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Throwback Thursday: Abby Wambach becomes all-time leading goalscorer

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The scoring champion took center stage in Harrison in 2013.

South Korea v United States Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

On June 20, 2013, Red Bull Arena was set to host the United States Women’s National Team as they took on South Korea in a friendly. However, the eyes of everyone in the building were on one person. Abby Wambach entered that match with 156 goals, just one behind the great Mia Hamm for the most international goals in USWNT history and the most in world soccer history. Wambach was determined to match that record against a tough South Korea team. She did more than that.

Wambach got on the board in the 10th minute, when Lauren Holiday found her in the box with a cross. Wambach settled it, turned to her left, and fired it past Korean goalkeeper Kim Jungmi for the match’s opening goal. Hamm 158, Wambach 157. Just 9 minutes later, after great buildup down the left side for the USWNT, it was Holiday again collecting the ball and feeding the ball into the 6 yard box, where Wambach directed the header into the right side of the goal. She had done it, moving into a tie with Mia Hamm with 158 goals, the most in international soccer history.

Wambach wasn’t done. Just 10 minutes later, off a Megan Rapinoe corner kick on the right side, Wambach hung at the top left side of the penalty area, waited for her moment, and then ran in to jump over everyone and nail a header into the top right corner of the net.

It was a hat trick for Wambach, a 3-0 lead for the United States. Most importantly on the day, we had a new leader in the record books. The list read: Mia Hamm 158, Abby Wambach 159. With that 29th minute goal, she became the most prolific goal scorer in international soccer history. For all of international soccer history. No man had come close to equaling the record that Hamm held for over 11 years, but Wambach had finally seized the crown.

Wambach would add a 4th goal during first half stoppage time, when Alex Morgan led the charge on a breakaway and fed Wambach for the finish in front of the net. It was 4-0 on the scoreboard, but 160 for Abby Wambach in the scoring column. She would sub off in the 58th minute and the USWNT would go on to win 5-0 over South Korea. But, no one will forget the night that Abby Wambach didn’t just knock on the door of immortality, but kicked it in, blew it off the hinges, and declared herself the landlord. Wambach would finish her career a couple years later with 184 goals, a record that still stands today.