Hope Solo and the United States Women’s National Team said goodbye to one of the most influential players in the history of the game on Wednesday.
Abby Wambach played her final match for the USWNT in New Orleans to close out the team’s 2015 World Cup Victory Tour.
Ahead of the game, Hope penned a blog post for The Cauldron, explaining what Abby means to her as a friend and teammate, and what she has meant to the USWNT, and to the game of soccer, as the all-time leading international goal scorer, for men or women.
“It’s not the everyday games, not the friendlies. It’s the big-game moments when you find the eyes of those you know will make things happen. Every team has a few people like that, those for whom no words are necessary,” Hope wrote. “It’s The Look: You’re going to do whatever you have to do. I’m going to do whatever I have to do. And we’re going to find a way to win. There’s something about how Abby and I found each other’s eyes in those moments. That look – that unbeatable confidence – is what I’ll miss the most.”
Abby played 72 minutes in her final match, leaving her career totals overwhelming: 255 appearances, 18,363 minutes, 184 goals, 73 assists, and most importantly, one final triumph: the 2015 World Cup championship.
The USWNT attack tried all match to set up one last goal for its legendary captain. However, that ultimately left the American offense empty handed against a determined China P.R. squad. The Chinese women broke through with a goal 58 minutes into the match on a shot that was deflected off defender Meghan Klingenberg and in through the right corner.
However, Wambach didn’t let the 1-0 loss spoil her farewell tour. She saw it as a fitting end of an era, and the symbolic beginning of a new age in U.S. soccer.
“It wasn’t about the result tonight, it was about celebrating the things I’ve put into this team,” Wambach said. “I’m so honored and blessed to have been able to be a part of this team for so many years and to bring home Olympic gold medals and the most recent World Cup trophy. I know people might think this is not the way we all want to end this thing, but I think symbolically it’s kind of pretty awesome.”
- Here We Go, Abs (The Cauldron, Dec. 16, 2015)
- WNT sends off Abby Wambach in front of record crowd in New Orleans (US Soccer, Dec. 16, 2015)
- Abby Wambach at peace walking away despite ironic final day (Sports Illustrated, Dec. 16, 2015)
- Abby Wambach’s career ends with USWNT’s 1-0 upset loss to China (Yahoo!, Dec. 16, 2015)
- Wambach goes out winner despite USWNT loss vs. China (FOX Soccer, Dec. 16, 2015)
- USWNT loses Wambach farewell, home unbeaten streak over at 104 (CBS Sports, Dec. 16, 2015)
- Abby Wambach walks away with a smile (ESPNW, Dec. 16, 2015)
Thank you Hope. I can remember the first time Abby took the field – a young kid on a field with many seasoned players. She had an unreal connection with all the players. It was like she was a mind reader. Immediately the other team members were “with” Abby. The combo of Hamm and Wambach took my breath away. I got so excited, and I was 65 years old at the time.Anyway, all these years later, as the team has changed and She is one of the oldest on the field,( the one who cant keep her mouth shut, the one who would bleed out to help in an important way), either she was slowing down or everyone else was faster. The thrill of watching her is gone. But, for many years to come fans of the Womens National Team will remember her through the players who watched her, dreamed about her, tried to copy her, and will take on that mantel, will raise our flag and leave every bit on the field. Her ALOHA will endure.
just thank you (from france) big queen! And my biggest joke is: ” Baby wambach! I said baby wambach^^” remastering the song baby come back from The Equals.