Abby Wambach learned a lot during her career with the U.S. women’s national team, including one important lesson from Mia Hamm.

The careers of the two USWNT greats overlapped briefly, as Wambach first joined the squad in 2003 and Hamm retired in 2004. In that time, Hamm taught Wambach to pay attention to her weaknesses as a player as much as her strengths, Wambach told Lynn Williams and Sam Mewis on the latest episode of their “Snacks” podcast.

“One of the things that I learned early on in my national team career was from Mia,” Wambach said. “She focused a lot on talking about all of our strengths and all of our weaknesses, like not hiding or shying away from them.”

While Hamm and Wambach could connect based on their strengths, Wambach’s weaknesses were places in which Hamm’s strengths could show up, and vice versa.

“I think that’s one of the most fascinating things. It should be a case study around our team, that it takes a certain kind of psychology to go into an environment day after day, where you’re both required to be a great teammate and also required to be the very best in the world individually,” Wambach continued. “And you’re supposed to believe that about yourself. … Like in order to enter, you have to believe that you are one of the best in the world at what you do.

“Holding both of those things at the same time is where the difference is between players who make rosters and players who don’t. … Because it’s not for everybody. It’s really difficult to be able to say, ‘I’m going out there to be my best, I’m gonna go out there to be my best so that every single player else out here is also being required to be at their best.’ And because of that we’re able to respect each other in a way that’s both competitive and open and loving.”

Even some of the biggest names in sports can be a bit starstruck by their role models. Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark experienced that Monday, receiving a U.S. women’s national team jersey signed by Mia Hamm.

“She was literally my idol growing up,” Clark said upon receipt of the jersey. “That’s so cool.”

College basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli, who attends Hamm’s annual golf tournament, gifted the jersey to Clark. The jersey included a note from the USWNT legend: “So fun watching you play! Keep being you! Can’t wait to watch you change the world!”

Antonelli posted a video of Clark’s reaction to social media, and Hamm responded with an invitation to Clark to attend the 2024 edition of her golf tournament. The 2023 edition was held at the University of North Carolina’s Finley Golf Club earlier this month.

“We would love to have you join us @CaitlinClark22,” Hamm wrote. “Best to you this season.”

Clark showed off her golf skills at the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic Pro-Am in July. The 21-year-old guard played alongside fellow Iowa native and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson, and she took every opportunity to interact with fans and sign autographs.

“I used to run around golf courses and wanted to go to golf and basketball events when I was a young kid,” she said at that event. “It can really change their life even if they have one interaction with you. Just trying to make as much time as I can trying to sign an autograph for a young kid or give them a ball or high five. That goes a really long way.”

Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark showed off her golf skills at the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic Pro-Am in July. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Two-time World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe ends her career in the top 10 in U.S. women’s national team history in goals.

Alex Morgan and Christen Press also rank in the top 10. See where they sit on the all-time leaderboard.

(Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

10. Megan Rapinoe — 63

A member of the USWNT since 2006, Rapinoe has made an impact on and off the field. She became the only player to score an Olimpico in two Olympic Games when she added one in the USWNT’s bronze-medal win in Tokyo in 2021.

(Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

9. Christen Press — 64

While Press missed the 2023 World Cup due to a knee injury, her body of work speaks for itself. Her first two career goals came during a 2013 friendly against Scotland, and her 64th came in a 4-1 win over New Zealand during the Tokyo Olympics.

(Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

8. Cindy Parlow Cone — 75

Now the president of U.S. Soccer, Parlow Cone spent 11 years with the USWNT, spanning three Olympics and two World Cups. She scored her first two goals in her first appearance during a friendly against Russia in 1996. She also recorded seven career hat tricks for the USWNT, just one behind Mia Hamm for the most in team history.

(Al Bello/Allsport)

7. Tiffeny Milbrett — 100

After joining the USWNT in 1991, Milbrett scored her first international goal in 1992 against Norway. She went on to lead the team to Olympic gold in 1996, scoring the game-winning goal against China. Her 100th and final goal came in a 2005 friendly against Ukraine in her hometown of Portland, Ore.

(David Madison/Getty Images)

6. Michelle Akers — 107

A member of the USWNT from 1985 to 2000, Akers scored the first goal in the team’s history in its second-ever international game against Denmark.

She also led all scorers in the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991 with 10 goals, including five in one game. Akers led the USWNT to their first World Cup that year, scoring both goals in a 2-1 defeat of Norway in the championship match.

Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

5. Alex Morgan — 121

One of two 2023 World Cup players on this list, Morgan has been a member of the USWNT since 2010. Morgan’s goal in the 123rd minute of the 2012 Olympic semifinals, which delivered her team a victory over Canada, still holds the record for the latest goal ever scored by a USWNT player.

(Guang Niu/Getty Images)

4. Kristine Lilly — 130

A member of the USWNT for 23 years, Lilly is the most-capped player in the history of the sport. She has 12 goals across five World Cups and three Olympics.

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

3. Carli Lloyd — 134

With a five-goal performance to begin her farewell tour in 2021, Lloyd tied the USWNT’s single-game scoring record. The star forward also had a hat trick in the 2015 World Cup final — scoring all three goals in the span of 16 minutes.

(David Madison/Getty Images)

2. Mia Hamm — 158

Hamm held the record for most international goals scored until Wambach surpassed her in 2013. She remains third on the all-time list behind Wambach and Canada’s Christine Sinclair (190).

A member of the USWNT’s inaugural World Cup and Olympic teams, Hamm played an astounding 17 years for the senior national team. Her 158th and final goal came during a 2004 friendly against Australia.

(Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

1. Abby Wambach — 184

Wambach tops the list after an illustrious 14-year career with the USWNT. A tour de force on the big stage, Wambach scored 14 times in World Cup tournaments and 24 times in the Olympics. Her final goal came during a 2015 friendly against Costa Rica.

As Julie Ertz played in her final match for the U.S. women’s national team, teammates and legends took the time to share their appreciation for the retiring star.

Carli Lloyd, who played with Ertz from Ertz’s start with the national team in 2013 to her own retirement in 2021, reminisced about their offseason training sessions and mealtime chats in a social media post.

“What I love about you is that you just rolled your sleeves up every single day and competed,” Lloyd wrote. “Whether you were starting or coming off the bench, you would always do what the team needed and you could always be counted on. … You displayed what this team is all about and what mentality is needed to help the team be successful.”

While Mia Hamm’s time with the national team did not overlap with Ertz, the all-time great also applauded Ertz upon her retirement, writing on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter: “Thank you for all you have done for the team, the country and the game.”

Ahead of Thursday’s 3-0 win against South Africa, which saw Ertz wear the captain’s armband for her swan song, her current teammates shared their memories in a series of videos posted to the USWNT’s social media accounts.

“What you do on and off the field, how you prepare yourself, how you approach the game, your mentality every single day in training, in games, in video, walking around with an iPad at all times — you just, you love it,” fellow midfielder Lindsey Horan said. “You love learning. You love working. And all of these things are such an inspiration to me.”

Alex Morgan praised Ertz’s tenacity and courage, while Alyssa Naeher highlighted her passion and emotion. And Crystal Dunn shared their parallel journeys with the national team.

“You and I have stepped onto this team pretty much at the same exact time,” Dunn said. “We got our caps at the same time. You’re somebody who shared a lot of similar moments and memories in our early stages of getting onto this team. And it’s been such a joy to be able to cheer you on.”

Mia Hamm won’t be taking charge of the U.S. women’s national team.

As the USWNT continues to look for its next head coach following the departure of Vlatko Andonovski, Hamm shut down any discussion of her own name in connection with the opening. When asked if she would want to coach the team, the USWNT legend offered a quick and decisive “no,” telling she would not have the “bandwidth” or “patience” for the job.

“I’m not the coaching type,” she said.

Her former USWNT teammate Brandi Chastain left the possibility open, saying on Just Women’s Sports‘ “The 91st” that she is “not ready” but would “love to lead this national team sometime in the future.”

“Brandi has always been a consumer of the game, I mean in every possible way, whether it’s been watching as much soccer as possible, talking about it, coaching herself,” Hamm told, “Her husband’s been a longtime collegiate coach at Santa Clara.

“She just loves the game and is incredibly passionate about it, and she believes in her skills to do so — a cerebral player. I can see her coaching at the highest levels. She’ll give everything, that’s for sure.”

While USWNT greats continue to turn the conversation toward more experienced candidates, discussions continue to swirl around who could take the top job. Many top candidates have downplayed the rumors, maintaining that they’re happy where they are. Casey Stoney has said she’s “very happy” with the San Diego Wave, while Australia coach Tony Gustavsson is under contract with the Matidas through the 2024 Olympics.

