Abby Wambach, a member of the 2015 Women's World Cup...

Abby Wambach, a member of the 2015 Women's World Cup soccer championship team, waves to the crowd prior to throwing out the first pitch at Citi Field on July 30, 2015. Credit: Getty Images

Abby Wambach was asked how her life has changed since winning the Women's World Cup.

"My life has changed in a lot of ways," she said. "I think the biggest one is that I'm going to have to dye my hair back to its normal color. Because I get recognized way too often."

Yes, her trademark bleach blonde hair certainly makes her stand out. But it's the World Cup championship, a highly rated and celebrated 5-2 win over Japan earlier this month, that has made her even easier to recognize.

"It's hard to believe but I think that we really did something big," she said Thursday before throwing the first pitch at Citi Field. "To try to define what it is and try to put words to it, I think kind of does it an injustice.

"It's not easy to play seven games and to win seven games and to beat the rest of the world," she said. "We really are world champions. And I know that the Super Bowl, I know the NBA people, they call themselves world champions. We really are world champions. We did it."

Wambach has been quite visible since being crowned world champ. She and her teammates were honored during a parade down the Canyon of Heroes in Manhattan. She presented Caitlyn Jenner with the Arthur Ashe courage award at the ESPYs. She has made promotional appearances, including a stop at Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City on Wednesday. Now her fans are wondering when and where they'll see her next. Perhaps in the Olympics next summer in Rio?

"I don't know what I'm going to do about Rio next year in terms of deciding on whether or not I'm going to go for it," said Wambach, 35. "In my mind, I have to believe that if I'm asked to be on the team, I don't know if I can say no. But I also know that a lot has to happen between now and then. Conversations with the coach, conversations with my family."

Until then, the question for women's soccer is how to capitalize on and sustain the interest generated by the World Cup - the final for which drew the largest audience in the history of American television for a soccer game.

"That's the big question, right?" she said. "How do we turn this World Cup championship into something that is real and can last, right?"

Wambach believes the corporate sponsors that got involved with women's soccer, and the increased recognition, are indications that women's soccer is capable of monetizing.

"That's the hope, not just for myself, but for the future," she said. "That's been my goal. I wanted to leave the game better than I found it. And I think no matter what I decide to do about Rio next year, I know that I've done that. I know that I've made this game better. I know that we've pushed it forward."

Wambach, the all-time leading goal scorer for the U.S. women's national team, spoke to New York City children on Thursday before the Mets game as part of an event for Citi Kids, an educational and motivational community based initiative for New York City students.

"I want these city kids to learn how important it is to authentically be themselves and be proud of who you are," Wambach said.

Shortly after walking out to the mound and tossing a strike, as she wore a Mets jersey and her World Cup medal, Wambach left for what she described as a much-needed vacation.

"I'm excited just to get away," she said. "Maybe turn my phone off for two weeks."

And dye her hair.

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