After the World Cup Final was played and the USWNT, United States Womens National Team, defeated Japan 5-2, the Victory Tour that would last the rest of the year was announced. With all the veterans on the team I felt like it was going to be the farewell tour to many of the stars as well. Even knowing this and the fact that she is 35 and not playing on a club team, I was still a little shocked in October when the greatest player of her generation, Abby Wambach, announced her retirement from the game. On Wednesday, December the 16th of 2015, the soccer world said its goodbye to one of its legends. Abby Wambach played in her 255th and final game for the National Team. Her 184 goals are the most by any player, mens or womens, at the international level. She has been an influence to many throughout her career and she is a big reason that soccer has gotten as popular in the USA as it has in the past decade. Not only through her goal scoring prowess, but also because she was not afraid to let others know what she thought about things. For her teams she was the unquestioned leader even when she was not on the field, or wearing the captains armband.
The game on Wednesday night brought about a different feel than previous games. Many of the younger players, to whom players like Abby Wambach, Shannon Boxx, Lori Chalupny, Christie Rampone, and Lauren Holiday were entrusting the fate of the national team to, were on display last night. Tobin Heath will be one of the next superstars of the midfield with her dazzling displays with the ball at her feet. The young midfielder Morgan Brian who was an unknown before the World Cup has continued to look more confident every time she takes the field. The versatile Lindsey Horan, who came on just before halftime in place of an injured Alex Morgan, showed her nose for goal late in the game despite her equalizer being disallowed for offsides. Finally the dynamic Chrystal Dunn came on late and saw plenty of the ball going up and down the pitch. These are some of the players to whom the USWNT has been entrusted and I believe they will be up for the task.