Brandi Chastain
Chastain in 2010
Personal information
Full name Brandi Denise Chastain[1]
Date of birth (1968-07-21) July 21, 1968 (age 54)
Place of birth San Jose, California, U.S.
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Position(s) Defender, Midfielder, Forward
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986 California Golden Bears (15)
1989–1990 Santa Clara Broncos (32)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993 Shiroki FC Serena
2001–2003 San Jose CyberRays 52 (7)
2009 FC Gold Pride
2010 California Storm
International career
1988–2004 United States 192 (30)
Medal record
Women's football (soccer)
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta Team competition
Gold medal – first place 2004 Athens Team competition
Silver medal – second place 2000 Sydney Team competition
FIFA Women's World Cup
Gold medal – first place 1991 China Team competition
Gold medal – first place 1999 USA Team competition
Bronze medal – third place 2003 USA Team competition
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, 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 to 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.

Chastain was named to the USWNT All-Time Best XI in 2013.[2] In March 2017, she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.[3] In 2018 she was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

Early life

Chastain was born and raised in San Jose, California and began playing soccer at the age of eight.[4] 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.[5] Chastain attended Archbishop Mitty High School and helped lead the team to three consecutive Central Coast Section championships.[5][6]

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.[7] 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.[5][7] Soon after, she underwent reconstructive anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgeries on both knees which caused her to miss the 1987 and 1988 seasons.[5]

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. Chastain scored ten goals for the Broncos during the regular season. In 1990, she was a national scoring leader with 22 goals (50 points) and helped the Broncos to a 18–1–1 record. The same year, she was named the ISAA Player of the Year.[7] She also won the Honda Sports Award as the nation's top soccer player.[8][9]


Of her 192 international career caps, Chastain played 89 primarily as a defender but occasionally as a midfielder.[10] 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.

1995 FIFA Women's World Cup

Chastain was not called for the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, in which the U.S. won the bronze medal.[11]

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.[12] She played every minute of the U.S.' games despite suffering a third serious knee injury during the semifinal against Norway.[10] The Americans won the gold medal after defeating China 2–1 in the final.[12]

1999 FIFA Women's World Cup

In the quarter-finals of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, Chastain scored an own goal in the fifth minute for Germany. However, she redeemed herself by scoring the second equalizing goal for the U.S. in the 49th minute, finishing a corner kick that was taken by Mia Hamm.[13] The match ended with a 3–2 win to the U.S. to advance to the semi-finals against Brazil, which they won 2–0. Later on, Chastain who had missed a penalty kick in the Algarve Cup against China months earlier, scored the deciding penalty against the same opponent in the final, clinching the World Cup title for the U.S. in the Rose Bowl, Pasadena.[14]


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.[15]

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.[16] Chastain started in all 19 games in which she played during the regular season, scored 2 goals, and provided 5 assists.[1] During the playoffs, she started in both games and scored two goals.[1]

The CyberRays finished in fifth place during the 2002 season with a 8–8–5 record.[17] Chastain started in all 18 games in which she played, scored 4 goals, and provided 3 assists.[18] During the 2003 season, Chastain started in all 15 games as a defender, scored 1 goal, and provided 4 assists.[19] San Jose finished in sixth place during the regular season with a 7–10–4 record.[20]

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.[21] She was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 WPS Draft.[22] She started in five of the ten games in which she played.[23] The Pride finished in last place during the regular season with a 4–10–6 record.[24] Chastain was released by the team in February 2010.[25]


In 2014 Chastain started coaching soccer at Bellarmine College Preparatory where she assisted the head coach.[26] In 2018 she assisted in leading Bellarmine to their first CCS open division championship title.[27]

