February 14, 2013
Wambach celebrates 200th cap with 153rd goal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – T-minus five goals and counting.
|Abby Wambach is closing in on Mia Hamm's all-time scoring record.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Abby Wambach is only five goals away from tying Mia Hamm's career international goal-scoring record and six from surpassing it.
The veteran U.S. striker celebrated her 200th international appearance on Wednesday night by scoring her 153rd goal in the Americans' 3-1 international friendly win over Scotland at LP Field. Hamm, who retired in 2004, completed her illustrious career with 158 goals.
Wambach became the eighth U.S. women's player to reach 200 caps.
“You think about these type of games and I don’t personally like to hype them up for the sole reason that it’s a team game and as many games as I played in you need your teammates to score goals and win games," Wambach said. "You only get so many opportunities to play for your country and you only get so many opportunities to score in front of the net. I’ve been given the gift to score goals and I hope I can continue to do the same thing for as long as I possibly can.”
After Megan Rapinoe lifted the USA into the lead in the 21st minute, Wambach doubled the advantage in the 51st minute. Heather O’Reilly ran onto a pass down the right wing. She pushed it forward into the penalty area for Sydney Leroux, who struck a low cross into the middle that Wambach finished via a diving header from close range.
Perhaps Wambach had some added motivation to score.
“I told her she wasn’t coming off until she scored," said U.S. coach Tom Sermanni, who raised his personal record to 2-0 after winning in his coaching debut against Scotland, 4-1, on Saturday. "It’s great, what a career. Every game Abby plays she either scores or she’s in the mix. She creates so many chances and opportunities; stuff happens for other players. I think it’s a great way for her to celebrate her 200th game.”
Leroux, a super-sub who set a U.S. record for goals as a substitute last year, made her first-career start after earning her 29 previous caps off the bench. Leroux was a menace all game and had numerous chances to score, especially in the second half when she saw two shots from close range kick-saved by Scotland back-up goalkeeper Shannon Lynn.
“It was pretty appropriate in my opinion," Wambach said of Leroux's assist. "Sydney Leroux was my roommate on this trip and I’ve watched her grow up on this team so I thought it was really fitting for her to give me that assist.”