Wam­bach wants World Cup

Amer­i­can doesn’t care whether she starts

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

With the ti­tle match loom­ing, Abby Wam­bach isn't minc­ing words.

“All I care about is win­ning this World Cup,” she said.

The star U.S. for­ward is play­ing in her fourth Women's World Cup, and she says it will be her last. A vic­tory Sun­day in the fi­nal against Ja­pan would be the per­fect end­ing to her World Cup ca­reer.

It would also so­lid­ify a legacy. Wam­bach, who has been on the na­tional team for 15 years, has scored 183 goals, more than any other player, male or fe­male, in the world. Of those, 77 have come on head­ers.

She was the 2012 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, the game's high­est hon­our. And she has two Olympic gold medals.

What she doesn't have is a World Cup ti­tle.

“For this be­ing her last one, I will do what­ever it takes to get the job done,” vowed midfielder Carli Lloyd, who leads the Amer­i­cans with three goals.

The 35-year old Wam­bach has seen her role change at this World Cup. She isn't start­ing ev­ery match, at times com­ing in off the bench. She has just one goal so far in the month­long event, the lone goal in a 1-0 vic­tory over Nige­ria in the group stage.

The United States, ranked No. 2 in the world, fin­ished atop its group in Canada be­fore vic­to­ries over Colom­bia and China set up a thrilling 2-0 semi­fi­nal vic­tory over top-ranked Ger­many on Tues­day night.

The fi­nal Sun­day against Ja­pan at Van­cou­ver's BC Place is a re­match of the 2011 cham­pi­onship match in Ger­many, when the United States fell on penalty kicks af­ter a 2-2 draw.

So far it's been an event­ful tour­na­ment for Wam­bach. She's started three matches and come off the bench for three. She hadn't played as a sub­sti­tute in a World Cup match since her first tour­na­ment ap­pear­ance in 2003.

Com­ing in as a sub in a 0-0 draw with Swe­den dur­ing the group stage, she gave the Amer­i­cans one of their best scor­ing chances, a header that goal­keeper Hed­vig Lin­dahl popped up and over the cross­bar.

CP PHOTO

United States’ Abby Wam­bach cel­e­brates her teams win over Nige­ria fol­low­ing the sec­ond half FIFA World Cup soc­cer ac­tion in Van­cou­ver, B.C. on June 16.

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