Colombian soccer player Lady Andrade got a two-match Olympic ban after punching US player Abby Wambach in the face during a game.

FIFA said its disciplinary committee suspended Andrade from a group match against France on Tuesday and from the quarterfinals, if Colombia advances, according to the Associated Press. Wambach said she was “sucker-punched” in the right eye by Andrade in the 39th minute of a 3-0 win over Colombia on Saturday.

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The punch prompted Wambach to call for Andrade’s removal from the Olympics, reported USA Today. Wambach called the play “unsportsmanlike” and “dangerous,” but also said she would “never think about that girl again.” The US team did not make a formal complaint about the incident and declined to comment.

Andrade, on the other hand, claimed there was no punch and that the run-in was an accident, according to the Daily Mail.

“Nothing happened,” Andrade said. “It was just a normal part of the game. We were both running, she ran across me and we collided. I had my hands in the air. It was an accident.”

The Daily Mail also reported that Wambach, who was left with a black eye after the incident, went on to play in the second half of the match and scored a goal, leading the US team to set a new record for scoring at the Olympics, with a total of six.

Abby Wambach Takes A Punch To The Eye, Scores Goal And Swags Out Celebration

The U.S. women’s national team’s 3-0 win over Colombia on Saturday turned out to not be that competitive on the field. But was it scrappy? Absolutely. How else would one describe a match in which powerful American forward Abby Wambach was felled by a cheap shot punch to the face?

If that looks ugly, it should: Wambach told Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl that the punch by Colombia’s Lady Andrade was the first sucker punch she’d ever taken, and she crumpled to the ground and stayed down for almost a minute, with the area around her eye obviously in rough shape. She expressed her displeasure with the play after the match, calling it “dangerous” and asking for a FIFA review.

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Andrade, for her part, told Wahl the shot was an “accident,” but the punch — and the lack of even a foul call for it — incensed the American team, and the match was chippy for the rest of the first half as a result.

In the second half, though, Wambach — who said “I was proud of myself for not retaliating” — took a measure of revenge. After scoring her 139th goal in international competition, Wambach, with fellow goal-scorer Megan Rapinoe on her back, made sure to show the world her eye was just fine.

It’s that sort of swaggering response to adversity that has endeared this gutsy iteration of the USWNT to fans the world over. If Wambach can keep getting back up and scoring, she and her squad will surely win more, and probably a gold medal.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation’s London 2012 Olympics Hub.

I’m sure it’s hard to isolate just one, but do you remember a time when you just felt inherently that you were being discriminated against, in comparison with the men’s team, that warrants this action? Was there a time when you remember being completely fed up by the treatment of the women’s team?

Every hotel we stayed in, every plane flight we took, the way that our paychecks were much less than the men’s. Our bonuses. In order to get bonuses for the World Cup, we had to win. That’s not the case for the men. It’s a double standard, big time. When you have a women’s team who has been so successful and a men’s team who hasn’t, two plus two doesn’t equal four.

You’ve said, “When I started playing soccer, I had no vision for becoming part of our social fabric of a resistance to the patriarchy.” How does it feel to have taken on that kind of a stance? And to see the women’s soccer team do the same?

AW: The number-one thing I can say to that is that with great success comes great responsibility—especially when we’re talking about a group of people who over the history of time have been oppressed in some way, shape, or form. And what I think is so beautiful about this is that these women are about to go play in the World Cup. They’re trying to get perfect in terms of how the game is played for them, how their bodies are shaping up, and they’re still thinking about everybody else. Because they know they are this beacon of hope, and the light shines so bright during a World Cup. And for me that’s so inspiring, it’s so inspiring that women not only want to celebrate their success but they also want to continue to grow and move the needle in the direction of justice.

In Wolfpack you write about how the feeling of gratefulness—feeling so happy to be able to play professional soccer, or so lucky to have a seat at the table—held you back from asking for equal treatment. For someone who doesn’t have the same platform or public awareness, how can we deal with that feeling of gratefulness? And also just grapple with these issues if we don’t have the ability to write a book or make headlines?

AW: We have to take the approach that these are things that what we have earned. They’re not just giving to us—we’ve earned it. When you get that promotion, celebrate it, and know that you’ve earned it. And when you accept the promotion, the raise, the award, think, OK, this is a good step in the right direction. How can I continue to help not only myself, but the world around me?

As you mentioned, we’re only a few months out from the World Cup. What can we expect to see—both in terms of the gender discrimination case and the team’s chances of winning—leading up the event?

AW: The World Cup is going to be an amazing event. I am bringing my family to the games. It’s going to be a harder tournament to win than in years past because, listen, the interesting thing that happens when these federations around the world start investing money in their women—their women get better at soccer! The game gets better. So the game is growing and the team is getting faster, the players are getting stronger, and the support is . So all of these teams that may have in years past not been as good or successful are becoming real opponents that the women’s team is going to have to face. And for me that’s progress and that’s growth.

