Women's Soccer USA

Coverage of women's soccer in the US. If it's not here...it's not important...

January 17, 2009

Inspirational Chastain ready to lead

San Jose's Brandi Chastain has accomplished as much as anyone in women's soccer. She has won World Cup titles, Olympic gold medals and the adulation of countless fans.
Yet, at age 40, the woman famous for making the winning penalty kick in the 1999 World Cup final still had to prove she could play.
"Three months ago I wasn't sure she could," FC Gold Pride Coach Albertin Montoya said Friday after picking Chastain in the seventh round of the Women's Professional Soccer league general draft.
Chastain, perhaps the South Bay's most prominent female sports figure, changed her coach's mind during a series of tryout camps for the start-up professional league that begins play in April. She became the team's featured selection on a day the Gold Pride filled out its roster with a handful of promising college players.
"Watching her, she still has it," said Montoya, who added that taking Chastain wasn't a gimmick. "At the end of the day I've got to pick players who can make the difference. She doesn't waste energy; she reads the game."
Chastain, expected to play a quarterbacking role in the midfield, hasn't been with the U.S. national team since 2004 but competed with the semi-pro California Storm in recent years. One of her teammates was Sissi, a former Brazilian star who is the Gold Pride's assistant coach. The two also played for the San Jose CyberRays of the now-defunct Women's United Soccer Association that folded in 2003.

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