USA Earns FIFA Year-End Awards

CHICAGO (Jan. 7, 2013) – Abby Wambach, the co-captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team, has been named the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, and Pia Sundhage, who led the USA to the 2012 Olympic gold medal, has been named the 2012 World Coach of the Year for Women’s Soccer.

Wambach and Sundhage received the awards today at the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich, Switzerland, as the world’s governing body for soccer held its annual event. Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Argentina was named the FIFA World Player of the Year for the fourth year in a row.

“I’m very, very surprised,” Wambach said. “Individual honors only happen if you have great teams and great people who have given you the chance to be here. Not only do I think Marta and Alex could have won, but many other players could have been here as well. Thanks to FIFA, thanks to U.S. Soccer and thanks to all the fans and my family for putting me in this position. I don’t think of myself as the best player in the world, just a player who plays on the best team in the world.” more