The time-honored phrase, “records are made to be broken,” is capturing North American women’s soccer fans as Canada’s spectacular forward Christine Sinclair and the USA’s fabulous Abby Wambach are now within touching distance of Mia Hamm’s international women’s soccer/football record of 158 career goals.
Hamm’s record was accomplished over a 17-year and 275 match career. She retired in 2004 following the Athens Olympic Games, having won two World Cups and two Olympic Gold Medals. In addition there were numerous Algarve Cup championships, two third place World Cup finishes and an Olympic Silver Medal at the 2000 Sydney Games. While she scored goals, she also contributed to unparalleled success of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Her first was scored in her 17th match at age 18. She reached 100 goals at age 26 in her 155th game. Her 150th goal came at age 32 in her 259th match. Her final goal, #158, came in match number 273, also at age 32.
Christine Sinclair’s Canadian squad have been very competitive in numerous international, but have yet to get over the hump and come home champions in either a World Cup or an Olympic Games. The 2012 London Games were a high point for the Canadians, as, behind Christine’s semi-final hat trick, the Canadians controversially lost 4 -3 in a dramatic overtime match against the U.S., who went on to win the Gold Medal while the Canadians came home with Bronze.
Only can certainly not fault Christine as she has lead the team in scoring almost from her first day as team member, scoring her first goal against Norway as a 16-year-old in only her second match. She scored her 100th goal at age 27 in her 133rd game, and currently has scored 143 goals in 190 matches. All done before the age of 30!
Abby Wambach is ahead of Christine in the race to eclipse Mia’s record, with 147 goals in 192 matches. She scored her first goal for the U.S at the age of 21 against Finland in her second match for the National Team. She reached 100 goals in 2009 at age 29 in a game against Canada, her 128th international. Currently, at age 32 and with two games against Ireland left on the U.S. Women’s Team schedule in 2012, she stands at 147 goals in 192 matches.
While Abby is closer to surpassing Mia, and seems likely to accomplish that goal, Christine has the leg up on becoming the all-time goal scoring leader in women’s soccer/football. She is three years younger and, with Canada hosting the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the team is sure to have a number of warm-up matches over the next two years as preparation. These matches may be easier than the games the U.S. will have to play to qualify for that same tournament as one can expect that defending will be tighter and the opponent more determined than in the friendly matches Canada will play.
Good luck to both women. They have left an indelible mark on women’s football and will be honored as among the best in the game. Mia became an icon. Will these two?
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