Abby Wambach retired from soccer on Tuesday, announcing she would walk away from the game after an incredible 14 years with the national team. While her last game won't be until Dec. 16, a friendly against China, we take a look back at 10 incredible moments from her amazing career, on and off the field.
1998: NCAA title
Because she's Abby Wambach and winning is what she does, a then-18-year-old helped lead Florida to its only national championship as a freshman. Considered the top recruit in the nation, she proved exactly why during a win over legendary powerhouse North Carolina in the title game. Wambach notched 19 goals and 12 assists in 26 games during the championship season.
2004: Olympic gold medal
Less than a year after falling in the semifinal at the Women's World Cup, her first with the team, Wambach's header in the 112th minute of the gold-medal game against Brazil help lift the squad to a 2-1 victory and the top spot on the podium.
2009: Keeping it 100
While playing in a friendly against Canada in her hometown of Rochester, New York, Wambach nabbed her 100th international goal in front of an adoring crowd.
Unless you want to watch every highlight from the 1-0 win, skip ahead to the 3:42 mark.
2010: Tough as nails
During a World Cup qualifier against Mexico, Wambach had a collision with another player and blood starting pouring from a wound on her head. But instead of being taken off the field and stitched up, she bravely opted to have her injury stapled ON THE FIELD. She continued playing like it was no big deal.
Warning: This is really, REALLY gross. Press play at your own discretion.
2011: Head on
Tied in the 122th minute with Brazil in their World Cup quarterfinal showdown, Wambach did what she does best and headed a crossed ball from Megan Rapinoe into the net for a crucial goal. The team advanced to the semis during penalty kicks, but it was No. 20's heroics that are best remembered from the game. In a poll conducted by FIFA before the 2015 Women's World Cup, fans named it the best moment in tournament history. If you don't understand why, you should probably just watch it.
2012: Best of the best
After more than a decade with the national team and multiple honors with U.S. soccer, Wambach finally earned the most prestigious honor in the sport: the FIFA World Player of the Year. She edged out teammate Alex Morgan and Brazilian star Marta for the trophy.
2012: Chipotle gold card
Sure, there are other things on this list that might be more important in soccer history, but whatever. Wambach was granted the ultimate sign of respect when Chipotle gifted her with the coveted gold card, granting her FREE BURRITOS FOR LIFE. It doesn't get much bigger than that.
2013: Breaking Mia's record
In a game against South Korea, not only did Wambach break Mia Hamm's longstanding record (158) for most international goals by any soccer player, she did so by dropping a hat trick. She retires still holding the record at a whopping 184.
In front of her family, friends and teammates, Wambach wed longtime partner and fellow soccer player Sarah Huffman in a ceremony in Hawaii. She had never previously spoken on the record about her sexual orientation, and the nuptials received a fair share of media attention. The private couple didn't share any photos of the event, but Huffman did later share a photo of their dogs.
By far best week of my life.Thank u for the support &well wishes.(Our boys were missed but dressed for the occasion) pic.twitter.com/FM9OPO21u5— Sarah Huffman (@shuffman14) October 10, 2013
Sarah and I wanted to thank everyone for all the love and support. We couldn't be happier. What an amazing week it's been. #honeymoon— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) October 9, 2013
2015: World Cup champion
As the emotional leader of the team, Wambach helped lift the USWNT to its first World Cup title in 16 years. Starting in three games and coming off the bench in the other four, Wambach's role was reduced from previous tournaments, but she still scored the winning goal in a qualifying-round game against Nigeria. She announced before the start of the campaign it would be her final World Cup, and she clearly made it count.
Abby Wambach finishes her World Cup career on top. pic.twitter.com/DxH75ipiIR— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 6, 2015