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Soccer star Abby Wambach elected to athletic Hall of Fame

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LATHAM, N.Y. (AP) Soccer star Abby Wambach (WAHM’-bahk) has been elected to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame.

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The two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA (FEE’-fuh) Women’s World Cup champion heads a class that also includes coaches Andy Capellan and Charles Engel; field hockey star Tracey Fuchs; three-sport star Heidi Mann Vittengl; and Section IV administrator Ben Nelson.

Wambach completed her stellar high school career at Our Lady of Mercy with 142 goals, earning 1998 national player of the year honors as a senior at the Rochester school. She went on to star in college at Florida and was drafted second overall by the Washington Freedom of the Women’s United Soccer Association in 2002.

She scored 184 goals at the international level, surpassing Mia Hamm’s record.

Outrage as girls team punished for player “looking like a boy”; Wambach, Hamm voice support

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There’s outrage pouring into Nebraska from around the world of soccer after organizers kicked a team out of an all-girls final for a clerical error that listed a short-haired girl as being a boy.

The Washington Post’s Cleve Wootson tells the story of Milagros “Mili” Hernandez, 8, one of the better players on a team of mostly 11-year-old coached by her father. She also prefers to wear her hair short.

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But when a pair of defeated teams complained that there “was a boy” on the other side of the field, organizers went through the paper work and found her incorrectly checked off as male on one of the forms. Another form listed her as a female, and she is a female, but organizers wouldn’t look at proof from her father. The team was out, and so was she.

The anger has been palpable around the world as this Washington Post story has circulated, even if organizers had the crutch of faulty paper work.

Hernandez will only grow in confidence by the support of the soccer community, including the below video from USWNT legend Abby Wambach and an invitation from none other than the “GOAT”, Mia Hamm, to attend a soccer camp as her guest.

Wambach, on USWNT’s Olympics: “They didn’t have a soul … Something was missing”

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“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.”

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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.

Ahead of book tour, Wambach admits to years of drug and alcohol abuse

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Abby Wambach has admitted to long bouts with alcohol and drug abuse, the legendary USWNT striker admitted in a publicity run for her upcoming book, “Forward”.

Wambach, 36, plead guilty to DUI in April.

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The big American striker from Rochester, N.Y., scored 184 goals for her country during a 14-year career, adding 70 in limited club appearances.

She also thanks Sarah Huffman, whom she is divorcing, for helping her see the proverbial light.

From the Associated Press:

“Not only was I hiding this secret from the world for so long, so were the people that I loved — they loved me so fiercely they wanted to protect me as much as possible, almost from myself. Sarah was definitely one of my saving graces because she was one of the first people in my life who made me aware of the problems that I was having,” Wambach said. “And this was years ago. This isn’t something that just snuck up on me when I retired from soccer. This is something I’ve been dealing with for years now.”

“It’s really hard to talk about things when you’re ashamed,” she said. “And I’m not ashamed about what happened to me anymore because it led me to where I’m at right now. I’m proud of where I’m at.”

The book comes out on Tuesday.

Wambach also shared the news that she is the godmother to Dom and Sydney Leroux Dwyer’s kid Cassius Cruz Dwyer.

Reports say Wambach entering the fields of broadcasting, reporting

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She’s dipped her toes into the pool during the FIFA elections, and now USWNT soccer legend Abby Wambach may have found her second career.

The all-time leading goal scorer in international competition, Wambach will be branching into the media field.

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The Associated Press’ Anne M. Peterson says it’ll be as an analyst and contributor, while Sports Illustrated media mastermind Richard Deitsch expects her to dig a bit deeper into the reporting world.

Many athletes have succeeded in becoming broadcasters, but true reporting is a different animal. This will be an interesting story to follow.

Wambach’s name was in the news earlier this year when she plead guilty for a DUII charge. She retired from the playing field in December.