Chat with Abby Wambach
Wambach won the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year and is a five-time U.S. player of the year.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, U.S. Soccer's Abby Wambach stops by to chat about her ESPYS nomination, as well as recently setting the international mark for career goals scored. The ESPYS airs live July 17 on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.
Wambach, @AbbyWambach, broke Mia Hamm's career mark of 158 goals, when she scored four times in a 5-0 win over South Korea in June. A 10-year member of the U.S. women's national team, Wambach has 160 goals in 207 career matches, the most for a man or woman.
In setting her career record, Wambach is nominated for the ESPY for Best Record-Breaking Performance. Voting ends July 17 on the night of the ESPYS.
Send your questions now and join Wambach Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:30 PM)
Abby is here!
Where were you 14 years ago earlier this week when the '99 team won the WC?
Abby Wambach (2:31 PM)
I was in Gainesville, Florida. I was out with my friends watching at a bar. Just completely amazed at the fan support, but the way that the women won and how dramatic it happened. I remembered where I was and right there I decided what I wanted to do with my life.
you and Alex are nominated for ESPYS, so how does it feel to be one of the faces of U.S. Soccer at this event?
Abby Wambach (2:32 PM)
It's an exciting thing. We've been nominated before and we haven't been able to attend. Being able to go and meet the other athletes and celebrate women's soccer is a great responsibility. It means we're doing something right and we want to keep doing it.
Nicole (Long Island)
Where are you keeping the ball that you had scored the record breaking goal with?
Abby Wambach (2:33 PM)
I have two balls. One that ties it and one that breaks it. They're at my apartment in Buffalo. I'm sure I'll find a way to display them. It's bizarre to break a record when you're still playing. It will be cool to show my kids one day. Maybe they'll think they're mom is cooler for it.
Catherine (Seneca Falls, NY)
How much have you seen women's soccer take off since you've started playing? Would you say #ChasingMia has helped spark even more interest??
Abby Wambach (2:34 PM)
I think since I started playing, it's had exponential growth. Since I got on the national team, I got here just after the '99 team. I saw a lot of attention being put on Mia, Brandi, etc. When Mia retired, I saw a downturn of popularity and media attention. But then the 2011 World Cup happened and we've seen it return. Some of the household name players now grew and had a chance to become better players.
have you decided what to wear to the ESPYS yet?
Abby Wambach (2:35 PM)
Yeah, that's a good question. I think my agency has set up a stylist. Alex and myself are getting styled. It's usually not my way of going about it. I've been on a long road trip and haven't had a chance to go shopping. I prefer to be in sweats and board shorts, not nice attire, so it's probably better that way.
Mari (Saginaw, Michigan)
Was there a time when you ever wanted to quit playing soccer?
Abby Wambach (2:37 PM)
There was a time, back when I was in high school. Being the kind of athlete I was, being with the youth national team at a young age, missing a lot of stuff with my friends. At that age, you think you'll live forever and that the grass is always greener. I had to grow into love with the sport. Soccer is hard, it's physical, taxing. There are things to work on. Halfway through college, I decided that I was going to give it a proper grow. I felt like I had the ability to be on the national team. I'm lucky to play soccer. There were a couple of times when I missed being with my friends. I missed the birthdays and weddings. But now that it's a career, I see why I made those sacrifices and it's worth it.
what are you looking forward to the most ESPYS?
Abby Wambach (2:38 PM)
I'm not really huge on individual awards. What will be exciting to see how things run and the jokes that they'll tell. Meet the other athletes. Celebrate the year in sports. I know ESPN has spent a lot of money on women in sports. This is a celebration of ESPN and what they do to promote athletes and gives us a chance as athletes to get the life that we want.
Ashley Rogers (San Francisco)
How are Kingston and Tex doing?
Abby Wambach (2:39 PM)
They're doing fantastic. We're on a two week road trip, so they're with my brother and sister in law with their three boys, so they're having the time of their life.
Catherine (Seneca Falls, NY)
Do you feel as if you're being the same type of model to Alex Morgan as Mia Hamm was to you?
Abby Wambach (2:40 PM)
I definitely resist any urge to compare myself to Mia in terms of the person and player. I think we have the same value system and that's what I'm trying to pass on to Alex. Mia was so important to my development on the field and off the field. I'm very lucky to have had her as a teammate, but also now as someone to talk to. Mia is actually mentoring Alex as well, truth be told. She's helping Alex become the player she wants to be and the legacy she leaves behind.
Any downside to playing this season back in your hometown?
Abby Wambach (2:41 PM)
I would say it's tough living in Buffalo and playing in Rochester. The only downside is to not being able to see my family as much as I'd hoped. That's the biggest bummer to coming back to the upper state NY area. I'd love to spend more time with the family.
Matt (Fallston, MD)
Who is your favorite athlete (excluding you, of course)?
Abby Wambach (2:42 PM)
Non-soccer? Great question. I think my favorite male athlete is Drew Brees. How he composes himself in an age of sport that's me-first and to see him is good. On the women's side...gosh...I think I've really liked watching Serena Williams and the way she plays. She's such a competitor and athlete. She's so strong and fit.
Nicole posner (New york)
When did u realize how good of a player u are? And when u were little did u dream of playing on the national team?
Abby Wambach (2:44 PM)
I think I realized I had special talent pretty young, 8, 9, 10 when I was playing with the boys. The talent component of any great athlete is a piece of the puzzle. The will and desire is what really drives somebody. If you have both, that's a good combination. Then if you love it and enjoy it, that's the perfect storm of what makes players last a long time that are quality as well.
Hi Abby, Do you ever get nervous before a match or during a match? If so, how do you deal with it :) Thanks
Abby Wambach (2:44 PM)
I definitely don't get nervous. I wouldn't use that word. I get excited. I would use the word anxious in that I don't know the outcome yet. I embrace the pressure packed moments. I would never say nervous. I'm curious about how it would end up.
Do you think the women's soccer game is now more physical than say ten years ago?
Abby Wambach (2:46 PM)
I think the physicality is maybe a few percentage points higher now. It's a faster game. Back in the day, there were a lot of teams that would just kick the ball long and hope for the best. Now it's more of a possession game. Teams around the world are understanding that part of the game. We've been lifting weights for our whole lives, so the training has given us an edge on some of the opponents.
How did you handle growing up with so many siblings?
Abby Wambach (2:47 PM)
I guess the only way I can say it is you fight for everything that you want and learn to survive. As much as there may be some emotional tough times, it really does draw your personality. I do want to give my children that similar environment. Maybe not so many, but let them learn.
Abby Wambach (2:48 PM)
As always, the fans are the reason why we do this. You can always scratch away money or sponsorhips, but at the end of the day, none of that would be possible without the fans. I want them all to know that we'll be working hard to bring home a World Cup and hopefully that will come in 2015 in Canada.