New Orleans (WGNO) – For her current tour, soccer champ Abby Wambach is signing books instead of kicking soccer balls.
Her biography, “Forward,” releases Tuesday and the memoir’s chapters are a list of labels that the U.S. national team star has worn at one time or another: Captain, Tomboy, Lesbian and Addict.
The sports icon wrapped up her career in front of fans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome last December, when her last match with the U.S. team resulted in a 1-0 victory tour loss to China. She had announced her retirement two months earlier. Just a handful of months later, her mugshot made media rounds when she was arrested for DUI after running a red light in Portland, Oregon.
In a social media post the next day, the professional athlete said, “Those that know me, know that I have always demanded excellence from myself. I have let myself and others down.”
In an interview with the Associated Press, Wambach — who is the top career scorer of international soccer for women and men, with 184 goals to her name — says, “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. ”
She says the night she was arrested was “one of the best things that ever happened” because it woke her up and was the catalyst for change.
The soccer phenom says she has been sober since that night, but admits to a tumultuous history that includes the use and abuse of alcohol, and pills such as Adderall, Ambien and Vicodin.
Besides her struggle with addiction, Wambach also reveals the roller coaster of her personal life. Divorce from her wife, fellow soccer player Sarah Huffman, is on the horizon, although she calls Huffman, “one of my saving graces.”
Photos and videos of the couple’s kiss after the U.S. team’s World Cup victory over Japan (a 5-2 win in Canada) exploded on social media as a symbol of LGBT acceptance, often followed by the hashtag #LoveWins.
Amazon lists the hardcover edition of “Forward,” for sale for $19.62.
Read more by clicking here; Abby Wambach’s memoir release is The Big Story for the AP.