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Soccer icon a huge hit with kids in Libertyville

Libertyville-10/13/12 Sat./Libertyville Sports Complex
Abby Wambach her gold medal Saturday Libertyville Sports Complex.
| Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

Libertyville-10/13/12, Sat./Libertyville Sports Complex Abby Wambach, and her gold medal Saturday at the Libertyville Sports Complex. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 16, 2012 1:35AM

Abby Wambach is one of the three most-recognizable names in the world of women’s professional soccer — American goalie Hope Solo and Brazilian superstar Marta being the others.

But last Saturday at the Libertyville Sports Complex, it was very clear that when it comes to young soccer players, Abby rules.

Wambach — a high-scoring forward on the U.S. National Team, was in Libertyville supporting a fund-raising promotion for Illinois Youth Soccer.

The fund-raiser was called “Soccer For Success” and it involved young players in Illinois getting $250 in pledges for the program.

Those who did that attended Saturday’s special event in Libertyville and got to meet Wambach, have lunch with her, have their picture taken with the star, and then get the picture autographed.

The 64 youngsters who raised the most money also got to participate in a soccer clinic run by Wambach, and she even got involved in playing indoor soccer with the group.

Illinois Youth Soccer conducts its Soccer for Success Program to provide fun, high-quality sports-based youth development skill trainings and opportunities to children in Chicago’s urban communities.

This program is a fun, skills and sports-based, development program that empowers children to lead a healthy lifestyle, value education and increase their social and life skills. The program is available free to all children.

“I’m thrilled to team up with the Illinois Youth Soccer Association to raise both money and awareness for Soccer for Success,” Wambach said.

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