When Abby Wambach beat Mia Hamm's record for international career goals last June, Hamm was supportive and proud. She told Sports Illustrated of Wambach's accomplishment, "From being her teammate early in her career, I know all she ever wanted to do was win, and she continues to do that. I'm just glad I got to share 158 with her. It was short, but it was fun."
Before the 2012 Olympic Games, Wambach told Robin Roberts, "I learned [from Mia Hamm] the way she dealt with the press, the endorsements, that it was always about the team. Because no 'I' or individual is better than a team."
This quote embodies the ideals of the USWNT. They aim for success for the best interest of the team and the sport. You'll be hard pressed to find a player on this team who doesn't feel as though they have been given an honor to try to promote the sport in the country. As long as this ideal continues through the generations, the work ethic will continue to be top of the line, the passion will be there and the players will continue pushing one another in practice and games. It's about more than themselves.
Beyond the ideals, energy and focus of the team, they will also continue their reign of success because of the talent that continues to make the team. Sticking with Wambach and Hamm, each generation is surpassing the one before it. Morgan could very possibly break each of Wambach's records as she continues.
Briana Scurry was once told she was the greatest goal keeper in the sport. That title now arguably belongs to Solo. Each generation is building on the foundation of the team before it and improving as much as they are able to. They encourage one another to beat their records. There isn't a sense of bitterness or jealousy when records are broken.
There is a collective sense of pride to all be part of the same team, whether now or in the past. The future of the team has the privilege to learn from talented, passionate players and continue the tradition of excellence on their own.
On April 6th the USWNT will be playing China in Commerce City, Colorado. Tune in to cheer on yet another winning season.