U.S. striker Abby Wambach is good at so very many things.
Clearly she’s a great scorer and terrific all around soccer player. You don’t get to be FIFA Player of the Year just by managing to be a pretty good player. Teammates have talked for years about her further abilities as a leader, role model and all-around good person to be around.
The one thing she’s not so great at: talking about herself.
C’mon, Abby. Toot your own horn a little! You are about to join the exclusive U.S. 200 Club, the list of women with 200 appearances for the United States national team.
She should get that cap tonight against Scotland at LP Field in Nashville. What Wambach said ahead of the accomplishment:
There’s so many great players in this country, and a lot of it does kind of fall down to a coach’s opinion for better or for worse. I’ve had really great coaches that really believed in me and put me on the field and gave me the responsibility of scoring goals for this team for a lot of years. That’s a responsibility I take very seriously. Two hundred, 100, whatever we’re talking about, if we’re winning that game, that’s the most important thing for me.”
Kristine Lilly is the all-time caps leader with 352, followed by Christie Rampone’s 278.
Since Wambach isn’t so great at talking about herself, here’s what The Washington Post says about tonight’s looming accomplishment.
The group stage of qualification is complete, as 20 teams have clinched a berth at EURO 2016, which kicks off next summer in France.
The top-two finishers in each group automatically qualified, as did the best third-place side out of all the groups (Turkey). France qualified automatically as the host nation.
[ MORE: EURO 2016 roundup ]
That leaves eight third-place teams to battle for the final four spots through a two-legged play-off. The draw for the matchups will take place on October 18, and those matches will be held from November 12-17 as a home-and-home play-off.
- Czech Republic
- Turkey (automatically qualified as best third-place side)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (qualified for play-off)
- Ukraine (qualified for play-off)
- Republic of Ireland (qualified for play-off)
- Slovenia (qualified for play-off)
- Northern Ireland
- Hungary (qualified for play-off)
- Sweden (qualified for play-off)
- Norway (qualified for play-off)
- Denmark (qualified for play-off)
The group stage of qualifying for the 2016 European Championship has come to a close, and one of the top teams in the world will not be playing in France next summer.
Netherlands 2-3 Czech Republic
The Netherlands finished second at the 2010 World Cup and third at the 2014 World Cup, but have failed to qualify for EURO 2016. Playing in front of a home crowd in a must-win match against the Czech Republic, the Dutch got off to a dreadful start, falling behind 2-0 as manager Danny Blind was forced to make a substitution within the opening 40 minutes. The Czech Republic was sent to ten men before the break, but an own-goal from Robin Van Persie made it 3-0 as the Dutch couldn’t recover. A disastrous result for the Netherlands, as big changes will surely come from the top down.
[ RELATED: David de Gea fighting for starting goalkeeper position with Spain ]
Italy 2-1 Norway
Italy finishes atop Group H without a loss after defeating Norway 2-1 today. Norway took the lead through Norwich City’s Alexander Tettey, but late goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Southampton’s Graziano Pelle gave the Italians all three points.
Malta 0-1 Croatia
With Norway’s loss, Croatia jumped into second place in Group H and secured qualification to EURO 2016 with a 1-0 win away at Malta. Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic scored the game’s only goal, as Croatia advances despite having one point deducted due to inappropriate actions from their fans.
Elsewhere in EURO qualifying
Turkey 1-0 Iceland
Latvia 0-1 Kazakhstan
Belgium 3-1 Israel
Wales 2-0 Andorra
Cyprus 2-3 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria 2-0 Azerbaijan