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Soccer star to speak on sports, equality

Abby Wambach has scored 184 career goals, more than any other player in international soccer history.  SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

For Women’s History Month, soccer legend Abby Wambach will take the stage of the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Ballroom to speak as part of the University Lecture Series (ULS) today.

Wambach’s 184 career goals make her the top scorer in the history of international soccer. Considered one of the sport’s greatest players of all time, she was the leading scorer in 2008 and 2011 for the U.S. at the Women’s World Cup and 2004 and 2012 Olympics. Both of her Olympic performances earned her gold medals.

Wambach is also an ambassador for Right to Play, an organization that uses physical activity to “educate and empower children facing adversity,” according to the Right to Play website. 

She’s also involved in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is a government organization working against global poverty.

“We felt that Abby’s international recognition, along with her strong voice in support of women and the LGBT community, made her a great choice for our campus,” campus traditions board coordinator Athena Bressack said.

The soccer star announced her retirement in October 2015, ending a 15-year soccer career. Her final match was Dec. 16 against the China national women’s team.

According to her contract with the university, Wambach’s lecture will cost $55,000.

Wambach’s lecture will be a moderated conversation featuring questions from students and administrators. USF senior associate director of athletics Jocelyn Fisher will moderate the event. The conversation will focus on Wambach’s career, gender issues and general advice.

“ULS strives to bring speakers from a variety of industries and felt that our student athletes as well as students interested in sports in general would benefit from hearing Abby’s message,” Bressack said in a statement to the Oracle.

Coming to ULS after Wambach on April 5 is Brandon Stanton, the creator of Humans of New York, a photo blog with almost 14 million followers. The blog features photos of people across New York City along with quotes or short stories.

The doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Photography without flash will be allowed during the first five minutes.