Mia Hamm, meet Abby Wambach. In the record books, that is. Last night, Wambach scored four goals in a game against South Korea to became the new all-time leading goal scorer in international soccer.
These two legendary soccer players were former teammates, playing together on Team USA in the 2004 Olympics. They won gold that year, and Hamm retired as the all-time leading goal scorer in international soccer with 158 goals in 275 games. Her record stood for nine years, until Wambach scored goals number 159 and 160.
After Wamnach broke Hamm’s record, Hamm took to Twitter to give her former teammate a digital high five. “Congratulations Abby Wambach. So proud of you, my friend,” Hamm tweeted. “You are a warrior and true champion. Enjoy this.”
And enjoy the moment she did. Wambach received a standing ovation from the crowd when she was taken out of the game in the 58th minute. And when the match over, she was doused by a bucket of water. (Team USA won in a blowout, 5-0.)
“I can’t say how much I look up to Mia and how amazing the record she set was,” Wambach said after the game. But she was also quick to add she was ready to not be the center of attention. "As a competitor you want to be done with the things that put me at the forefront of conversations. This team is too good to be talking about one person."
The world will see how good Team USA is when the Wambach-led squad competes in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015.
After yesterday's game, US Soccer released a video congratulating Wambach on setting the new record:
Photo: Abby Wambach gets a Gatorade bath by her teammates after a 5-0 win against Korean Republic after Wambach broke Mia Hamm's all-time international goal scoring record on June 20 in Harrison, NJ. (Al Bello/Getty Images)