“It was special, I could tell my teammates were trying to get me those goals, it was obvious,” Abby Wambach said when it was all over and the record for international goals was hers. Above the screams of the crowd the great goalscorer continued, “my family was here, great crowd, great team performance.”
The fans didn’t want to leave Red Bull Arena last night, they wanted to stay and let Abby Wambach know how happy they were to have witnessed the great striker passing the legendary Mia Hamm to set the record. And so they stayed. When Abby spoke to them they roared, when the Gatorade bath came they roared again, and when Wambach tried to put it all in context for reporters, the roar continued.
Last night she made it look easy, so easy in fact that she threw in a fourth, sort of a bonus goal. That provided another bit of history, minor by comparison, last night was Wambach’s first ever four goal night, although she has notched five.
Ever gracious, Wambach said of Hamm, her long ago teammate, “I couldn’t say enough about how much I look up to Mia and how amazing the record she set was.” Then it was back to her teammates. “My teammates have put me in all different types of positions to score goals and I can’t say it enough, I really believe it in my heart, I’m only as good as my teammates allow me to be.”
The modest superstar continued, “Yes I score a lot of goals and yes I put myself in position to score goals, but they do too and I can’t thank my teammates enough. Cheney, Peno, Alex, that fourth goal,” Wambach said running down her table setters on this historic night. Lauren Cheney who served up the first two goals of the night, then Megan Rapinoe and finally Alex Morgan.
For Wambach this, “special night was surreal when it was happening.” “I thought when I missed the breakaway, maybe it wasn’t going to happen, but my teammates were relentless in putting me in goal scoring positions.”
And no one is better, or more dangerous with a soccer ball in goal scoring positions than Abby Wambach. Her teammate and perhaps the early favorite to eventually eclipse her record, Alex Morgan, thinks Wambach has plenty more goals in her. “We’ll see what kind of numbers she has come World Cup time,” Morgan said, because I see it just going to get higher.”