Video courtesy of Robby Donoho
MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany – United States soccer hero Abby Wambach admitted she had been "moved and honored" by a stirring video that documented the nation's reaction to her iconic World Cup goal on Sunday.
Wambach saved the USA from elimination with an equalizing headed goal in the final moments of extra time in its quarterfinal against Brazil, allowing the Americans to prevail in a penalty shootout and book their place in the final four.
As part of their preparations for Wednesday's semifinal showdown with France, Wambach and U.S. team members watched the compilation video (featured above) that showed fans across the country deliriously celebrating the dramatic events from Dresden.
"I am honored to be a part of it," Wambach said. "Did I have a lump in my throat watching it? Definitely."
The video was compiled by Robby Donoho, a 22-year-old freelance sports broadcaster from Noblesville, Ind., who graduated from Purdue earlier this year. A year ago, Donoho, then a college senior, compiled a similar video following Landon Donovan's World Cup game-winning goal against Algeria that was watched over 3 million times online.
Donovan admitted that the footage brought him to tears.
"The video for the men's team was one of the most amazing videos I have ever seen," Wambach said. "So to be part of another video like that which was made because of a goal I scored is pretty incredible. It makes you feel pretty special and moved and I am very impressed by it."
The clip shows U.S. supporters from every corner of the country screaming, jumping and chanting in reaction to Wambach's last-gasp goal and the penalty kick from Ali Krieger which sealed the victory in the PK shootout.
"When I saw the video, I tweeted it to everyone," forward Alex Morgan said. "It was fantastic, so wonderful for us to see that the fans back home are supporting us. It makes us see that people really care.
"We have always had our group of devoted fans, but this makes us see that we have turned the heads of all of America in our direction."
Video has been a common theme for the USA this week.
In the lead-up to the Brazil game, the squad watched a stirring clip put together by assistant coach Erica Walsh, who intended to motivate the players with clips and music from the classic boxing movie "Rocky." Scenes from the Oscar-winning film featuring Sylvester Stallone were included with clips of shining moments from U.S. players on the field to create a moving montage.
"I got chills on my arms from watching it," said midfielder Carli Lloyd, who got the ball to Megan Rapinoe for her desperation cross on Wambach's tying goal. "It showed players get into tackles, looks of determination on their faces, and then the theme from the movie.
"It was all about passion and determination and that is what we are all about. That is why it meant a lot to us, and why we asked to watch it again just before the game."