When Brandi Chastain famously stripped off her jersey to celebrate her World Cup-winning penalty kick, the gesture represented not only the essence of athletic triumph but the joy of a competitor who knows how to play hard and still have fun. One of the most recognizable figures in women's sports, Chastain has been a member of the U.S. national team soccer team since 1988. Her team won the first women's world soccer championship in 1991 as well as Olympic gold medals in 1996 in Atlanta and 2004 in Athens.
She is a consistent threat offensively for the WUSA CyberRays and is currently an assistant coach at the top-five-ranked women's soccer team at Santa Clara University. She has recently started to deliver speeches at high schools and businesses and has been featured around the world as a spokesperson for Nike, Volvo, Powerbar, Gallery Furniture, and 24-Hour Fitness, among others.
In her book, It’s Not About The Bra: How To Play Hard, Play Fair and Put the Fun Back into Youth Sports, Brandi uses the experiences from her storied career to discuss leaderships skills, role models, and giving back to one's team and community. Chastain also discusses both the good and bad ways she's personally dealt with adversity and reminds us what it truly means to be a "class act" on and off the field.
Chastain began her college career at Cal, where she was Soccer America's national freshman of the year, and then transferred to Santa Clara, where she led the Broncos to two NCAA final four appearances and was named all-American and player of the year in 1990.
She played her first national team match against Japan on June 1, 1988 and scored her first national team goal on April 18, 1991 against Mexico (she scored five goals in that match, a team record for one game). From 1988-93, she was a reserve forward for the team, but was soon cut from the team in 1993. She appeared in two games in the 1991 FIFA Women's World Championship in China, starting one. She was recalled to the team in 1996 during a dispute between players and U.S. Soccer over working conditions and converted to defender. She was a starter and played every minute of all five matches at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. In 1998, she played 24 matches and was third in minutes played with 1,894. This same year she earned her 100th cap on July 4 in the World Cup semifinal victory over Brazil. Her left-footed penalty kick in the World Cup final came after missing a right-footed penalty kick against China earlier in the spring in the Algarve Cup in Portugal. In the year 2000, her penalty kick defeated Norway for United States' first title in the Algarve Cup. She was also a member of silver-medal winning team in the Sydney Olympic Games. She has career totals of 140 Caps which is 8th on the USA National Team as well as 24 assists also 8th on the team.
She is married to Jerry Smith, the women's soccer coach at Santa Clara University. Another addition to her new family is her 12-year-old stepson, Cameron. She graduated from Santa Clara with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Television Communication.
Without a doubt, Brandi Chastain is one of the best speakers that I have been associated with. She has the ability to deliver a very compelling and real message to any organization and any age level. It is a message that every person in her audience can relate to. She is so real and personal, it is truly a breathe of fresh air. Brandi has the ability to mold the audience into the palm of her hand, I certainly believe you could have heard a pin drop in the ballroom--that is with 750 people attending. She speaks from the heart and is so passionate about being positive in every avenue of your life. I believe every group should make it a priority to hear her speak--she is the BEST!! Thanks to the great team at Speakers.com for sending her to the University of Nebraska-Omaha for our event.