This will be the first World Cup since you retired. How will it feel to sit on the sidelines?

AW: I’m not trying to insert myself into this team’s path, but I offer myself to every single one of the players as a person who can maybe help them and offer some advice here or there. I’m texting with them after games and helping them in every way possible, but they’ve got it. They have all the pieces in place to be successful. It’s just about going to France and getting it done.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Abby Wambach: The Greatest Florida Gator You Never Think Of

The Florida Gators‘ history is absolutely littered with amazing athletes. Many of these legends begin their iconic careers the minute they step on the University of Florida’s campus in Gainesville, Florida.

Few college athletes accomplished what Gator great Tim Tebow did on the field, and some would consider him the best college quarterback of all time. Emmitt Smith starred at UF before finishing his NFL career as the league’s all-time leading rusher. Outside of football though, and on the women’s side of UF athletics, the Gators have produced Olympians, WNBA stars, professional softball top picks and so much more.

I guess you can chalk that up as the Gator standard.

Maybe no athlete to don the orange and blue stacks up against Abby Wambach. She is a decorated Olympic gold medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, NCAA national champion and considered the greatest American soccer player ever, male or female.

When Mary Abigail Wambach was a senior at Our Lady of Mercy High School in Rochester, New York, she was considered the top recruit of the 1997 class. At 5-foot-11, the imposing forward was a prolific scorer with bionic leg strength and a patented header to pair it with.

Florida’s women’s soccer team was infant-like at the time. Despite the program’s first season coming in the fall of 1995, head coach Becky Burleigh found success quickly. UF went 56-10-3 over its first three seasons, winning the SEC Tournament and earning NCAA Tournament berths in ’96 and ’97.

Wambach could’ve chosen from a number of elite programs with a proven history of winning. The University of North Carolina, UCLA, the University of Portland and the University of Virginia all would’ve taken her in a heartbeat.

No thanks. Wambach wanted a challenge. She wanted to help build a program and win its first ever national championship. She chose Florida and the rest is history.

Abby Wambach’s Florida Gators

Check out this picture Alberta found! Former @GatorZoneSoccer star Abby Wambach from 1998 #TBT #ItsGreatUF pic.twitter.com/BijoVYJJS1

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— Alberta Gator (@Alberta_Gator) August 8, 2013

As a freshman in 1998, Wambach helped lead the Gators to their first ever national championship over North Carolina. She won SEC Freshman of the Year and turned Florida into a powerhouse while she was there.

Wambach became a soccer star at University of Florida, where she piled up the accolades and school records:

Abby Wambach deserves a freakin’ 50-foot statute outside Donald R. Dizney Stadium, where the Gators play their matches. But the reason her name carries so much weight is also because of her professional, international and Olympic career.

USWNT and International Career

Wambach has had a storied career with the United States women’s national soccer team that is arguably the greatest of all time across men’s and women’s soccer history.

The stat that matters: She scored 184 goals in 255 appearances for the USWNT, which is a world record for goals scored at the international level. She surpassed Mia Hamm’s mark of 158 on June 20, 2013 with a hat trick in a friendly against South Korea. Canada’s Christine Sinclair trails behind Wambach with 182.

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Of course, the world’s leading scorer has won plenty of medals and trophies over her playing days with the U.S. women’s national team.

Wamabach earned two Olympic gold medals (Athens 2004, London 2012), won one FIFA Women’s World Cup (2015) and was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year six times (2003-04, 2007, 2010-11, 2013) by the U.S. Soccer Federation and FIFA World Player of the Year in 2012.

Renown for her physicality, strength and uncanny ability to head balls into the back of nets, Wambach put together an impressive highlight reel over her career.

One of her most memorable plays was a header on a cross from Megan Rapinoe in the 122nd minute of a quarterfinal match against Brazil in 2011 that tied the game up. The U.S. women’s soccer team went on to win in penalty kicks.

The amazing and unlikely last-minute goal won the 2011 ESPY Award for Best Play. Sports Illustrated ranked it No. 9 on the 10 most significant goals in U.S. soccer history. She also won the Bronze Boot and Silver Ball at that year’s World Cup. In addition, she became the first ever soccer player to earn the Associated Press Athlete of the Year award.

Considering her impressive international resume, it’s no wonder Wambach has deals with Nike, Gatorade and Panasonic, among others.

Club Soccer Career

So Abby Wambach will now have a World Cup title, a national title, women’s all-time scoring record & a gold medal. Top #Gators athlete ever?

