It’s been 20 years since the USWNT’s iconic 1999 World Cup win and soccer legend Brandi Chastain says that victory forever impacted the future of the sport.
“The great thing about our team is that we believed that it could happen,” she said. “And so we were working relentlessly on the field to be the best product, give a lot of entertainment value while striving for the success of winning the World Cup.”
On the 20th anniversary of Chastain’s game-winning penalty kick, a statue at the Rose Bowl will honor the now iconic moment of celebration.
The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has won four World Cups, the latest in 2019. While huge global audiences are paying attention to the sport, it has been a long fight.
“The media leading up to the World Cup was not incredibly positive,” she said. “There was a lot of negative energy that was floating around the pre-World Cup time.”
A record 90,185 people attended the 1999 game—the then highest attendance to a women’s sporting event ever recorded in the world. 40 million people watched the 1999 Women’s World Cup on live television, surpassing viewership of any previous U.S. men’s World Cup matches.
Chastain, now a youth soccer coach, says women athletes continue to grow and thrive.
“The future of women’s sports is so bright,” she said.