Abby Wambach, 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, has agreed to a multiyear contract to serve as an analyst and contributor to ESPN across various shows and platforms. Wambach will cover international sporting events for the network later this summer at the UEFA European Football Championship 2016 in France and 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, offering her insight of the events and storylines from her unique perspective as an elite athlete.
Additionally, she will contribute to ESPN Films projects and feature reports, as well as ESPN’s award-winning news programs E:60 and Outside the Lines where she will expand her profile reporting on topical issues in sports. Later this month, Wambach will launch a bi-weekly ESPN Audio podcast, Fearless Conversation with Abby Wambach. The podcast will be topic-driven, featuring interviews with notable personalities.
“My soccer career has provided me with a lot of different experiences that brings more than Xs and Os to the table,” said Wambach. “I’m excited to join ESPN and to have the opportunity to tell stories that transcend soccer.”
“Abby is an original talent who can speak to a variety of topics,” said Andy Tennant, executive producer, E:60 and Outside The Lines. “She will be an engaging voice that will be valuable across multiple ESPN platforms.”
Wambach brings to ESPN one of the most distinguished professional careers in international soccer. Beyond the playing field, she has been a leader on key issues in sports such as pay equity, player safety, gender discrimination and LGBT rights. On Friday, Feb. 26, Wambach served as a guest analyst on ESPN’s critically acclaimed coverage of the FIFA presidential election.
Wambach retired from professional soccer in 2015, after helping lead the U.S. Women’s National Team to its second FIFA World Cup title. She had a 14-year career playing with the national team and featured in four FIFA Women’s World tournaments (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015), and two Summer Olympics (2004 and 2012), amassing a record 184 goals in 255 appearances with the team.
In 2011, Wambach won the ESPY for Best Play of the Year for her stunning come-from-behind goal in extra time during the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match against Brazil, and her distinguished play on the field earned her the Bronze Boot (third leading goal scorer) and Silver Ball (second best player) awards at the tournament. Wambach garnered numerous accolades in her career – AP Athlete of the Year (2011), FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2012, and the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013), among others.
She also had a prolific club career, playing in the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). She earned the WUSA Rookie of the Year honor in 2002, was named to the 2010 WPS All-Star Team and served as her team’s player-coach in 2011. Wambach lead the NWSL Western New York Flash to the league’s best record and championship match in 2013.
Wambach starred for the University of Florida women’s soccer team from 1998-2001, setting the school and SEC records for most career goals (96).
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