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Abby Wambach scores one of her five goals in 2012 Olympic action. She is among the final three for the FIFA Ballon d'or.

Friday November 30, 2012Gator Great Abby Wambach among final three for FIFA Player of the Year honor

Gainesville, Fla.

Abby Wambach scores one of her five goals in 2012 Olympic action. She is among the final three for the FIFA Ballon d'or.

After her dazzling play in the U.S.’s run to 2012 Olympic gold, Gator Great Abby Wambach is among the final three for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year honor. U.S. teammate Alex Morgan is also among the final three along with Brazil’s Marta.

Wambach makes her second consecutive appearance in the final three for the FIFA Ballon d’Or. Her five goals led the U.S. in 2012 Olympic play, scoring in each of the U.S.’s first five matches. Her 23 goals this year is the second highest total of her 12-year international career. The 31 goals she scored in 2004 stands as the second-highest ever for a U.S. player.

Her international career total of 148 goals is just eight behind tying U.S. great Mia Hamm for the world’s all-time greatest goal scorer.

The FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award began in 2001 and Hamm claimed the first two honors. Marta has picked up the honor five of the last six years, with the 2011 award going to Japan’s Homare Sawa.

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage is a finalist for the World Coach of the Year for Women’s Soccer. The finalists in each category is derived through voting by the captains and head coaches for almost all the women’s national teams throughout the world along with votes from international media representatives.

Winners will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala at the Zurich Kongresshaus on Jan. 7, 2013. The Men’s World Player of the Year, the FIFA World XI and the FIFA Puskás Award for the most beautiful goal of the year will also be announced. The FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented during the gala.

Wambach is the Gators' career leader in goals (96), assists (50) and points (242) and stands seventh on the NCAA Career charts in goals and points. She earned National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) All-America first-team honors in 1999 and 2001. She is a four-time member of the All-Southeastern Conference first team and picked up the SEC Player of the Year award in 2000 and 2001. Wambach was inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame in April of 2012.

 

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