The athlete, who has scored more international goals than any other woman, was charged with allegedly driving under the influence after cops pulled her vehicle over in Portland.

She was released on her own recognisance from the Multnomah County Jail hours later.

Wambach took to Facebook that same day to apologise for her actions, writing, "Those that know me, know that I have always demanded excellence from myself. I have let myself and others down.

"I take full responsibility for my actions. This is all on me. I promise that I will do whatever it takes to ensure that my horrible mistake is never repeated.

I am so sorry to my family, friends, fans and those that look to follow a better example."

The news taints Wambach's legacy five months after she announced her retirement in October (15).

She helped the U.S. team win the Women's World Cup last year.