2aDays and Brandi Chastain discuss mental health during the pandemic, college recruiting, and advice from Brandi on getting outside of your comfort zone.
If you should ever be reminiscing about women’s soccer, it’s a sure thing that this iconic soccer player will come up in conversation. You know whom I’m talking about, yes, Brandi Chastain. The superstar soccer player who scored a World Cup-winning penalty shootout goal against China in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final. When she scored, she ripped off her shirt, and this act changed the world of women’s soccer. 2aDays had the opportunity to sit down with this superstart to discuss mental health of athletes during COVID-19, how athletes should be approaching the recruiting process, how she looks at life on a day-to-day basis, and a lot more.
In her early life, she began playing soccer at the age of eight. She played on the boys’ team in junior high because there was not a girls soccer team. Once in high school, she led her team to three back to back state championships.
While attending the University of California, Berkeley, Chastain played forward. She scored 15 goals as a freshman. She was named All-American and earned Freshman Player Of The Year honors by Soccer America. Unfortunately, she missed her 1987 and 1988 seasons due to an ACL tear.
Brandi transferred to Santa Clara University. In 1989 and 1990, Brandi led the Broncos to two back to back Final Four NCAA College Cup appearances. During the regular season, Brandi scored ten goals, and in 1990 she was a national scoring leader with 22 goals and was named the ISAA Player of the Year.
When I spoke with Brandi, I could feel her passion for coaching and helping young girls In sports. It’s undeniable that when you hear Brandi speak, you will understand that her positive outlook, hard work, and dedication are why she is one of the most successful sportswomen of all time.
Along with being a 2-Time FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist on the U.S. Women’s National Team and a WUSA, WPS, and WPSL Professional here are a few more of Brandi Chastain’s accomplishments:
1988 – Earned her first cap for the United States women’s national soccer team
1996 Summer Olympics – Competed with the national team at the 1996 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Atlanta. This legend played every minute of the U.S.’ games despite suffering a third serious knee injury. As we all know, the U.S. won the gold medal after defeating China 2–1 in the final. Incredible game to watch!
1999 – FIFA Women’s World Cup – Quarter-finals in the FIFA World Cup, Brandi scored the second equalizing goal for the U.S.
1993 – MVP honors for Japan’s L.League for Shiroki FC
2001 – 2003 – Founding player in the Women’s United Soccer Association, the first professional women’s soccer league in the United States. She played for the San Jose CyberRays all three years of the league’s existence.
2013 – Named to the USWNT All-Time Best XI
2017 – Brandi was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
2018 – Inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.
2014 – Began coaching soccer at Bellarmine College Preparatory, currently she is the head coach.
2018 – Led Bellarmine to their first CCS open division championship title
2020 – ECNL Head Coach for the California Thornes
* Originally published on February 11, 2021, by Hannah Russell