Olympic Soccer 2012: It's Abby Wambach's Turn in the Spotlight

Matt HinesCorrespondent IAugust 3, 2012

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03:  Abby Wambach #14 of the United States challenges Jenny Bindon of New Zealand during the Women's Football Quarter Final match between United States and New Zealand, on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at St James' Park on August 3, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Forget Hope Solo’s inflammatory tweets to Brandi Chastain. Forward Abby Wambach of Team USA is tearing it up on the pitch in London and looks poised to again lead Team USA through the Olympics in 2012.

Wambach’s two goals through three games in London have propelled Team USA to the semifinal round, and her role as veteran leader and team captain is more than self-evident on the field. Wambach is setting herself apart from the rest of the world solely on talent, and when these games are all said and done, she might be the face of women’s soccer and a household name to boot.

The well-seasoned Wambach has been part of the Olympic scene since the 2004 Games in Athens, earning gold that year as well as a repeat gold in Beijing in 2008. She’s played alongside greats like Mia Hamm and Chastain, and commands the respect of her teammates and worldwide opponents alike (though she did take a nice shiner in team USA’s bout with Columbia last week).

Wambach’s experience’s is clear-cut on the field, she constantly finds herself in position and in through lanes in transition to score. Her mercurial footwork is some of the silkiest on the U.S. roster (and the world for that matter) and her shot has the power and finesse to routinely find the back of the net, evading goalies seemingly at ease.

Granted it still is the semifinal round, and Team USA has yet to face off against some of the powerhouse countries of the tournament. Germany and Japan will be tough tests for the Americans, but should Team USA come out on top and Wambach steal the show, the international spotlight will likely be fixated on the forward for a reasonable amount of time.

A third gold medal would easily solidify Wambach’s legendary status in the football world, though she’s not far off the pace regardless of the outcome in London. It may be to early to tell, but an impressive 3-0 start through group play has a Wambach led Team USA well on their way to a gold medal three-peat in the Olympics.