WSR interviews Brandi Chastain
Women's College Soccer Playoffs
WOMEN SPORTS REPORT: We understand you are with the Women’s College Soccer playoffs and the season is coming to a close. Can you tell us about that?
CHASTAIN: That is correct. We will shortly hear from the NCAA Committee that will give us the pairings for the Championship for all women’s college soccer teams.
WSR: Where does the Championship take place?
CHASTAIN: It will take place at the University of San Diego which is where one of our Conference teams is located.
WSR: We understand you are working on behalf of Capital One Cup. What is the Capital One Cup?
CHASTAIN: The Capital One Cup is an NCAA Division 1 athletics award honoring the top men and women’s college athletics program in the country.
Division 1 programs will compete all year in an attempt to earn points in the race for the Capital One Cup. It is based on their Top 10 finishes in fall, winter and spring sports. The winning men and women’s athletics programs will win the Cup trophy and a $400.000 scholarship at the end of the spring athletics program.
WSR: What are your thoughts on the upcoming women’s college soccer playoff season and your predictions for the 2012 Women’s College Cup?
CHASTAIN: This season has been one of the most exciting seasons in a long time. There is a lot of parity between the teams. The number one team has not held on to the number one spot all year long. That makes it exciting. There are 64 teams competing in Division 1 level across the country.
Every weekend there are two games played; each round is exciting and because of parity among the teams, colleges that have not won the Cup have an excellent chance to win this year.
WSR: Do you care to make a prediction for which team might win?
CHASTAIN: No, I am terrible at that but I believe San Clara University (California) where my husband is head soccer coach has a good chance. Soccer is a great sport, it is unpredictable, you do not have to be the best team on paper, it all depends on how you come out that day to play.
Ninety minutes is a long game, anything can happen.
WSR: That is true. Look at the result of this years World Series as an example.
Who would have thought the San Francisco Giants would sweep the Detroit Tigers?
CHASTAIN: No one, least of all me but I am a Giants fan so I was delighted.
WSR: You were a women’s soccer broadcaster for NBC during the 2012 Olympics in London this year. What was that like for you?
CHASTAIN: I played in the Olympics as an athlete three times, and this was my second time announcing the soccer tournament. Women’s soccer is at a height that it has never been at in terms of excitement and parity that is around the world now.
It is always exciting to be at the Olympics, whether as an athlete or fan.
Game are close, there is so much great skill and talent on all the teams. The United States won the gold medal; as a former player, having played soccer all my life,
that was thrilling for me and the thousands of fans who watched.
The fans in London got to watch women’s soccer on a level never seen before and they really appreciated it.
WSR: Now that Pia Sundhage has played her last game, who do you believe will step up as the new USWNT coach?
CHASTAIN: She stepped down from the US team and went back to her native Sweden where she will coach there. US soccer just announced that Tom Sermanni
from Australia will be a great addition to our Senior National team and will replace Pia.
WSR: How can the WPSL (Women’s Professional Sports League) start moving in a similar direction like Men’s Professional Soccer, having consistent games and US fan support, sponsors, etc?
CHASTAIN: Like any other entity, there has to be support on the local level, the grass roots level. Cities like Portland (a), Seattle, Toronto and New York are building great stadiums; fans are coming out to watch and support their teams.
This is changing how the overall general soccer fan sees the game. This is very exciting.
WSR: How long have you involved with Capital One Cup?
CHASTAIN: This is my third year and I say this very proudly. I think this is the most prestigious Cup or award out there not only because of what it stands for in terms of the type of athletics that it wants to celebrate but because they also recognize the academic side of the athlete with $400.00 dollars worth in scholarships. This speaks volumes about how they feel about the athletes, not only in terms of what they achieved on the field of sports, but also in the classroom,
WSR: Are we correct that these scholarships are not only on women’s sports but also on the male athletic programs?
CHASTAIN: That is correct. This year is the 40th anniversary of Title 9 so for me, this is very personal having grown up playing soccer as a youngster when there were only 75 teams in Division 1 and there are now over 320 teams. That is a huge growth.
I love what Capital One is doing and the trophy is gorgeous.
WSR: Is it true you live in the San Francisco Bay area?
CHASTAIN: I live in San Jose near Santa Clara University.
WSR: Do you have children and if so, do they play soccer or any sports at all?
CHASTAIN: I do. I have one son studying law at Santa Clara University; he played soccer at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California. I also have a six year old, first grader who is on his first team ever.
WSR: Any last thoughts you wish to leave our readers with?
CHASTAIN: Yes. We are so connected to the Internet, if fans want to learn more about how their teams are doing or our rivals up the road, Stanford University.
They have been two times winners on the women’s side or down in Florida, the Gators, winners on the men’s side, they can go to:
Facebook.com/CapitalOneCup or Twitter.com/CapitalOneCup or by visiting
CapitalOne is not only doing a great job highlighting major sports we see on TV but also sports that do not get much acclaim like cross-country, water polo or women’s soccer. It highlights everyone in the same way. These other sports contribute as much as the major sports do. Check it out and cheer your team on.
(a) Many baseball teams have been known as the Portland Beavers; the most recent club, began operating in Portland since 2001
Following the 2010 season, the Beavers were placed for sale and relocation because of the lack of a suitable stadium in Portland. The park known as PGE Park was remodeled into a soccer-only configuration for the MLS's 2011 expansion for a team known as The Portland Timbers. They play at Jeld-Wen Field, formally known as PGE Park.
The Portland Beavers moved to Tucson, Arizona and are known as the Tucson Padres.
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Norm Coleman is a sports writer, actor and professional photographer. He lives in Half Moon Bay, CA.
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