TIME 100 2015 Abby Wambach
Chris Hornbecker for TIME

Abby Wambach

Apr 15, 2015

Abby Wambach has always been fearless. Even as a rookie on the U.S. women's national team, she would score goals that made me say, "Gosh, if she doesn't win the ball, she's probably going to get crushed." She never blinked. If it is what her team needed, it is what she was going to do. How can you not cheer for that?

As Abby has developed into a star, scoring more international goals than any other player in history, she has embraced being a leader. There are times when Abby just throws the team on her back and wills it to victory when that looks almost impossible. Abby is also a great role model for young fans and recently led the charge to get FIFA to use grass for this summer's Women's World Cup, as it does for men. Though she lost the battle, the fight sent a powerful message about equality in sports. Whether inspiring her team on the field or taking on important issues off it, Abby uses her passion and fearlessness to lead by example.

Team USA is poised to do amazing things at the World Cup. While I can't predict what will happen, I know that under Abby, they will never quit.

Hamm, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was twice named FIFA world player of the year

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.