Sunday, June 2, 2013
2 June 1980 - The USA's Heiress Apparent
After playing for the University of Florida from 1998 to 2001, she began her professional career in 2002 with the Washington Freedom, who selected her as the second overall pick in the WUSA draft (the Carolina Courage chose defender Danielle Slaton with the first pick). She rewarded their faith by scoring 10 goals and providing 9 assists in her first season and was named the league's Rookie of the Year.
Wambach won the Founders Cup with Washington the following year, but the league folded soon after. She returned to Washington with a new league, WPS, in 2009, and remained with them when they relocated to Florida and rebranded as MagicJack. During the WPS's final season in 2011, she served as the team's player-manager. She currently plays for the Western New York Flash in the new NWSL.
Since earning her first cap for the United States in 2003, she has gone on to make a total of 204 appearances and has won a gold medal at the 2004 and 2012 Olympics, missing the 2008 tournament due to injury. Her current total of 155 goals is the team's second-highest, behind Mia Hamm's 158 (though Hamm made a total of 275 appearances, giving Wambach a better goals-per-game average of 0.76 to Hamm's 0.57).
[Update: Wambach scored her 159th international goal on 20 June 2013 to become the all-time leading scorer for the US women.]