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Abby Wambach announces 2015 Women's World Cup will be her last


EDMONTON, Alberta – Abby Wambach announced on Sunday that the current Women's World Cup will be the last of her glittering career.
Wambach is the United States' all-time leading scorer with 183 international goals and though it was considered unlikely that she would return to the tournament again in four years' time, she had previously refused to categorically rule out staying on until 2019.
However, that changed just 24 hours before the U.S. takes on Colombia in the round of 16 on Monday. If the South American team pulls off a major upset, it would be the end of Wambach's dream to add a World Cup to her long list of accomplishments.
"When I am on the field it is definitely all about business but this being my last World Cup I do want to stop and smell the roses at certain moments," Wambach said, admitted that following last Tuesday's victory over Nigeria she had ruefully reflected that the game would be her last ever World Cup group match. "For me that's what makes these tournament so awesome is that every continual game the stakes get higher, the pressure gets steeper.
"Whether you want to look at it as stress or pressure, however you want to put it, for me these are the moments of my life that I treasure."
Wambach is no longer the physical force of her prime, but remains a threat on aerial crosses and set plays. She captained the U.S. for its victories against Australia and Nigeria in Group D, and came on as a second half substitute in the 0-0 draw against Sweden
it is likely that Wambach will attempt to play another Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next summer, form and fitness permitting. She helped the team to gold in 2004 and 2012, missed the Games in 2008, and came desperately close to winning the World Cup in 2011.
Her remarks on Sunday reflected a sense of sadness that the end of the road is approaching, but also a realization that the end of the current campaign is the right time to end her World Cup career.
"I want to not only be able to share it with the fans and the millions of people watching and my teammates and my coaching staff, but the people who have been on my side and by my side to get me here," she added. "It hasn't always been easy. We sacrifice a lot. We are on the road for a lot of days of the year – it doesn't make it easy on any relationship whether it be a marriage or families or whatever."
Wambach married former professional player Sarah Huffman in 2013. She has spoken of her wish to become a mother and told USA TODAY Sports before the tournament that she was aware that the inevitable aging process meant retirement could be looming.
"We do live in a fixed period of time as a professional and our careers are very short," Wambach said. "You always have to be very mindful of the fact that it could be over tomorrow."
She, and the U.S.. hopes that "tomorrow" doesn't arrive for at least two more weeks.

Jun 21, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Canada

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