Brandi Chastain

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Brandi Chastain
Brandi Chastain ESPN Weekend 2010.jpg
Chastain in 2010
Personal information
Full nameBrandi Denise Chastain
Date of birth (1968-07-21) July 21, 1968 (age 51)
Place of birth San Jose, California, U.S.
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Defender, Midfielder, Forward
College career
1986 California Golden Bears (15)
1989–1990 Santa Clara Broncos (32)
Senior career*
1993 Shiroki FC Serena
2001–2003 San Jose CyberRays 52 (7)
2009 FC Gold Pride
2010 California Storm
National team
1988–2004 United States 192 (30)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 00:56, October 14, 2009 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 00:56, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

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 national 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.

FIFA Womens World Cup Association football competition for womens national teams

The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international football competition contested by the senior women's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's international governing body. The competition has been held every four years since 1991, when the inaugural tournament, then called the FIFA Women's World Championship, was held in China. Under the tournament's current format, national teams vie for 23 slots in a three-year qualification phase. The host nation's team is automatically entered as the 24th slot. The tournament proper, alternatively called the World Cup Finals, is contested at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about one month.

United States womens national soccer team Womens national association football team representing the United States

The United States women's national soccer team (USWNT) represents the United States in international women's soccer. The team is the most successful in international women's soccer, winning four Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, and eight CONCACAF Gold Cups. It medaled in every World Cup and Olympic tournament in women's soccer history from 1991 to 2015, before being knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team is governed by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF. The United States women's national soccer team recently just won the 2019 World Cup for the 4th time by defeating Netherlands 2-0.

A penalty shoot-out is a method of determining which team is awarded victory in an association football match that cannot end in a draw, when the score is tied after the regulation playing time as well as extra time have expired. In a penalty shoot-out, each team takes turns shooting at goal from the penalty mark, with the goal only defended by the opposing team's goalkeeper. Each team has five shots which must be taken by different kickers; the team that makes more successful kicks is declared the victor. Shoot-outs finish as soon as one team has an insurmountable lead. If scores are level after five pairs of shots, the shootout progresses into additional "sudden-death" rounds. Balls successfully kicked into the goal during a shoot-out do not count as goals for the individual kickers or the team, and are tallied separately from the goals scored during normal play. Although the procedure for each individual kick in the shoot-out resembles that of a penalty kick, there are some differences. Most notably, neither the kicker nor any player other than the goalkeeper may play the ball again once it has been kicked.


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.

Shiroki FC Serena (シロキFCセレーナ) was a women's football team which played in Division 1 of Japan's Nadeshiko League. It founded the league back in 1993.

San Jose CyberRays

San Jose CyberRays was a professional soccer team that played in the Women's United Soccer Association. The team played at Spartan Stadium on the South Campus of San José State University in San Jose, California. Stars included U.S. National Team star Brandi Chastain, WUSA Goalkeeper of the Year LaKeysia Beene, and leading scorer Julie Murray. Other memorable CyberRays were Brazilians Sissi and Katia, Tisha Venturini, and "ironwoman" Thori Bryan, who played every minute of the first season. They were coached by Ian Sawyers, who received WUSA Coach of the Year honors in 2001.

Womens United Soccer Association professional soccer league

The Women's United Soccer Association, often abbreviated to the WUSA, was the world's first women's soccer league in which all the players were paid as professionals. Founded in February 2000, the league began its first season in April 2001 with eight teams in the United States. The league suspended operations on September 15, 2003, shortly after the end of its third season, after making cumulative losses of around US$100 million.

Chastain was named to the USWNT All-Time Best XI in 2013. [1] In March 2017, she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. [2] In 2018 she was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

In December 2013, the USWNT All-Time Best XI was named by the United States Soccer Federation. A committee of 56 former soccer players and administrators, as well as media members, voted for the team. 11 United States women's national soccer team players were chosen, with results leaning heavily toward the team that won the 1999 World Cup. Mia Hamm and Joy Fawcett were unanimously voted into the Best XI, while Alex Morgan, the team’s youngest player (24), was named on 15 ballots.

National Soccer Hall of Fame Professional sports hall of fame in Frisco, Texas

The National Soccer Hall of Fame is a private, non-profit institution established in 1979 located in Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. The Hall of Fame honors soccer achievements in the United States. Induction into the hall is widely considered the highest honor in American soccer.

The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame honors sports figures who have made a significant impact in the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization is a section 501(c)(3) non-profit, that was created by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce in 1979.

Early life

Chastain was born and raised in San Jose, California and began playing soccer at the age of eight. [3] Because there was no girls soccer team available for her to play on at Davis Junior High School, she played for the boys' soccer team after a successful tryout. [4] Chastain attended Archbishop Mitty High School and helped lead the team to three consecutive state championships. [4] [5]

San Jose, California City in California, United States

San Jose, officially the City of San José, is the economic, cultural and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,035,317, it is the third-most populous city in California and the tenth-most populous in United States. Located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, San Jose covers an area of 179.97 square miles (466.1 km2). San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California and one of the most affluent counties in the United States. San Jose is the main component of the San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area, with an estimated population of around 2 million residents in 2018. It is also the most populous city in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area, which contain 7.7 million and 8.7 million people respectively.