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— Edward Carmichael Aschoff (@AschoffESPN) July 6, 2015

Wambach played in three different professional leagues. The first was with the Washington Freedom in the Women’s United Soccer Association from 2002-03, when she teamed up with another American icon: Mia Hamm.

After the WUSA folded, the Women’s Professional Soccer league was formed. Wambach stayed with the Washington Freedom, which relocated to Boca Raton, Florida, and was renamed the magicJack in 2011. Wambach not only played for the team but managed it as well.

Wambach’s final professional stint came in the National Women’s Soccer League with the Western New York Flash from 2013-14. She scored 75 career goals in 119 appearances across her club career.

Social and Political Stances

This is what progress looks like…. alarm bells should be sounding for all future investors. This is just the beginning. https://t.co/iquSXHKf3Y

— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) July 22, 2019

Part of what makes Wambach an incredible athlete and person is that she’s always stood up for what she believes in.

Of course, she’s human. She makes mistakes. In April of 2016 she was arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants. Later that year she wrote about her longtime struggle with prescription drugs and alcohol dating back to her college days. She goes in to more detail about it in ESPN Films’ Abby Head On.

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“That night getting arrested was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Because if I don’t get so publicly shamed and publicly humiliated, I don’t think I wake up,” she said as she prepared for a book tour. “I think I was asleep for a lot of years. Asleep to the pleas from my family and friends, and even myself, to get help. So that night I was humiliated enough to wake up.”

Wambach, who has been married to two women, Sarah Huffman and Glennon Doyle Melton, has been very vocal about eliminating homophobia and transphobia in sports and joined Athlete Ally as an ambassador in 2013 to further that message. Why? For example, a group of teens stole her truck from her home in Naples, Florida and wrote hate speech on it in 2018, per the Miami Herald.

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She also avidly supported Hillary Clinton in the 2020 Presidential Election and attended numerous campaign events.

On the trail in New Hampshire, world champion @AbbyWambach led us in a chant she knows well—with a new twist. pic.twitter.com/hVvF3hwwXE

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 12, 2016

Wambach’s life story is one anyone can appreciate, Gator fan or not. That’s why her autobiography, Forward, was a New York Times bestseller in 2016.

A natural competitor, she won championships at every level she played at and nobly helped put Florida’s women’s soccer program on the map before becoming the greatest women’s soccer player to ever step on a field.

Players like Tebow, Smith, Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel are often thought of as a few of the greatest UF athletes of all time, but not one of them has accomplished as much as soccer star Abby Wambach has in their respective sport.

For that, Gator Nation says thank you, Abby.

American Woman Soccer Player, Football Abby Wambach Header Jump Jumping Stock Photos and Images

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  • Abby Wambach of the United States heads the ball during a 2003 Women’s World Cup semifinal soccer match.
  • Abby Wambach of the United States (20) heads the ball during a 2003 Women’s World Cup soccer match against Sweden.
  • Abby Wambach of the United States (r) contests a header against Elise Bussaglia of France (l) during a Women’s World Cup match.
  • Abby Wambach of the USA (20) and Ane Stangeland Horpestad of Norway (3) jump for a header during a 2003 Women’s World Cup match.
  • Abby Wambach of the USA jumps for a header in the goalmouth during a FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal match against France.
  • Elise Bussaglia of France (L) and Abby Wambach of the United States (R) contest a header during a 2011 Women’s World Cup match.
  • Abby Wambach of the USA (L) and Charlotte Rohlin of Sweden (R) battle for the ball during 2011 Women’s World Cup match.
  • Abby Wambach of the United States (20) battles for a header with Brazil’s Francielle (15) and Aline (4) – 2011 World Cup match.

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My partner, who is so active that she even uses her lunch breaks to partake in classes offered at her gym, was recently telling me about an article she read in the Huffington Post documenting why it is that people become more motivated to work out during the Olympics. According to the article, some of us see all of the amazing athletes’ bodies and think, “I can do that!” U.S professional soccer player and Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach’s body (albeit still practically unattainable to the average dapperQ), as featured in ESPN magazine’s “Body Issue,” is one that inspires us to drop the chips and get moving.

Unlike many of the models in Sport Illustrated’s swimsuit issues, her physique is the consequence of her passion rather than the end goal of her physical training. Exercise has become a means of changing our bodies so that we can gain approval from others about our appearance. But being active should be about passion, self-care, self-acceptance, and being grateful for the physical abilities we do have, at any age and with any limitation. All the other “rock hard abs” stuff is an added bonus. Lucy Danziger advises, “when you watch the Olympics in the next 14 days and feel inspired, think about what it is that moves you.”

Wambach on being proud of and comfortable with her body, even though it is not like “most other females.”

Abby wambach sports illustrated

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