Abby Wambach cannot retire.
I mean, she’s going to anyway. The soccer forward who scored more goals than any other player of all time—male or female, across the world—announced yesterday that she is packing up her professional soccer career.
But most importantly: where does this retirement leave us, her rabidly obsessed lesbian fans? What are we supposed to do with our lives if we can’t don our Wambach 20 jerseys, stroll down to the local dyke bar (just kidding, we all know those don’t exist anymore), and chant her name over and over while drunkedly slobbering lame jokes about what a “header” really means?
Dammit, Abby. You’ve spent the past 15 years torturing us with your cute smirk and tall, muscular frame; your impeccable and unbeatable game; your nervous stammer in interviews; and your celebrated coming out. Not to mention your massive 2015 World Cup win that led to the first New York City ticker tape parade for a women’s professional sports team, an ESPY award for team of the year, a Sports Illustrated cover, and a summer of total media domination.
The lesbian community’s crush on you, Abby, is no joke. Yes, we still write fan fiction about other USWNT players. But you know very well that it’s not every day that we get a hero of your status—an out Olympian, a super-dyke with the strength to topple hundreds of international soccer teams and the humility to always give a shout-out to your teammates before taking any credit for yourself. You stood up for all women athletes when you protested second-rate treatment like that crappy Astroturf and the fact that your team was paid 40 times less than the losing men’s team.
But most of all, you’re so darn cute.
If you really have to leave us with a Wambachless women’s soccer industry, we hope you’ll at least consider publishing an annual pinup calendar. You’ve kept us swooning for this long and to be honest, we can’t even fathom a suitable replacement.
In the meantime, let’s take a little stroll down memory lane with the top 10 moments in Wambach lesbian-fandom history.
- When the first thing she did after winning the World Cup was run over to kiss her wife. Because even though Wambach’s 2013 Hawaiian wedding to fellow soccer player Sarah Huffman broke hearts all over the world, we are still suckers for romance.
- When she was a total freaking gentleman at the ESPN awards. That dapper suit that made her look like Bond. All the times she helped her femme teammates, and Caitlyn Jenner, climb the stairs to the stage in their towering heels and trip-inducing long gowns. When she slipped up and said “10 gays” instead of 10 days during her acceptance speech for the USWNT. The fact that she brought her hard-working massage therapist to the awards. Everything about Abby that night was pure gentleman, classic butch charm. As if she needed to be any more perfect.
- When this happened. When this happened entirely naked. Dear God.
- When she posed nonchalantly for these casual coffee pics at home for a 2014 ESPN profile and we almost died, because somehow Abby makes leaning over a porch railing sexy.
- When she broke the all-time goal record and became the highest scoring soccer player in history in the entire world. Oh, and those 184 goals were one thing, but the fact that 77 of them were incredible headers makes Abby’s head alone the seventh-highest scoring soccer player. It even has its own Twitter.
- When a Columbian player straight-up punched her in the eye and we were ready to kill for her. How dare you intentionally mess with our Abby!
- When her head actually exploded but she barely winced. Blood was literally running out of her head like a faucet, and some guys came running from the stands with a medical staple gun and started shooting pieces of metal into her skull. But Abby? She’s all “whatever, when can I get back to the game.” Sigh.
- The header heard ’round the world. The U.S. was about to fail miserably out of the 2011 World Cup against Brazil. In what was undeniably one of the most thrilling soccer goals of all time, Abby took a losing team and scored a massive turnaround in the very last minute of the game with one of her signature headers.
- When she let these little kids kick her ass at soccer. In 2014, Abby was invited to visit an Iowa adaptive sports facility for kids with disabilities, illness, or emotional issues that prevent them from “going full speed” in athletics. She spent a day at Courage League Sports basically letting kids kick soccer balls right past her into the goal and it was so adorable we nearly just fell down and died on the spot.
- When she described her next career goal: parenting. “I could probably genetically engineer a professional athlete on some level,” Wambach told Sports Illustrated for a June cover story. “Maybe get somebody else’s stuff who plays a sport, like American football. I just need to find somebody who would be willing to do it.” You heard that right, sperm-having types! Abby is looking for a donor. We’re not jealous or anything. Nope, not at all.
Photo via Disney | ABC Television Group/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)