GAINESVILLE -- Former Florida star and international soccer legend Abby Wambach is hanging up her boots.
The U.S. Women’s National Team captain and all-time leading scorer -- male or female -- in international soccer announced her retirement Tuesday after the national team celebrated its 2015 World Cup victory with President Obama at the White House.
“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. 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 the sport. It’s been an amazing, wonderful ride and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of my life brings.”
Wambach will officially call it quits after the women’s team concludes its victory tour for winning the World Cup this December. Wambach’s final game will be Dec. 16 against China in New Orleans.
Wambach, 35, was renowned for her goals via headers, physical play, leadership and the advancement of soccer in America.
She was a three-time All-American at UF, spearheading the Gators’ 1998 national championship team as a freshman. She still holds the SEC record for goals with 96 and led UF to four straight SEC titles.
After leaving Gainesville, Wambach quickly developed into an international superstar, playing in four World Cups, two Olympics and scoring a record 184 international goals.
She won a pair of Olympic gold medals (2004, 2012) and capped her decorated career with an elusive win in a World Cup final this summer.
Nothing made me prouder than to wear the red, white and blue. Thank you for sending your thoughts and kind words. pic.twitter.com/0Sj1YgVsKm— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) October 27, 2015
Wambach is actually scheduled to speak at Florida’s Phillips Center next week (Nov. 3) during a Homecoming event hosted by ACCENT. The event is free and open to the public and Wambach’s speech begins at 8 p.m.
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