Twila Kilgore is set to serve as interim head coach for the team’s upcoming friendlies against South Africa on Sept. 21 and Sept. 24.

A group of former U.S. women’s national team stars are set to compete in a new tournament this summer with a $1 million prize.

The Soccer Tournament is a winner-take-all 7-on-7 competition that will feature a number of stars from both the men’s and women’s national teams. In a format similar to the World Cup, 32 teams will compete in eight groups of four. Each team will play three group matches in June, before 16 teams advance into single-elimination knockout rounds to determine the winner.

Alongside USMNT stars and international teams in the field, Mia Hamm, Carla Overbeck and Michelle Akers will coach an all-women team called US Women.

The team was organized by U.S. World Cup champion Heather O’Reilly, who will play alongside former USWNT players Cat Whitehill, Lori Chalupny and Lori Lindsay. A number of other players are set to be revealed in the coming weeks.

TBT Enterprises, which has run a basketball iteration of the tournament for nearly a decade, will put on the tournament after expanding into soccer last year.

“Right away, without knowing much about it, I got a team slot without really putting much thought into who was going to be on my team,” O’Reilly said. “I just knew that I wanted a team and I wanted a chance to win and a chance to be part of it.”

At first, O’Reilly said she considered holding tryouts for the team but soon decided to see about linking up USWNT greats. O’Reilly then sent out an email to her former teammates, who jumped at the opportunity.

“It was just essentially blasting out an email and explaining [TST],” O’Reilly said. “First of all, I had to say, ‘Please just read to the bottom and don’t think this is one of my crazy ideas. This is a real thing.’ I usually have some crazy idea, so a lot of people sometimes are unsure of how serious to take something that I’m suggesting.”

Between the coaching staff and roster of players, the US Women team will feature a combined seven World Cup titles, three Olympic gold medals and over 600 national team appearances.

The US Women will be the lone all-women’s team in the tournament, though other rosters are expected to feature women alongside men.

U.S. women’s national team legend Mia Hamm is following the latest iteration of the squad, and two players in particular have stood out to her, she told Bleacher Report.

Among the next generation of USWNT stars, Hamm said 24-year-old Mallory Pugh and 23-year-old Catarina Macario have made an impression as the team prepares for the 2023 World Cup.

Hamm knows Pugh has battled the heavy weight of expectations after she first earned a call-up to the senior national team as a teenager.

“It’s hard when everyone is asking you to carry the load and you have yet to deal with failure,” Hamm said. “I think for her, it shows how strong and resilient she is.”

Pugh was snubbed from the U.S. Olympic roster in 2021 but since then has undergone a career renaissance.

“When I see her play, the joy on her face is what excites me about her future,” Hamm said. “I’m really excited to watch her play next summer.”

As for Macario, an ACL tear in June sidelined her for the rest of the year. But she expects to return to the USWNT in early 2023 with the aim of earning a place on the roster for the World Cup in July.

“As a forward, I wish I had her savvy and understanding at that age,” Hamm said. “Sometimes I willed goals in rather than being mindful of using the right surface or making the right run. But she is just so sophisticated at a young age.

“I would love to see her next summer just because I think she has so much exciting soccer to share with us.”

Hamm joins several former USWNT stars who have spoken about the state of the squad in recent weeks, among them Julie Foudy and Carli Lloyd.

When Sophia Smith scored in the NWSL championship game to help the Portland Thorns secure their third NWSl title, it was hard to imagine her year of accomplishments getting any better.

But it did.

Smith was named the league MVP after scoring 14 goals in the regular season, and then she received the championship game MVP trophy as well, capping a spectacular NWSL season for the 22-year-old.

And then, seemingly not content with dominating the NWSL alone, Smith decided to add a record to her international career as well. As the U.S. women’s national team defeated Germany 2-1 in its last friendly of 2022, Smith took the opportunity to score another goal and earn another accolade.

The goal, which came from the top left corner of the box at the 54th minute, was Smith’s team-leading 11th of the year for the USWNT. It also put her in the record books with some elite company. The 22-year-old is now the youngest player to lead the USWNT in scoring in a calendar year since Mia Hamm did it as a 21-year-old in 1993.

And if you ask her coaches, this is just the beginning for Smith, who was born seven years after Hamm’s 1993 leading-scorer campaign.

USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski cited Smith as being one of the players who impressed him most this season. She has been appearing on and off for the national team since she first earned a call-up as a 16-year-old, but this season, Smith has established herself as a key member of the team — now and for the future.

