espnW: Mia Hamm
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! 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.
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