Eyes”
Abby’s family share stories on who Abby was off the field. Her brother, Peter Wambach, tells of Abby’s selflessness sharing, “she would also surprise my kids at lunch, and sit at the tiny table while other classmates would get paper towels from the dispenser and surround her for an autograph.”
5. USSoccer.com – “Gallery: The Best of Abby Wambach”
From her early days with the team through this Summer’s World Cup victory as told through photographs.
6. NPR “Soccer Star Abby Wambach Prepares For Her Final Game”
NPR reports: “Her superpower on the field is absolute fearlessness. Diving headfirst into soccer balls. Scoring goals by any means necessary. But, she says her body won’t let her play like a champion anymore: ‘Running and the game is not easy by any means. It’s harder than it ever used to be.’”
7. Time Magazine – “100 Most Influential People”
Mia Hamm wrote this piece for Time Magazine back in April , “There are times when Abby just throws the team on her back and wills it to victory when that looks almost impossible.”
8. ESPN “An Ode to Abby Wambach”
Julie Foudy shares her personal feelings on Abby.
9. ESPN “Wambach: This is going to be a celebration”
Video of Abby’s final pre-game press conference.
10. SI Planet Futbol “Mailbag: Abby Wambach’s finale”
Sport’s Illustrated’s Grant Wahl interviews Abby – look for the full podcast later today.
11. The Players Tribune “Farewell to the G.O.A.T”
“There’s a fearless spirit that is ingrained in American women’s soccer that we all owe to Abby Wambach.” – Megan Rapinoe. U.S. teammates Megan Rapinoe and Christie Rampone reflect back on their friend and her amazing career.
12. NPR “Abby Wambach’s Soccer Career In 8 Iconic Moments”
Highlights from Abby’s career from her first international team appearance to her record-breaking goal and more.
13. USSoccer.com “ABBY WAMBACH’S? GOAL VAULT”
Video collection of the best goals the all-time leading goal scorer.
14. USSoccer.com “#ThanksAbby”
Fans from across the world tweeted their personal thanks to the legend with the hashtag #ThanksAbby.
Watch the game on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 7:30 ET.