Archbishop Mitty High School Private school in San José, , California, United States

Archbishop Mitty High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school located in San Jose, California, USA. The school is named for the late Archbishop John Joseph Mitty, the fourth Archbishop of San Francisco. It was the first diocesan Catholic high school in the Santa Clara Valley. Construction of the school began in 1963, and when completed, the campus occupied its present twenty-four acres. It is owned and operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose in California.

Playing career


California Golden Bears, 1986

Chastain attended University of California, Berkeley where she played as a forward for the Golden Bears and scored 15 goals as a freshman. [6] Following her first and only year with the Bears, she was named All-American and earned Freshman Player Of The Year honors by Soccer America. [4] [6] Soon after, she underwent reconstructive anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgeries on both knees which caused her to miss the 1987 and 1988 seasons. [4]

University of California, Berkeley Public university in California, USA

The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship campus of the ten campuses of the University of California. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines.

Forward (association football) Association Football position played near the opponents goal

Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals.

California Golden Bears intercollegiate sports teams of the University of California, Berkeley

The California Golden Bears are the athletic teams that represent the University of California, Berkeley. Referred to in athletic competition as California or Cal, the university fields 30 varsity athletic programs and various club teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s Division I primarily as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, and for a limited number of sports as a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). Over the course of the school's history, California has won team national titles in 13 men's and 3 women's sports and 107 team titles overall. Cal athletes have also competed in the Olympics for a host of different countries. Notable facilities used by the Bears include California Memorial Stadium (football) and Haas Pavilion. Cal finished the 2010–11 athletic season with 1,219.50 points, earning third place in the Director's Cup standings, the Golden Bears' highest finish ever. Cal did not receive any points for its national championships in rugby and men's crew because those sports are not governed by the NCAA. Cal finished 12th in the 2014-15 standings.

Santa Clara Broncos, 1989–1990

After transferring to Santa Clara University ahead of the 1989 season, Chastain helped lead the Broncos to two consecutive Final Four NCAA College Cup appearances (for the first time ever) in 1989 and 1990. [6] Chastain scored ten goals for the Broncos during the regular season. [6] In 1990, she was a national scoring leader with 22 goals (50 points) and helped the Broncos to a 18–1–1 record. [6] The same year, she was named the ISAA Player of the Year. [6]

Santa Clara University private non-profit Jesuit university located in Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit university in Santa Clara, California. It has 5,499 full-time undergraduate students and 3,130 graduate students. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University is the oldest operating institution of higher learning in California and the west coast of the United States and has remained in its original location for 168 years. The university's campus surrounds the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asis which traces its founding to 1776. The campus mirrors the Mission's architectural style and provides a fine early example of Mission Revival architecture. The university is classified as a "Doctoral/Professional" university by Carnegie Classification.

Santa Clara Broncos college athletics teams representing Santa Clara University

The Santa Clara Broncos are athletic teams that represent Santa Clara University. The school colors are red and white. The mascot is a bucking bronco and the fans are referred to as the "Ruff Riders". The Broncos compete in the NCAA Division I (NCAA) as members of the West Coast Conference of which Santa Clara is a charter member.

NCAA Division I Womens Soccer Championship

The NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship, sometimes known as the Women's College Cup, is an American college soccer tournament conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and determines the Division I women's national champion.


Of her 192 international career caps, Chastain played 89 primarily as a defender but occasionally as a midfielder. [7] On June 1, 1988, she earned her first cap for the United States women's national soccer team during a match against Japan. She scored her first international goal on April 18, 1991. After coming in as a substitute forward, she scored five consecutive goals in the team's 12–0 win against Mexico during the 1991 CONCACAF Women's Championship.[ citation needed ]

1991 FIFA Women's World Cup

The U.S. went on to win the inaugural 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup in China.

1996 Summer Olympics

Playing as a defender, Chastain competed with the national team at the 1996 Women's Olympic Football Tournament in Atlanta, the first Olympic tournament to include women's soccer. [8] She played every minute of the U.S.' games despite suffering a third serious knee injury during the semifinal against Norway. [7] The Americans won the gold medal after defeating China 2–1 in the final. [8]


Shiroki FC, 1993

In 1993, Chastain played club soccer for one season in Japan's L.League for Shiroki FC. She earned team most valuable player (MVP) honors and was the only foreigner to be named one of the league's top 11 players. [9]

San Jose CyberRays, 2001–2003

Following the success of the 1999 FIFA Women's Cup, Chastain was a 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. During the league's inaugural season, she helped the team finish second in the regular season with a 11–6–4 record securing a berth to the playoffs. The team eventually won the league's championship title after defeating the Atlanta Beat in penalty kicks. [10] Chastain started in all 19 games in which she played during the regular season, scored 2 goals, and provided 5 assists. [11] During the playoffs, she started in both games and scored two goals. [11]

The CyberRays finished in fifth place during the 2002 season with a 8–8–5 record. [12] Chastain started in all 18 games in which she played, scored 4 goals, and provided 3 assists. [13] During the 2003 season, Chastain started in all 15 games as a defender, scored 1 goal, and provided 4 assists. [14] San Jose finished in sixth place during the regular season with a 7–10–4 record. [15]

FC Gold Pride, 2009

In 2009 at age 40, Chastain played as a midfielder for FC Gold Pride in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), the second professional women's soccer league in the United States. [16] She was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 WPS Draft. [17] She started in five of the ten games in which she played. [18] The Pride finished in last place during the regular season with a 4–10–6 record. [19] Chastain was released by the team in February 2010. [20]


In 2014 Chastain started coaching soccer at Bellarmine College Preparatory where she is now the varsity head coach. [21] In 2018 she would lead Bellarmine to their first CCS open division championship title. [22]

Career statistics


NationYearInternational Appearances
United States 1988208700
Career Total1219216013,9833026


Shiroki F.C. Serena 1993 L. League
Bay Area CyberRays 2001 WUSA
San Jose CyberRays 2002
FC Gold Pride 2009 WPS 1054500010545000
California Storm 2010 WPSL 535535
Career Total1554503515545035

Goal celebration

On July 10, 1999, at the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, after scoring the fifth kick in the penalty shootout to give the United States the win over China in the final game, Chastain celebrated by spontaneously whipping off her jersey and falling to her knees in a sports bra, her fists clenched, flexing her arms. [23] Removing a jersey in celebration of a goal is so common in men's soccer that it has, at times, been cause for an automatic yellow card caution, according to the Laws of the Game. [24] The image of her celebration was described in The New York Times as "most iconic photograph ever taken of a female athlete", [25] and it has been considered one of the more famous photographs of a woman celebrating an athletic victory. [26] [27] Chastain described the celebration as "momentary insanity, nothing more, nothing less. I wasn't thinking about anything. I thought, 'This is the greatest moment of my life on the soccer field.'" [28]

The next year, FIFA made it a yellow card offense for men or women to celebrate by removing their jerseys. [25]

In 2019, her celebration was commemorated with a statue outside the stadium where it occurred. [29]

Television and film

Chastain has been featured on numerous television shows including The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn , [30] The Tonight Show with Jay Leno , [31] Late Show with David Letterman , [32] and Good Morning America . [33] In February 2001, Chastain appeared on an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! and won with one dollar. [34] The children's cancer research organization that she played for received $15,000. [35] In 2007, Chastain appeared in the HBO documentary Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team. [36] The 44-minute film, Brandi Chastain: A Tribute to a Champion was broadcast on Fox Soccer in December 2010 and focused on Chastain's testimonial game that occurred in October of the same year. [37]

Chastain appeared as Candy in the season 6 premiere of Fresh Off the Boat , an episode which also included her World Cup winning goal in 1999. [38]

Magazines and books

Following the 1999 World Cup, photos of Chastain's goal celebration were featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated , Time , and Newsweek [39] [40] as well as numerous newspapers around the world. [41] In 2015, the Sports Illustrated cover was voted as the second most iconic cover in the history of the magazine. [42] The same year, she posed nude except for soccer cleats and a strategically placed soccer ball for Gear Magazine . [7] In November 2008, she was featured in Runner's World . [43]

In 2005, Chastain's book, It's Not About the Bra: Play Hard, Play Fair, and Put the Fun Back Into Competitive Sports ( ISBN   006076600X) was published by HarperCollins. [44]


Following the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, Chastain signed a number of endorsement deals, including Nike. [26] [45] She was the official spokesperson for Pfizer's (legacy Wyeth) multivitamin product Centrum Ultra. [46] In July 2016, she partnered with pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc. to promote education and awareness about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). [47] In 1999, she was featured on the Wheaties box. [48] She has appeared in television commercials for Nike, [49] Bud Light, [50] and Gatorade. [51]

Broadcasting career

Chastain in 2003 Brandi Chastain.jpg
Chastain in 2003

Chastain has worked as a color commentator for soccer matches on two networks. She broadcast for NBC Sports during the 2008 [52] and 2012 [53] Summer Olympics. Her work with ABC/ESPN has included Major League Soccer matches and being part of a rotation of studio commentators for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. [54]

Personal life

Chastain married Santa Clara Broncos head coach Jerry Smith on June 9, 1996. [55] Their son, Jaden Chastain Smith, was born in June 2006. [56] She is stepmother to Smith's older son, Cameron. [57] In March 2016, Chastain announced that she would donate her brain after death for concussion research. [58]

See also

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Further reading