Brandi Chastain inducted into Soccer Hall of Fame, talks life, sports, health

Saturday, March 25, 2017
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Brandi Chastain changed the face of women's soccer, and now she's a member of the Soccer Hall of Fame. She stopped by ABC7 News to talk about soccer, life and her renewed visibility in the fight for equal pay for female players.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The U.S. Men's Soccer Team takes on Hondouras in San Jose Friday -- an important match on the road to the World Cup. Before that match, U.S. Soccer will honor an athlete who changed the sport of women's soccer forever: Brandi Chastain.

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With the penalty kick that won the Women's World Cup- in 1999, Chastain ripped off her jersey and etched her name into sports history.

It was common for men to remove their shirts in a victory celebration, but for a woman to do it -- landed her on the cover of "Time," "Newsweek," and "Sports Illustrated."

"And to be honest with you, that moment catapulted me into a place that allows me to do the things that are most important to me," Chastain told ABC7 News.

She's used the attention to advocate for women's sports and fuel a growing interest in soccer.

"Our country has really started to come around to this great sport and watch it in a way they've never watched it before," Chastain added.

After retiring, she made what she calls a "difficult" move to coaching.

"It was not easy for me to walk away from playing soccer, because I loved it so much," she said.

In time, she discovered a new love.

"The empowerment you give to these young people, to be able to stand on their own t wo feet -- have a voice, make decisions, make mistakes, get up, fight on, put their arm around their teammate."

Watch the video in the player above for the full interview with Brandi Chastain.