Career statistics

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Nation Year International Appearances
Apps Starts Minutes Goals Assists
United States 1988 2 0 87 0 0
1991 13 4 546 7 1
1993 2 0 84 0 1
1996 23 23 1,961 2 7
1997 15 15 1,319 2 2
1998 24 22 1,891 5 4
1999 27 21 2,035 5 5
2000 34 32 2,520 4 3
2001 3 3 250 0 0
2002 15 14 1,061 4 0
2003 14 13 1,080 1 1
2004 20 13 1,149 0 2
Career Total 12 192 160 13,983 30 26


Team Season League Domestic
Apps Starts Minutes Goals Assists Apps Starts Minutes Goals Assists Apps Starts Minutes Goals Assists
Shiroki F.C. Serena 1993 L. League
Bay Area CyberRays 2001 WUSA
San Jose CyberRays 2002
FC Gold Pride 2009 WPS 10 5 450 0 0 10 5 450 0 0
Total 10 5 450 0 0 10 5 450 0 0
California Storm 2010 WPSL 5 3 5 5 3 5
Career Total 15 5 450 3 5 15 5 450 3 5

In popular culture

Chastain talking about the importance of equal pay regarding the U.S. women's national soccer team pay discrimination claim in 2019

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 championship, and the win over China in the final game, Chastain celebrated by spontaneously taking off her jersey and falling to her knees in a sports bra, her fists clenched, flexing her arms.[28] 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.[29] The image of her celebration was described in The New York Times as "most iconic photograph ever taken of a female athlete",[30] and it has been considered one of the more famous photographs of a woman celebrating an athletic victory.[31][32] 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.'"[33]

The next year, FIFA made it a yellow card offense for men or women to celebrate by removing their jerseys.[30]

In 2019, her celebration was commemorated with a bronze statue by Brian Hanlon outside the stadium where it occurred.[34][35]

In the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 Final at Wembley, England striker Chloe Kelly celebrated her 110th-minute goal against Germany in the same way. Like Chastain, Kelly's goal was a match and tournament winner – in Kelly's case, securing not only the Lionesses' first ever major trophy but the first England senior team major trophy (men's or women's) since the men's team won the 1966 World Cup as hosts. Chastain acknowledged and congratulated Kelly, saying it put "a big smile on my face" and jokingly telling her to "enjoy the free rounds of pints and dinners for the rest of [her] life" from England fans.[36][37] Chastain and Kelly later also swapped shirts after the United States' friendly against England at Wembley that October.[38]

Television and film

Chastain has been featured on numerous television shows including The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn,[39] The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,[40] Late Show with David Letterman,[41] and Good Morning America.[42] In February 2001, Chastain appeared on an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! and won with one dollar.[43] The children's cancer research organization that she played for received $15,000.[44] In 2007, Chastain appeared in the HBO documentary Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team.[45] 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.[46]

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.[47]

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[48][49] as well as numerous newspapers around the world.[50] In 2015, the Sports Illustrated cover was voted as the second most iconic cover in the history of the magazine.[51] The same year, she posed nude except for soccer cleats and a strategically placed soccer ball for Gear Magazine.[10] In November 2008, she was featured in Runner's World.[52]

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.[53]


Following the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, Chastain signed a number of endorsement deals, including Nike.[31][54] She was the official spokesperson for Pfizer's (legacy Wyeth) multivitamin product Centrum Ultra.[55] In July 2016, she partnered with pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc. to promote education and awareness about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).[56] In 1999, she was featured on the Wheaties box.[57] She has appeared in television commercials for Nike,[58] Bud Light,[59] and Gatorade.[60]

Broadcasting career

Chastain in 2003

Chastain has worked as a color commentator for soccer matches on two networks. She broadcast for NBC Sports during the 2008[61] and 2012[62] 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.[63]

