April 24, 2014

Florida Sports Newsmakers in 2011

These people were exceptionally notable during the past year.

Florida Trend Staff | 12/28/2011

ABBY WAMBACH
Professional soccer player, Boca Raton

A World Stage

Abby Wambach
[Photo: Boris Streubel/Getty]
Three games into her soccer career, 4-year-old Abby Wambach had already scored 27 goals. Officials from her youth soccer league moved her to a boys team, but her dominance continued, just as it has throughout her career, which includes being named an NCAA All-American at the University of Florida and helping the Gators win the 1998 national championship.

Wambach's soccer and leadership skills emerged on an international stage last year, when Wambach, now 31, led the USA Women's National Soccer Team to the championship game of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The team's unexpected run in the tournament — which ended with a loss to Japan in the final — briefly lifted women's soccer to the sports world's top rung and made Wambach a star. With 13 career World Cup goals, she is second on the all-time scoring list.

Her 2011 didn't have a happy ending, though. In October, the Women's Professional Soccer League terminated the Boca Raton-based MagicJack franchise, the team that Wambach played for and coached.

— Art Levy

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