Chastain still has big dreams

Brandi Chastain has never been one to give up on her dreams. But admittedly for Chastain, she may now have to make an adjustment in her dreams.

While not giving up on the possibility that she'll play at a highly competitive level again, Chastain admits that the chance of her coming back to the playing field diminishes with each year. But the new dream could be to coach at a high level.

Chastain is preparing for a possible coaching career through her soccer academy and for the second straight year, Chastain and her brother, Chad, will operate soccer camps in Reno and Carson City. The camps will be held at South Reno's South Valley Sports Complex and Edmonds Park June 10-13.

"I thought last year when we were there the camps went well," Chastain said. "I thought the kids were outstanding. It would be really nice if we have a return of a lot of those kids."

Chastain has always been committed to youth as demonstrated when she recently attended a ceremony to honor scholarship winners. The scholarships were presented by REACH, an organization co-chaired by Chastain, former NFL great Ronnie Lott and Major League Baseball player Kevin Frandsen.

The organization provides scholarships to youth who have achieved academically, athletically and in community service while overcoming obstacles.

"I think it's important because the stories you read about are exceptional," Chastain said.

Chastain was one of the original members of the first United States Women's Soccer Team that won the World Championship in 1991. She also won two Olympic gold medals with the team.

"This will be the first Olympic games that I'm not involved with them, that I'm not playing," Chastain said.

But Chastain will still be heavily involved with this summer's Olympics. She will serve as a color commentator on NBC's broadcasts of women's soccer.

She will also serve as part of a program that helps U.S. Olympic athletes prepare for what the experience is like and what it means to be an Olympian. Among those Chastain will be talking to will be NBA stars who will play for the U.S. Men's Basketball Team. "It's a nice program," Chastain said.

Chastain doesn't pull any punches when talking about former U.S. Women's coach Greg Ryan, calling his leadership "absolutely awful." Under Ryan, the U.S. Women's Soccer Team had a disappointing finish at last year's World Cup, settling for the bronze.

But under the current leadership, Chastain said she likes the team's chances to win gold, although she said Germany, Brazil and Sweden will also be tough. When talking about the team, Chastain kept using the term "we," then stopped herself.

"I guess I shouldn't say we anymore," Chastain said. "That's going to be the hardest challenge I think."

Women's professional soccer will be relaunched in this country with the WUSA in 2009, but Chastain admitted she doesn't know if it's logistically possible for her to play since the Bay Area, where she lives, won't have a team.

"I'm not really sure I know the answer to that," said Chastain when asked if she would play in the league. "It would be wonderful to be able to do that.

"t's not out of the realm of possibility. I've never been afraid to walk through an open door."

When asked the chances of her returning to the U.S. team as a player, Chastain said, "Five percent or less unfortunately."

Chastain said if she was just given one more chance even if she didn't make the team, "I would be able to go to bed at night happy, just to be given the opportunity."

But when asked if she could some day be a coach for the national team, Chastain said, "The answer is yes and I hope so. I would love one dady to be involved with the team."

Chastain said she would love to receive the chance to coach with Tony DiCicco, who is now coaching the U.S. under-20 national team. DiCicco was once the U.S. Women's National Team coach and led the U.S. and Chastain to the 1999 World Cup title.

"You always have the dream," Chastain said. "Maybe it's not on the field. Maybe it's on the sideline. That's as good of dream anyone can have."

Chastain has family in Carson City, including her grandparents Roger and Hazel Chastain, and admitted that's one of the major reasons for holding the camps in the area.

"I can't deny the fact seeing my grandparents is a big factor in coming to Carson," she said.

For more information on the camps, go to www.chastainsocceracademy.com.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment