USA's Abby Wambach wins FIFA women's player of year

United States' Abby Wambach in an international

United States' Abby Wambach in an international friendly soccer match against Ireland in Glendale, Ariz. (Dec. 1, 2012) (Credit: AP)

ZURICH - Abby Wambach has been voted FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, becoming the first American to win the award in a decade.

The 32-year-old Wambach joined Mia Hamm in 2001 and 2002 as the only Americans to win the award.

Wambach received 20.67 percent to edge teammate Alex Morgan (13.5) and five-time winner Marta of Brazil (10.87). Jill Ellis, who was interim U.S. coach last fall, voted Wambach first, as did Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, while American captain Christie Rampone voted Morgan first.

"I'm very, very surprised," Wambach said. "Not only do I think Marta and Alex could have won, but many other players could have been here as well."

Wambach, who received the award from American goalkeeper Hope Solo, scored five goals in London as the U.S. won its third straight Olympic title. She has 152 international goals, six shy of Hamm's record.

"She's so completely deserving of this award," Morgan said. "She's made such a huge mark on women's soccer over the past decade. She's an inspiration to not only the thousands of young girls around the country and world, but also to me."

The U.S. players were serenaded from the stage by Pia Sundhage, who sang a verse of the Bob Dylan song "If Not For You" when she received her award.

Sundhage, who left the U.S. job after the Olympics to coach her native Sweden, got 28.59 percent of the vote to defeat

Nono Sasaki of Japan (23.83) and Bruno Bini of France (9.02).

She edged teammate Alex Morgan and five-time winner Marta of Brazil in the voting.

Wambach received the trophy from teammate Hope Solo at FIFA's annual ceremony.

She scored five goals in London as the U.S. won its third straight Olympic title. She has 152 international goals, six shy of Hamm's record.

Voting was by national team coaches and captains around the world, and invited media.

Sundhage was voted top women's coach after leading Wambach and the U.S. team to the gold medal at last summer's London Olympics.

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