And Rhian Wilkinson, who coaches Smith with the Thorns, sees the young forward as the future of United States women’s soccer, with the potential to keep her name conversation with the likes of Hamm.

“She can stop pushing now, and she will still be a very good player, one of the best players this country has ever produced,” Wilkinson said after Smith led the Thorns to an NWSL title. “And my job is to keep pushing her, and to make sure she is the best player this country has ever produced because she has that in her right now.”

Smith has had aspirations for greatness for a long time, and the former Stanford player says she asks each of her coaches to continue pushing her to new heights.

“I feel like I can be (the best), but I need to be pushed and I need to be held to high standards every single day,” Smith said after the NWSL title game.

Mia Hamm and Lindsey Vonn are among those selected by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee for its Hall of Fame Class of 2022.

The inductees were announced Monday and will be honored in a ceremony on June 24 at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.

Notable women joining Hamm, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in soccer, and Lindsey Vonn, a gold medalist in downhill skiing, are:

  • Natalie Coughlin, swimming, 12 Olympic medals
  • Muffy Davis, skiing and cycling, seven Paralympic medals
  • Michelle Kwan, figure skating, two Olympic medals
  • Trischa Zorn-Hudson, swimming, 55 Paralympic medals
  • Pat Summitt, women’s basketball coach, two Olympic medals
  • Billie Jean King, special contributor

Men’s athletes David Kiley and Michael Phelps, as well as the 1976 women’s 4×100 freestyle relay swimming team and 2002 Paralympic sled hockey team, also are among the inductees.

“It’s a distinct honor to welcome the class of 2022 into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame and to celebrate their remarkable individual and team achievements as representatives of Team USA,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a statement. “Induction into the Hall of Fame adds to the tremendous legacies of these great athletes and teams, and also memorializes the contributions of those members of the ‘team behind the team’ who dedicated themselves to helping Team USA achieve success on and off the field of play.”

Three-time Olympian Coughlin won 12 medals – tied for the most Olympic medals by a U.S. women’s athlete. She also was the first U.S. women’s athlete to win six medals at a single games.

One of the most decorated female soccer players in U.S. history, Hamm won three Olympic medals in three appearances with the USWNT. Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, while Vonn is the lone American woman to capture downhill gold at the Olympics.

Summitt is being inducted as a coach, having helped the U.S. team to gold at the Olympics in 1984. King, meanwhile, is being inducted as a special contributor for her work as a founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Mia Hamm reflected on the journey to bring women’s professional soccer to Los Angeles ahead of Angel City FC’s regular-season debut at Banc of California Stadium on Friday.

The USWNT icon has been one of the most consequential figures in growing American women’s soccer throughout her career and has continued to carry the mantle after her playing days.

In her latest role as an investor in the Los Angeles-based NWSL expansion club Angel City FC, Hamm once again finds herself blazing the trail for women’s soccer.

“I’m going to feel so many emotions stepping into that stadium,” Hamm told Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times ahead of Friday’s home game. “Pride is probably the first one, just what this team has built and accomplished. And being able to kind of feel the energy from the supporters because I know it’s going to be amazing.”

The soccer icon has been determined to bring the sport to Southern California, an epicenter of women’s soccer, for quite some time. While opportunities presented themselves throughout the years, Hamm was wary of backing the right project.

When entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, venture capitalist Kara Nortman and actress Natalie Portman spearheaded an ownership group that included big-name investors like Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria, everything fell into place, with the proposal earning an NWSL expansion berth in 2020.

“It’s one thing to kind of talk about it. It’s another thing to do it,” Hamm said. “So all credit to Julie and Kara and Natalie. They have done all the heavy lifting.”

While Hamm is quick to point out that she is not from Southern California, her imprint on the area’s soccer landscape is indelible. She played her last professional match in Carson, Calif., in 2004.

“So many kids are playing all across Southern California,” she added. “Some of the best players in the country come out of this area. So it just made sense.

It’s really important to say thank you to the players that were the foundation of the game here in Southern California and to be aspirational to the players that don the Angel City kit. But also all the young players that come and watch them play.”

Angel City FC enter their regular-season debut on the heels of their first franchise win. They downed the Portland Thorns 1-0 in the club’s final Challenge Cup contest Sunday.

The expansion club will host the North Carolina Courage in Los Angeles on Friday, with the game broadcast on CBS Sports Network at 10:30 p.m. ET.