Abby Wambach took part in a FIFA panel discussion in Los Angeles last night, along with FIFA Director of Marketing Thierry Weil, US Soccer President Sunil Gulati, former player, turned TV pundit Alexi Lalas, and one of US football’s favourite sons, Landon Donovan.
Before she took to the stage, she answered 11 of your #AskAbbyUSWNT Twitter questions. We hope you like the answers, and thank you again for sending so many in!
What is one thing that inspires you everyday #AskAbbyUSWNT
— Elizabeth (@LizzProsper) 8 Avril 2015
The inability to know how far I can push myself: physically, mentally and emotionally. I want to be an ambassador for the game, and to inspire young kids. But I also want to inspire myself to win a Women’s World Cup Final.
What's your pregame ritual? #AskAbbyUSWNT
— Nicole Bradley (@NicoleB39420815) 8 Avril 2015
I have tons of rituals. But I can’t tell you any of them. I’d love to….but I can’t!
What advice do you have for a young player who wants to play soccer in college and professionally? #AskAbbyUSWNT
— Samantha Simler (@SSim21) 7 Avril 2015
Great question! There are so many bits and pieces. For me, I’ve had to figure out how this life, of being a football player, what best suited me. I’d advise you to take little bits of advice from different people. Observe, learn, but have your own beliefs too, of what YOU want to become.
Looking back did you ever in your wildest imagination think you would play in the Olympics or in the World Cup? #AskAbbyUSWNT
— tamara post (@tamarapost1) 7 Avril 2015
As a 10 year old girl, I never imagined that. But I definitely dreamt it. The longer I held that dream, combined with hours and hours of dedication and sacrifice, led me to playing pro soccer, and then representing my country. I’m very proud that I’ve stuck to that dream, and seen it through to reality.
— cambria joy ♡ (@sassy_bethers) 8 Avril 2015
My goal is to get to the Rio Olympics in 2016, but all my focus at the moment is on getting to Canada this summer. If I’m feeling fit, healthy, and still playing well, you could well see me in Brazil.
— ElizabethBertStanley (@BertStanley) 7 Avril 2015
Never say never! I’ve no plans at the moment to play in England, but when you have been in the game as long as I have, you learn to never close off any opportunity.
What is your favorite music artist? #AskAbbyUSWNT
— Gesa (@HookaHeadGesa) 7 Avril 2015
Right now, there are so many. But if I had to choose one, I’d say Florence and the Machine at the moment.
— Lauren Murray (@lomurray19) 8 Avril 2015
I had a lot of idols. April Heinrichs, Mia Hamm and Michelle Akers all helped individually to grow women’s football in the US. I was 11 in 1991 when the first FIFA Women’s World Cup was played. I really looked up to those players as ‘pioneers.’
How does it feel to score a goal in the World Cup? What were your emotions and feelings? #AskAbbyUSWNT
— Jeremy Valle (@_jeremyvalle) 7 Avril 2015
My emotions have evolved, and this will be my fourth World Cup. Each goal feels a little bit different. As I’ve grown older, scoring goals has become more my ‘job’ on behalf of the team. And I’m still thankful for every game I play. Now I feel confident, prepared, and know that given the opportunity, I’ll convert for my country. My teammates do all the dirty work. And scoring goals, I get the glory!
Do you have a bucket list? If yes, what's on it? #AskAbbyUSWNT
— Elien D'Hooge (@eliendh) 7 Avril 2015
Wow. I’m getting older, but not dying!! No1 without question, is I want to win a FIFA Women’s World Cup. Post-playing, I really want to have a family. And I’d also love to travel To visit many of the places I’ve been to as a player, but see all the nuances of different countries and cities. Instead of just the airport, team bus, hotel, training pitch and stadium!
#AskAbbyUSWNT how did you feel after that 2011 Women's World Cup final loss? Do you think this year the team is ready to win it all?
— aldo (@aldo_garcia14) 7 Avril 2015
After the 2011 Final, I felt heartbroken. Shocked. I really believed we were going to win, especially after the game against Brazil, and then taking the lead against Japan in extra-time. But Homare Sawa had another plan for her team, and her country. In 2015, to win is going to take a little bit ‘more.’ It’s definitely going to be the toughest tournament yet. A lot has been said about turf. But there are so many strong teams, as recent friendly results have shown. There’s more parity than ever before.