Move over Abby Wambach, you've been passed.
Canada veteran forward Christine Sinclair has broken Wambach's all-time international goal record, scoring her 184th and 185th goals for her country vs. Saint Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas, in a qualifying match for the 2020 Olympics.
Sinclair, a five-time Women's World Cup and three-time Olympic veteran who plays in the NWSL for the Portland Thorns, converted a penalty kick that she earned in the seventh minute to score Canada's opener and tie the legendary USA forward and her longtime counterpart.
She broke the mark in the 23rd minute with a finish from the center of the box, which gave Canada a comfortable 4-0 lead at the time over the 127th-ranked team in the world.
“Congratulations to Christine for this incredible achievement. It is an amazing feat and she deserves all the credit and accolades she will rightly receive,” Concacaf president Victor Montagliani said in a statement. “To play elite international football for 20 years at the very top level–in multiple World Cups, Olympic Games and Concacaf Women’s Championships–is remarkable in itself. To have scored an all-time international record goal haul, and to still be going strong, is truly outstanding. Christine’s achievements have made her an icon in Canada. She transcends the sport and is a wonderful role model for people across the country. I hope she continues leading the line for the national team and scoring goals, and I thank her for the enormous contribution she has made to the sport in Canada, the Concacaf region and across the world.”
Wambach and Mia Hamm, the previous record-holder, offered their wishes of congratulations for Sinclair upon her breaking the record:
Whereas Wambach set her record of 184 goals in 256 games, it's taken the 36-year-old Sinclair a little bit longer, getting her outrageous total in 290 games. Nobody is particularly close to reaching either of the North American stars. USA's Carli Lloyd, 37, and Brazilian sensation Marta, soon to be 34, are the next closest, with 122 and 112 goals, respectively, but their careers are unlikely to maintain the longevity necessary close the gap.
The USA's Alex Morgan, 30, may have the best shot at reaching the mark given her age and scoring rate (107 career goals), but it will a require a prolific stretch in the latter stages of her career to get within striking distance, and she'll miss the next half a year of national team games at least as she welcomes her first child and attempts to get back into full fitness and form for the Olympics in August (provided the U.S. qualifies).
Another candidate to make a charge in the future could be the Netherlands' Vivianne Miedema, who at 23 already has 69 goals for her country, though she has some considerable ground to make up over time.
Sinclair, meanwhile, will look to add to her total to put the mark out of reach and maintains hopes of playing in a fourth Olympics. Last month, she was voted as Canada's Soccer Player of the Decade, and she evidently doesn't intend to slow down in the 2020s.
"Christine Sinclair is a once-in-a-generation athlete that has been at the heart of Canadian sport for over 20 years, but what she accomplished in the past 10 years has changed the sport forever in our country," Canadian Soccer Association president Steven Reed said in a statement. "Christine is the Canada Soccer Player of the Decade and unquestionably one of the greatest and most-loved athletes Canada has ever watched."