Mag Minute: US Soccer's Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach, undeniably one of the world's elite players, joined the U.S. national team in 2001. Robert Michael/AFP/Getty Images

Who: Abby Wambach

What: US Soccer national team forward

Age: 32

Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.

School: University of Florida

Claim to fame: No. 2 career goal scorer in US Soccer history, after Mia Hamm

ESPN The Magazine: What question are you asked most by fans?

Wambach: “What’s it like to play in an Olympics?” I tell them it’s a dream come true. For any athlete growing up, the Olympics is the one thing you watch with your family, and it’s the one thing you dream about. Seeing your country’s flag go up as you get a gold medal is the best thing you can achieve.

What’s one thing you always have with you?

A ring that my parents gave me when I was 21. It has part of the diamond from my grandmother’s engagement ring.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

I’m looking to buy a house, so the last thing I looked up was “cool modern fencing.”

Who would play you in your biopic?

Ellen DeGeneres, maybe. She’s like the funniest human being alive, and I like to think I’m funny, but I’m not nearly as funny as she is.

What’s the most embarrassing music you listen to?

Anything a 20-year-old would be singing all the words to. “Call Me Maybe.” Anything Katy Perry. All the Justin Bieber songs.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

When I was in college, I learned to really take care of my body and figured out what works best for me and what doesn’t work for me when it comes to my nutrition. That helped so much on the field because soccer is such a fitness-oriented game.

What do you like best about your job?

Not only am I representing a huge nation, but I also get to explore and see things and meet people that most people don’t get to see on a daily basis.

What’s the biggest misconception about you?

I’m pretty intense on the field, but off the field I’m also trying to enjoy life as much as I can and laugh and have fun. I’m pretty goofy. I laugh at my own jokes.

Who would you say is the most media-savvy athlete?

I got to go to the Super Bowl this past year, and I met Drew Brees. He’s very good at giving the credit to others and the collective effort. In a team sport, it’s rarely just about you, and he really gets that. He’s very humble.

Which pro athlete would you never want to trade places with?

LeBron James. His status and the life that he lives have got to be so stressful. I would never want to be that popular.

If you were a talk show host, which celebrity would you want as your first guest?

Bill Maher. He’s hilarious. And he just tells it like it is and shares his opinion and is unapologetic.

What living person do you most admire?

I would probably say my parents. They’ve done so much to allow me to have the opportunities that I have. My dad worked seven days a week, and my mom raised seven children.

What's your idea of a perfect day?

Wake up. Have some coffee. Have a smoothie. Maybe go to the dog park. Work out a little -- but not too strenuous of a workout on the perfect day, because I do that for a living. Make myself a sandwich. Go for a bike ride on the beach. Make myself dinner. Open a bottle of wine. Drink it myself. Enjoy a nice movie, and just rest and relax.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Red wine.

What is your most irrational fear?


What game show would you like to be a contestant on?


What’s your pregame pump-up song?

Right now, it’s “We are young” by fun.

What’s your pregame meal?

I have a sandwich. Two slices of 100 percent whole wheat, turkey, tomato, spicy mayo. If I can toast it, that works, but even better is a panini maker. It just takes things to another level.

What place in the world do you most want to visit?

London. I want to visit London when the Olympics are over and I have a gold medal around my neck.

What’s one thing you did in the past year that you never thought you’d do?

Taking a private jet, flying to all these places and meeting important people. And collecting some level of fame. It’s been really cool, and I’ve had a lot of outrageous experiences from it.

What movie have you seen more than any other?

"Titanic," regretfully. I saw it like four times in the theater when it first came out. And then, of course, you can’t stop watching it when it’s on TV. It’s a five-hour commitment, but you can’t stop it. Rose!

What is your secret hidden talent?

I’m a pretty decent cook. I like to grill. I have a smoker that I love. I love me some steak. And I’ll make a huge salad with a ton of vegetables.

What talent would you most like to have?

I wish I could play the guitar and sing well. I can kind of play the guitar, but I’m a terrible singer.

What’s your least favorite chore?

Every chore. I hate, hate doing laundry, but who likes to clean? Nobody!

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

The ability to transport through time and space.

What was the first thought in your head when you woke up this morning?

“What time is it?”