Personal life

Chastain married Santa Clara Broncos head coach Jerry Smith on June 9, 1996.[64] Their son, Jaden Chastain Smith, was born in June 2006.[65] She is stepmother to Smith's older son, Cameron.[66] In March 2016, Chastain announced that she would donate her brain after death for concussion research.[67] On December 10, 2019, Chastain was inducted into the California Hall of Fame by governor Gavin Newsom.[68]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Brandi Chastain - 2001 WUSA". WUSA. Archived from the original on October 7, 2001. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  2. ^ Bell, Jack (December 20, 2013). "U.S. Soccer Releases All-Time Best National Teams". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  3. ^ "Brandi Chastain, Shannon MacMillan latest U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fameinductees". ESPN. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  4. ^ Emmons, Mark (May 11, 2003). "After losing her mother and father to unexpected deaths over the last seven months, U.S. star Brandi Chastain seeks new sources of strength". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Nelson, Murry R. (May 23, 2013). American Sports: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas [4 Volumes]: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas. ABC-CLIO. pp. 230–232. ISBN 978-0313397530.
  6. ^ "Olympian and World Cup Champion Brandi Chastain Joins Soccer Coaching Staff". Bellarmine College Preparatory. November 7, 2014. Archived from the original on March 27, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Brandi Chastain". Santa Clara University. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  8. ^ "Gonzaga's Jeff Brown Inducted Into WCC Hall Of Honor". Gonzaga University Athletics. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  9. ^ "Soccer". CWSA. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c "soccer profile: Brandi Chastain". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved January 11, 2007.
  11. ^ "World Cup Throwback: Brandi Chastain and the Greatest Celebration of All Time". Vice. June 11, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Roberson, Doug (July 24, 2016). "U.S. women blazed trail with inaugural soccer gold". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  13. ^ Shipley, Amy (July 2, 1999). "U.S. Manages to Hold Its Own". The Washington Post. p. D1. Archived from the original on November 19, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  14. ^ Shipley, Amy (July 11, 1999). "Chastain, Scurry Are Big Stars in Shootout". The Washington Post. p. D1. Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  15. ^ [1] Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Yannis, Alex (August 26, 2001). "CyberRays' Finishing Kick Wins W.U.S.A." The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  17. ^ "2002 WUSA Regular Season Standings". Soccer Times. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  18. ^ "2002 San Jose CyberRays Statistics". WUSA. Archived from the original on March 14, 2003. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  19. ^ "2003 San Jose CyberRays Statistics". USA Today. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  20. ^ "2003 WUSA Standings". USA Today. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  21. ^ "Brandi Chastain back on field at age 40". ESPN. April 3, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  22. ^ Almond, Elliott (January 16, 2009). "Brandi Chastain, 40, drafted by Bay Area's FC Gold Pride". The Mercury News. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  23. ^ "Brandi Chastain". SoccerWay. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  24. ^ "2009 WPS Regular Season". SoccerWay. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  25. ^ "FC Gold Pride Releases Brandi Chastain". Bleacher Report. February 12, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  26. ^ "Soccer: Talent, staff that includes Brandi Chastain has Bellarmine eyeing another crown". The Mercury News. February 10, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  27. ^ Bell, The (March 19, 2019). "Brandi Chastain Profile". The Bell. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  28. ^ Roberts, Jacob (2017). "Women's work". Distillations. 3 (1): 6–11. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  29. ^ "News & Stories | U.S. Soccer Official Website".
  30. ^ a b Jere Longman (July 5, 2019). "The Sports Bra Seen Round the World Has New Meaning 20 Years Later". New York Times.
  31. ^ a b Jere Longman (July 5, 2003). "The Sports Bra Seen Round the World". New York Times.
  32. ^ 100 Greatest Sports Photos of All Time #14
