SAN JOSE, Calif. — Brandi Chastain looked at the assembled crowd in a tent under the rain and addressed former coach Tony DiCicco, who had just introduced her at the induction ceremony for the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.
“Thank you, not just for today but for every day that you gave me the chance to play for the women’s national team, and for having the confidence in me and the guts to tell me I wasn’t going to be a forward,” she said.
Chastain, a forward on the 1991 World Cup champions and a left back whose penalty kick won a shootout for the 1999 title, was inducted Friday night along with midfielder Shannon MacMillan, a 1996 Olympic gold medallist and World Cup champion three years later.
The ceremony was held before the U.S. men played Honduras in a World Cup qualifier.
Remembered most for pulling off her shirt after her winning goal and celebrating in a sports bra, Chastain grew up in San Jose and talked about her early days playing youth soccer in the area, starting with the Quakettes. After winning her first World Cup title, she was left off the 1995 roster before reviving her career as a defender.
“Change is good. Though, scary, it’s good. And I think we would all benefit from seeing change as an opportunity for growth and development, and for a new adventure,” she said.
Now 38, Chastain scored 30 goals in 192 international appearances and won a pair of Olympic gold medals. MacMillan, 42, had 60 in 176 international games.
“It was always such a massive honour that gave me chills every time I walked in that locker room, whether it was my first cap, my 100th cap or my last cap,” MacMillan said. “It was something that I never took for granted.”
Soccer America’s Paul Kennedy was given the Colin Jose Media Award.
The Hall’s building in Oneonta, New York, closed in 2010 and a new Hall is being built in Frisco, Texas.