Brandi Chastain's career with the U.S. women's soccer team is over. The defender who joyously took off her jersey to celebrate the 1999...
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Brandi Chastain’s career with the U.S. women’s soccer team is over.
The defender who joyously took off her jersey to celebrate the 1999 World Cup victory in the Rose Bowl is no longer in the team’s plans, coach Greg Ryan said yesterday.
“I flew up and talked with Brandi and told her I didn’t intend to bring her back, that I was going to move on with some other players that I want to develop for 2007,” Ryan said as the team prepares for Sunday’s exhibition game against Canada in Virginia Beach, Va.
Chastain joins Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett as longtime stars whose national-team careers have ended recently, though the other three left on their own terms after a 2004 season that included the gold medal at the Athens Olympics.
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Chastain and Kristine Lilly were the two players of the so-called “Fab Five” who vowed to keep playing. The Fab Five were the remaining players from the 1991 World Cup team. All enjoyed remarkably long tenures at the top level, but Chastain will be 39 by the next major tournament, the 2007 World Cup in China.
She was not available for comment.
“What I’m looking for in future defenders are qualities that she doesn’t possess at this point in her career,” said Ryan, who succeeded April Heinrichs as coach earlier this year.
Lilly is still with the team and is expected to serve as captain for Sunday’s game.
Chastain’s last game was Dec. 6, 2004 against Mexico in Carson, Calif., the final stop in the 10-game farewell exhibition tour for Hamm, Foudy and Fawcett. Chastain was not invited to the camp for the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March, though it’s not unusual for veterans to miss that tournament. Her absence became notable when she wasn’t invited to this week’s camp.
Chastain ranks sixth all-time on the U.S. team with 192 appearances. She played in three World Cups and three Olympics. She was benched for the first three games in Athens, but returned to the starting lineup for the elimination rounds and helped lead the team to the gold medal.
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