Abby Wambach, a member of the 2015 Women’s World Cup championship-winning team and the all-time leading U.S. goal scorer in both World Cup and Olympic competition, has announced her retirement from soccer.
Although the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year made the announcement today, the forward will remain on the U.S. Women’s National team for its final four matches in December, part of the 10-game victory tour celebrating the Women’s World Cup championship. Her final game will be on Dec. 16 in New Orleans, when the team plays China PR.
“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,” Wambach said in a statement. “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 our sport. It’s been an amazing, wonderful ride, and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of my life brings.”
The 35-year-old Nike-sponsored athlete — and face of many of the brand’s soccer-related campaigns — amassed 184 goals throughout her USWNT career, more than any man or woman playing international soccer. During the 2015 Women’s World Cup championship run, Wambach took the pitch in the brand’s Mercurial Superfly FG cleats and was wearing them when she scored the go-ahead goal against Nigeria in the final game of group play.
The Rochester, N.Y., native is a two-time gold medalist, helping the U.S. bring medals home during the 2004 games in Athens and the 2012 games in London.