Wambach, Mitts named to Olympic roster


Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:54 p.m.

A pair of Gator Greats — Heather Mitts and Abby Wambach — are part of the U.S. 18-player Olympic roster announced by U.S. women's national team coach Pia Sundhage on Sunday. The U.S. is the two-time defending Olympic champion and both players were members of the U.S. silver medal 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup team.

This will be the third consecutive Olympic appearance for Mitts, who was part of the U.S.’s 2004 and 2008 gold medal teams. Wambach was named to both the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic rosters, but was forced to sit out the 2008 Games after fracturing her left leg in the final exhibition match prior to the team leaving for the Olympics. She scored four goals in the 2004 Games, including the overtime game-winner in the final versus Brazil.

In Sunday’s 4-1 win over China in a friendly in Chester, Pa., Wambach scored the 135th goal of her international career, placing her second behind Mia Hamm’s 158 goals on the all-time international career goals list. The three-time member of U.S. FIFA Women’s World Cup rosters (2011, 2007, 2003). Wambach was named the 2011 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year and is five-time recipient of the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year (2011, 2010, 2007, 2004, 2003).

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.

Mitts joins midfielders Shannon Box and Heather O’Reilly on their third consecutive U.S. Olympic roster. Mitts was part of the USA’s 2004 and 2008 gold-medal Olympic teams, starting at right back in each of the six matches of the 2008 Olympic run. Mitts was expected to be a part of the USA’s 2007 World Cup roster, but a left anterior cruciate ligament tear suffered in an international friendly on May 12, 2007 put her out of contention for that World Cup cycle. She earned a spot on the U.S.’s 2011 World Cup team.

As a Gator, Mitts earned All-America and All-SEC honors in her final two seasons (1998 & ’99). Mitts is third on UF’s career list with 7,547 minutes played and is tied for fourth with 95 matches played. The defender also was a NCAA Championship All-Tournament team selection when the Gators claimed the 1998 national title.

The USA will open Group G play at the Olympics against France July 25 and Colombia July 28 at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland and finish group play against North Korea on July 31 at Old Trafford in Manchester.

The U.S. Women's National Team has advanced to the gold-medal game of every Olympic women's soccer tournament that has been contested.

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