U.S. legend Wambach announces international retirement

USA legend and world football superstar Abby Wambach (pictured) announced her retirement from international football on October 27, 2015. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

CHICAGO -- Abby Wambach will close the curtain on a spectacular 15-year career with the United States women’s national team, announcing Tuesday her retirement from international football.

The 35-year-old forward has earned 252 caps and scored a world-record 184 goals.

Her last appearance is slated for a December 16 in a friendly against visiting China in New Orleans, Louisiana.

"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," said Wambach.  "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.” 

Wambach’s list of incredible achievements include:

  • Appeared in four FIFA Women’s World Cups, winning the title in 2015.
  • Appeared in two Olympic Games, winning gold medals in both (2004, 2012) in Athens, Greece.
  • Appeared in four CONCACAF Women’s Championships, winning titles in 2002, 2006 and 2014.
  • 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.
  • 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Player of the Year.
  • Won U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year six times, more than any other player (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013).
  • Scored 14 goals in 25 World Cup games.
  • Scored 18 goals in Women’s World Cup Qualifying.
  • Scored nine goals in 10 Olympic matches.

"Abby is a player who has transcended our sport and her legacy as one of the world's greatest players is set forever," said U.S. head coach Jill Ellis.  "What she has done for women's soccer and women's sports overall with her amazing talents on the field and her personality off it has been inspiring to watch.  I am just extremely happy that she could end her career with that elusive World Cup title and go out on top, right where she deserves to be."

After four attempts, Wambach won the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time earlier this year, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 group-stage win over Nigeria.