Abby Wambach tried to contain her emotions on Wednesday while playing in her final competitive match.
She scored 184 goals in 255 appearances for the United States women’s national team, retiring after Wednesday’s surprising but — as she called it — fitting 1-0 loss to China which ended the U.S.’ 104-match, 11-year home unbeaten streak.
Wambach wants women’s soccer to push forward and grow. She, like so many invested in the sport, wants to see women’s soccer grow to such great heights that those who follow in her footsteps are even bigger deals than she is or ever was.
Those are ginormous shoes to fill, but the message was loud and clear with her “Forget Me” video, posted by Gatorade. It’s an emotional monologue reenacting Wambach’s final moments as an active U.S. player (see below).
“Forget me. Forget my number. Forget my name. Forget I ever existed. Forget the medals won, the records broken and the sacrifices made,” Wambach says in the video. “I want to leave a legacy where the ball keeps rolling forward, where the next generation accomplishes things so great that I am no longer remembered. So – forget me – because the day I’m forgotten is the day we will succeed.”
And even more emotional is the video of her teammates saying goodbye (with some humor at the end from who else but Megan Rapinoe):