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USWNT Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach WOTM USA Nigeria (Jane Gershovich)

Photo by Jane Gershovich/SBI Soccer


The U.S. Women’s National Team has struggled to generate goals at this World Cup, but when a goal was needed to secure first place in the Group of Death, the Americans were able to count on a familiar face to deliver.

Abby Wambach volleyed home a Megan Rapinoe corner kick just before halftime to deliver the eventual winning goal in a 1-0 U.S. victory. Her timely finish helped Wambach earn SBI USWNT Woman of the Match honors.

Wambach edged out Rapinoe and standout central defenders Julie Johnston and Becky Sauerbrunn for WOTM honors.

What did you think of Wambach’s performance? Which U.S. player impressed you the most against Nigeria? See the Americans winning the World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. SBI WAAAAAY off on this one. Wambach had about 5-10 secs of quality and was very average for the rest of the game. One of the centerbacks has to get WOTM here. They were solid throughout.

    Our attack overall lacked the killer instinct it needed to put this game to bed, and Abby did very little to help that. We better hope our round of 16 opponent isn’t better than the teams we’ve seen so far, otherwise we’re in trouble.

  2. If that performance made Wambach the WotM then the match truly was poorly played. Give it to the two CBs who were/are by far and away the best performers on this team.

  3. Another vote for Johnston as the clear choice for WOTM. There’ve been a lot of revelations which have come to light in this preliminary round for the USWNT—it’s just that most of them haven’t been very positive, with one major exception: Julie Johnston is a stud defender.

  4. Usually I agree with Ives on the “person of the match” but he got this one wrong. Julie Johnston was easily the best player for the USWNT last night. She was dominate in the air and her positioning was virtually flawless. It is great to see a center back with the vision and skill of a #10.

    • Should be noted that the selections for Player of the Match are generally a staff-voted award, not chosen by the writer of the story.

      • The staff usually does a good job of picking the best player, but they got this one wrong. Abby scored a goal, but otherwise her performance was rather pedestrian. Julie Johnston should have been the pick.

  5. 1. Congratulations to the US women for a much better effort (aggressiveness & speed, especially in the first half)
    2. Disagree with Ives on the best player which should have been JJ who STOPPED one sure goal, ALMOST scored one (called off-side) and put in a 150% EFFORT ALL game long
    3. Abby Morgan needs to finish those one-on-one chances (had at least TWO, with one all she needed to do is loft the ball over the sprawled goalie)
    4. I hope the US team keeps on making technical and tactical team improvements because it still has a chance to go all the way (with some good luck plus I’m keeping my fingers crossed)

  6. Abby? Please. She was left unmarked and scored. Credit to her for not blowing it but for the rest of the match she was a lumbering oaf….until she got gassed at about minute 60 then she just walked around.

  7. The law firm of Klingenberg Johnston Saurbrunn and Krieger are the best back line in this entire world cup period. They have allowed one goal in the first match but have been shutting down some powerful attacks otherwise and with solo back there cleaning up the garbage, I can see the USWNT doing a Spain 2010 and winning four 1-0 matches in the knockouts to lift the cup. They are so disciplined and technically sound. They aren’t fast but they have enough speed. They move intelligently plus they are willing to get physical and go forward when necessary to give a boost to the attack on set pieces, in the run of play and when the midfield is being stupid. Abby is not a 90 minute player but I think you need to start her, if she is on, she is good for two goals every three games and she may have just turned on. Alex Morgan is clearly not as fast as she used to be. Who knows if it will come back but she plays the second striker/poacher role so much better than Leroux and Press it is actually funny to watch.She wins balls, wins corners, gets endline and plays the ball back into dangerous areas. She makes very well timed and intelligent runs and she demands attention from backlines which loosens up the defensive third for other players to exploit the spaces. Even if she isn’t scoring she is probably worth two goals every three matches like Abby. The midfield is the weakest part of this team which is shocking. Rapinoe is usually great and sometimes absent but Lloyd has been a disaster and heath can be very good or very bad. Lauren Holiday offers little in defense and only a but more going forward she is a good distributor to the playmakers but is not a playmaker herself. Why isn’t Jill Ellis using Heather O’Reilly. She is still fast and great at making that run endline and serving a good ball into the box or cutting in and beating a defender to get a shot off. Anyway this team will likely face a weak opponent in the round of 16 who they can exploit. They need to use that game to work out any more kinks because it will get very real, very fast in the quarters. I think you don’t change the starting back four. Start Morgan with Wambach because they produce the most shots on goal out of all the combinations of forwards USWNT has. You bring on Leroux for Wambach in minute 60 and Rodriguez for Morgan in minute 75 depending on the scoreline. You bring on Press for Lloyd at minute 70 and that is an A team to a B+ team which is good for using all three subs.

    • Lloyd shouldn’t be playing at all at this point and Rapinoe for all her supposed brilliance is a turnover machine. How many shots has she taken from 30 yards when she has teammates running into space? Very selfish.

  8. except for one good cross into the box that Alex Morgan missed, Krieger has been a disappointment… she’s was timid and slow on the attack, I stopped counting give aways or passes that went out of bounds.

    although her crosses are not the best, Crystal Dunn has more pace as RB and knows how to attack the flank, unfortunately Crystal’s slot was given to Boxx/Chalupny/Krieger. Ellis and her good ol girls club culture is responsible for this.

  9. Ives, I really have to disagree on this one. Although Abby scored, she missed many chances, appeared rusty and was gassed late in the match. I think that Alex Morgan and Christen Press would be a better starting duo with Sydney Leroux off the bench somewhere after the 70th minute, if necessary. Julie Johnston was undoubtedly the WOTM – not even a question. She and the rest of the back line are the stars for the US thus far. We will need more real offense if we play to stay around for a while.

    • yeap… JJ was all over defending, bringing up the ball when Lloyd/Cheney were ball watching or directing traffic… Julie even contributed on offense and her goal was borderline offside, it couldve gone either way.

      • I agree with CrissieP. Johnston was great. What a tackle! I think its time to put Wambach on in the 60-70th Alan Gordon style, so you can have Wambach time at the end of the game. I felt like Rapinoe played a good first half with really not much presence from Wambach. But credit to her, she is a champ, and took her chance!

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