espnW: Mia Hamm

Happy Birthday, Abby Wambach!

June, 2, 2014
Jun 2
Abby WambachKevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesBirthday girl Abby Wambach is one of the best to ever play the game. She's got the goals to prove it.

Happy birthday, Abby Wambach! The global soccer superstar turns 34 today. The youngest of seven children, Wambach was the National High School Player of the Year in 1997 as a senior at Our Lady of Mercy High School in Rochester, New York. She went on to have a remarkable collegiate career at Florida, leading the Gators to the national title in 1998 and being named the SEC Player of the Year in 2000 and 2001. Wambach, a forward, set school records for goals (96), assists (49), points (241), game-winning goals (24) and hat-tricks (10) during her four-year stint. Wambach made her first appearance with the U.S. national team in 2001 and scored her first (of many) international goal in April of 2002. Wambach was named to the 2003 women's World Cup roster and was the team's leading scorer in the third-place effort. Wambach has since become the all-time leading women’s scorer in international soccer history, breaking Mia Hamm's record last year, and has led the team to two Olympic gold medals. She married her wife and former Flash teammate Sarah Huffman in 2013 in front of several USWNT teammates in Hawaii. Wambach also plays for the Western New York Flash of the NWSL, and suffered an apparent knee injury Saturday night.

Happy Birthday, Mia Hamm!

March, 17, 2014
Mar 17
Mia HammAP Photo/Elise AmendolaShe retired from soccer in 2004, but Mia Hamm remains one of the most influential female athletes in history.

Happy birthday, Mia Hamm! The legendary soccer star turns 42 today. A member of the U.S. national team from the age of 15 in 1987 until her retirement from the sport in 2004, Hamm helped the U.S. women win two Women's World Cups (1991 and the iconic 1999 victory) and two Olympic gold medals (1996 and 2004). Hamm held the record for most international goals by a player of either gender with 158 until Abby Wambach broke the mark in 2013. Considered one of the most marketable female athletes ever, Hamm had deals with Nike, Gatorade and Nabisco, among others. Hamm was the recipient of FIFA's first two women's World Player of the Year honors in 2001 and 2002, the 1997 Women's Sports Foundation's Sportswoman of the Year and the winner of five consecutive Soccer USA's Female Athlete of the Year honors. She was one of just two women to be named to the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living soccer players chosen by Pele. Since her retirement, Hamm has been inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame and was the first woman inductee at the World Football Hall of Fame. Today, Hamm and her husband, former baseball star Nomar Garciaparra, live with their three children in California. She remains heavily involved in soccer and her charitable foundation.

ESPYS record within reach

July, 17, 2013
Serena WilliamsJohn Buckle/Pool/Getty ImagesSerena Williams and Monica Seles (1993) are the only tennis players who have won best female athlete at the ESPYS.
Tonight at the ESPYS (ESPN, 9 ET), Serena Williams looks to become the first three-time winner of the best female athlete award. Williams, who has won 16 Grand Slam singles titles in her career, already has won seven career ESPYS, including five for best female tennis player. Gymnast Gabby Douglas, swimmer Missy Franklin and basketball player Brittney Griner are the other nominees for best female athlete. Williams, who is one of three nominees for best female tennis player – along with Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka -- can also become the most decorated woman in ESPNYS history. Former golfer Annika Sorenstam, who was named best female golfer six times and best female athlete twice, is the current record-holder with eight. Besides Sorenstam (2005-06) and Williams (2002-03), skier Lindsey Vonn (2010-11) and soccer player Mia Hamm (1998 and 2000) also have won the best female athlete award twice.

Legends are born in Pasadena

July, 10, 2013
Rose BowlRoberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty ImagesBrandi Chastain, who turns 45 on July 21, scored 30 international goals, but none sweeter than the strike that won the 1999 Women's World Cup.
Brandi Chastain. Mia Hamm. Briana Scurry. Julie Foudy. Kristine Lilly. Michelle Akers. And the rest of the 1999 U.S. women’s soccer team, this day is for you. Fourteen years ago today, on July 10, 1999, American soccer players transformed into legends in front of a women’s sports-record 90,185 hysterical fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. After a scoreless 90 minutes of regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods, the United States beat China to win the Women’s World Cup 5-4 on penalty kicks. Chastain kicked the game-winner, setting off a celebration that will go down as one of the most iconic moments in women’s sports history. After making the United States the first nation to win the Women’s World Cup on its home soil, the team became national celebrities as it visited the White House, appeared on the cover of national magazines and set off a new soccer craze in the country.

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Big day for Abby Wambach

June, 2, 2013
Abby WambachJamie Squire/Getty ImagesAbby Wambach brings 155 career goals into today's game against Canada.
Abby Wambach is hoping that her 33rd birthday is just one of many things she celebrates today. The striker and her national-team teammates take on Canada today for the first time since their epic clash in the semifinals of the Olympics last summer. Wambach tied that game at 3-3 with a penalty kick in the 80th minute. The Americans went on to claim their fourth gold medal and Canada took home the bronze. Finally, Wambach stands just three goals shy of tying Mia Hamm for the U.S. scoring record.

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