  33. ^ United States Olympic Committee – Chastain, Brandi Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "Rose Bowl statue honors Brandi Chastain's '99 World Cup win". NBC Sports. July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  35. ^ "Brandi Chastain". Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  36. ^ Javed, Saman (August 1, 2022). "'I see you': Brandi Chastain congratulates Chloe Kelly following goal celebration". The Independent. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  37. ^ Osborne, Samuel (August 1, 2022). "Euro 2022: 'I see you': Brandi Chastain congratulates Chloe Kelly as Lionesses' star copies iconic sports bra celebration". Sky News. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  38. ^ @USWNT (October 7, 2022). "Game recognizes Game. @BrandiChastain 🤝 @Chloe_Kelly98" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  39. ^ "Lou Diamond Phillips, Brandi Chastain, and Peter Cincotti". July 9, 2003. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  40. ^ "Athletes on The Tonight Show with Leno". Sports Illustrated. January 11, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  41. ^ "U.S. women continue tour, appear on Letterman". Athens Banner-Herald. July 21, 1999. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  42. ^ "GMA LIVE! (06.02.14) Ginger Zee sits down with U.S. soccer pro Brandi Chastain". Good Morning America. June 2, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  43. ^ Johnston, Andy (March 29, 2016). "Q&A on the News". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  44. ^ "Names In The News". Sports Business Daily. February 12, 2001. Archived from the original on March 27, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  45. ^ Peterson, Anne M. (March 3, 2016). "Brandi Chastain pledges her brain for concussion study". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  46. ^ "Brandi Chastain: A Tribute to a Champion". Footwork Entertainment. December 2, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  47. ^ "Scoop: Coming Up on the Season Premiere of FRESH OFF THE BOAT on ABC - Friday, September 27, 2019". Broadway World. September 9, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  48. ^ Gee, Alison (July 13, 2014). "Why Women's World Cup champion Brandi Chastain bared her bra". BBC. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  49. ^ "USWNT legend Brandi Chastain reflects on her iconic SI cover". Sports Illustrated. May 19, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  50. ^ Davis, David (June 8, 2015). "How The Most Iconic Photo In Women's Soccer Was Almost Never Taken". Deadspin. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  51. ^ "'Miracle on Ice' voted SI's most iconic cover of all time". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  52. ^ Strout, Erin (November 2008). "I'm A Runner: Brandi Chastain". Runner's World. No. November 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  53. ^ "Brandi Chastain: It's Not About the Bra". BBC. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  54. ^ Gerhart, Ann (July 14, 1999). "Chastain Lifts Sports Apparel Market". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  55. ^ "" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 27, 2011.
  56. ^ "World-Renowned Soccer Player Brandi Chastain Partners with AbbVie to Raise Awareness about Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Share Personal Story". Abbvie. July 19, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  57. ^ "World Cup Wheaties Winners". People Magazine. January 21, 1999. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  58. ^ Gioia, Joe (February 12, 2000). "The $126 million man". Salon. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  59. ^ James, K.D. (July 6, 2010). "The 20 Worst Athlete Commercials of All Time". Bleacher Report. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  60. ^ "The Gatorade Company Says 'Thank You' to Soccer Star Mia Hamm". Gatorade. September 1, 2004. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  61. ^ "Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup – A blog on sports media, news and networks –". March 23, 2011. Archived from the original on August 3, 2008.
  62. ^ "Olympic viewing: no need for soccer tweet war - Olympics - ESPN". July 31, 2012.
  63. ^ 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Commentators – ESPN MediaZone. Archived June 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  64. ^ Chapin, Dwight (May 8, 1997). "Brandi Chastain puts honeymoon on hold because of her involvement". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  65. ^ Lehner, Marla (June 22, 2006). "Soccer Star Brandi Chastain Has a Boy". People Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  66. ^ "Brandi Chastain: Kids 'Give Me the Ability to Be Happy'". People Magazine. July 21, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  67. ^ Brennan, Christine (March 3, 2016). "Soccer icon Brandi Chastain agrees to donate brain for concussion research". USA Today. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  68. ^ Pizarro, Sal (December 11, 2019). "Brandi Chastain inducted to California Hall of Fame: Pizarro". The Mercury News. Retrieved July 19, 2020.

Further reading