Abby Wambach - USWMNT - celebrating with USA flag

Abby Wambach, Sunil Gulati voted into National Soccer Hall of Fame

Legendary forward Abby Wambach and former US Soccer president Sunil Gulati have been voted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019, it was announced Saturday.

Wambach is the all-time leading scorer in women’s international soccer, featuring in four World Cups, including one she won in 2015, and two Olympic Games among her 255 international appearances for the US women’s national team from 2001 to 2015.

In 2013, the Rochester, N.Y., native was named to the US national women’s all-time Best XI, as chosen by the USSF. She was named the USSF women’s athlete of the year six times — in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the Concacaf female player of the year in 2014, and the FIFA world women’s player of the year in 2012.

At 5-foot-11, Wambach was a true target forward, constantly a threat in the air and always a performer in the biggest games. In 19 World Cup games, Wambach scored 14 goals and added another nine in 11 Olympics appearances.

Gulati, who was among nine finalists in the builder category, served as the USSF president from 2006 through 2018, re-elected in 2008 and 2012. Under his watch, the US women’s national team captured a pair of World Cups and the men’s national team reached the World Cup quarterfinals in 2002.

Since 2013, Gulati has been a member of the FIFA Council and previously served as USSF Committee Chairman in the 1980s, Executive Vice President of the 1994 World Cup Organizing Committee, Deputy Commissioner of Major League Soccer from 1995 to 1999 and Executive Vice President of the USSF from 2000 to 2006.  

He was influential in helping land the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America.

Wambach and Gulati will be officially recognized during the National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Sept. 21 in Frisco, Texas. The National Soccer Hall of Fame voting committee determined the 2019 class from a list of 44 finalists on the Hall of Fame player ballots, 14 finalists on the Hall of Fame veteran ballots and nine finalists in the Hall of Fame builder category.


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