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A week worth noting from Abby Wambach

Jun 9, 2013, 1:29 PM EDT

Germany v USA - Abby Wambach, USWNT Getty Images

It’s fitting that Abby Wambach’s week started in Canada.

With all the attention on the star U.S. striker centered around #ChasingMia — Wambach’s 155 goals are three off the all-time international mark held by Mia Hamm, a record that will inevitably fall in the coming weeks or months — the bigger picture for the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year has been overshadowed: the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Wambach will turn 35 years old four days before the tournament kicks off, on June 6, 2015. While she’s been part of two of the last three U.S. Olympic gold medals, she’s yet to win a World Cup, one of those poster board, wakes up to it every morning for motivation sort of facts that drives one of the most genuinely competitive players in the sport.

Alex Morgan has emerged as the young star striker of the U.S., already 10th all-time on the U.S. goal scoring charts (44 goals) a month ahead of her 24th birthday. Morgan mania leads the conversation that the U.S. needs to be — and will be — younger come Canada 2015. The emergence of Christen Press and Sydney Leroux adds to the connotation that the Americans will have a young, speedy front line two years from now.

But to write off Wambach from anything — particularly the biggest prize in the game — is to not know her at all.

This week, like so many others, she proved why.

Wambach played three full matches in seven days this week, showing a durability that didn’t come without pain in 2011 when Achilles tendonitis gave her fits. Seven days. Three games. Two hundred seventy minutes. Two goals and three assists. That was Abby Wambach’s week with the U.S. and the Western New York Flash.

Twice Wambach played provider in the United States’ 3-0 win over Canada. She scored a classic ‘Abby will just out-jump you’ header on Wednesday that helped the Flash tie the Boston Breakers and Wambach capped off the week with a goal and an assist in the Flash’s 3-0 rout of co-league leaders Sky Blue FC on Saturday.

(MORE: Five takeaways from the U.S. women’s 3-0 win over Canada)

Oh, and she hit the crossbar twice in those two NWSL games.

Wambach’s scoring ability and determination have never been in question and they never will be in question. She’s one of the greatest — statistically soon to be the best — goal scorer ever. What has hung over the idea of her still being one of the United States’ go-to forwards in 2015 is her health and durability; she’s admitted that her body needs to hold up and it’s part of why she’s led a movement to have the 2015 World Cup played on grass instead of turf, as is currently scheduled.

The week of June 2-8 won’t show up in Abby Wambach’s career highlight film. It won’t be something talked about in 2015 and it may not even be noted much beyond this article. But it goes a long way in showing that Wambach is healthy and ready to make this stretch-run of her legendary career one that includes another World Cup. The frequency of games, the regional travel — this past week mimicked a World Cup.

It’s too early to call anyone a definite starter for 2015; U.S. coach Tom Sermanni will try plenty of experiments and make a good number of changes along the way. But if you think Wambach won’t be a significant part of the mix, think again.

  1. Diane - Jun 9, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    No doubt Abby wants to be on that WWC team..and I’m guessing she’ll accept whatever role Tommy see’s her in to do it. She’s been altering her game a little recently, tracking back more often. No doubt her health will benefit from regular training and games. It has to be hard to perform out of a short camp. She’s a smart player and if there’s a way to get her body on that roster, she’ll be there. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy her journey.

  2. kernelthai - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Old Folks…they say having kids about revitalize the elderly. We saw it last year with Wambach as Morgan seemed to bring the joy back to Wambach’s game. This year Im seeing it with Rampone. Having Whitney Engen partnered with her seems to be a godsend. With the fast and tall Engen taking on the big forwards, Rampone has been left to read, organize, anticipate and help across the back line. Hopefully both Rampone and Wambach get that cup in 2015. Theyve each meant a lot to US soccer and it would be a nice note to retire on.

  3. korules - Jun 11, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    Let’s all hope Wambach is a sub by then though.
    I watched all games that were talked about in this ‘article’, and I’m not saying they were bad games, not at all, but they do not deserve the praise she’s getting here.
    She’s definitely doing better than she did with the USWNT the last couple of months, so it seems that having the routine that playing in a league gives you, has helped her out.

    There’s just no way she should be in the way of a Morgan-Press tandem.
    I don’t wanna overlook supersub Leroux here, but Press has just been TOO GOOD to be ignored
    and Morgan is pretty much the first name that Sermanni writes down when deciding on his line-up.

    So, yay Abby and all, but let’s not exaggerate, she’s not the force she used to be.
    The game is getting faster and Wambach isn’t.
    (Would have never outrun the Sky Blue defence on that 1st goal she assisted if she wasn’t offside by half a mile.)

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