“Something was missing” from the U.S. women’s national team when the Americans failed to win their fourth straight gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, says recently retired legend Abby Wambach, though it wasn’t necessarily her and her all-time record 184 international goals.
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Wambach, whose brand new memoir, Forward, was released this week, was asked the inevitable question — “What happened in Rio?” — during her appearance on the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday.
To which she responded: “They just got really tight” … “They didn’t have a soul” … “Something was missing.”
The 2016 edition was always going to be lacking in the leadership department following Wambach’s retirement last fall, as well as those of Lauren Holiday, Shannon Boxx and Lori Chalupny (689 combined international appearances, including Wambach). All the international caps, trophies and medals won by the remaining players couldn’t make up for the leadership of their retired teammates. Leadership is different than experience, and the summer of 2016 taught the USWNT that lesson.
For more about Wambach’s book, and how she arrived at telling the story she has ultimately done, which includes her April 2016 arrest for DUI and her admission of years of drug and alcohol abuse, check out the below video in which she explains how that night changed the course of her life, and the book.