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Brandi Chastain

  • American athlete
  • Born July 21, 1968

Brandi Denise Chastain (born July 21, 1968) is an American retired soccer player, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion, two-time Olympic gold-medalist, coach, and sports broadcaster. She played for the United States women's national soccer team from 1988–2004. In her 192 caps on the team, she scored 30 goals playing primarily in the defender and midfielder positions. She scored a World Cup-winning penalty shootout goal against China in the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup final. Chastain played professionally for Shiroki FC in the Japan Women's Football League, the San Jose CyberRays of the Women's United Soccer Association, FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer, and California Storm of Women's Premier Soccer League.


I think I'd like to be able to heal people's pain, whether it is hunger, loneliness or whatever.




When I was younger it was twice a day with a game on the weekend. Then when I got older, three times a day everyday in college and on the national team.




My parents and my grandfather on my mom's side would travel the earth. They went to Australia and China, and they went to probably every soccer game I ever played.




And I remember how proud I was to put on my training jersey and go out on the field. Making it back to that environment was for me my greatest moment, because somebody had told me I couldn't do it and I never gave up on myself, the game and my teammates.




I was the kid who always liked to take the ball down to the school even in my free time, kick it against the wall, juggle it in the front yard and so it was kind of a perpetual state of playing soccer for me.




I have a 16 year-old son, so I'm now a soccer mom. I stand on the sidelines and I hear the things parents are saying, so I want them to understand what it is their kids are feeling in any sports environment.




You have to be willing to accept the information, you have to be willing to work hard. You have to be motivated to go to practice with an open mind. You have to be willing to be criticized. Only you can do those things.




I think soccer is more respected now than it ever has been. You can see that in the numbers of young kids who are playing and the numbers of people who are coming to watch.




After the '96 Olympics, we all started believing that this is bigger than we thought, and we were willing to do the work. We knew that it was up to us, the players, to make soccer successful.




You'll be dedicated and that's what you should want to be in anything in life - whether it's sports or academics or your relationship. It all stems from finding that fun, that thrill, that excitement.




To be honest with you, I never looked at soccer as a sacrifice.




And to learn, you have to be willing to push yourself.




I love soccer; I want to be on the field.




So I'm still doing my best to stay in shape and hope that opportunity will come back to me.




Number one, it was a chance to thank my parents, because they passed away a couple of years ago. They gave me so much by giving me the opportunity to play soccer, and I wanted to share the story we had together.




I went to professional men's soccer games, the old North American soccer league at that time, and I used to be a ticket holder with my family and family friends. We would go every weekend and I thought it was great, but I just thought of it as recreation, as family fun.




Julie, Mia and I just met for a couple days, doing some work but really under the guise of having fun. We do events like the Women's Sports Foundation Dinner, where we get to not only do a good thing for the community but we get to hang out with one another again.




The thing I can say about Japan is they were progressive for a country that is very male dominant.




I played mostly games like Asteroids and Pac-Man. Today, when I go into an arcade, the games are much more difficult and complex. I don't think I could even play some of the video games that are out there today.




I think there are a lot of things that soccer does in the communities that transcend the soccer field.




We are shaping young kids to be leaders in their communities and also to be healthier.




And then ultimately what I tell the kids is: coaches can give you information, they can give you guidelines, and they can put you in a position. But the only person who can truly make you better is you.




I was a part of Backyard Soccer, and I hear that I score a lot of goals in it.




Well there are two things: Number one is, make sure you always enjoy yourself, because when you enjoy yourself, you'll learn, you'll want more information, you'll push yourself.




So along with that is spending a lot of time with the ball. For me it was, I loved to juggle the ball in my front yard, and I always challenged myself - how many juggles can I get today? I think for players to get better, it's just about spending the time.



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