How Brandi Chastain remembers World Cup-winning PK and jersey-less celebration 25 years later

San Jose soccer legend Brandi Chastain on her iconic celebration: "I've had so many people share their stories about what that has meant to them – and they've all been so incredible."


SAN JOSE — Twenty-five years ago, Brandi Chastain delivered one of sports’ most iconic moments, captivating millions from coast to coast and putting the San Jose native on the front pages of newspapers and magazines across the country. On July 10, 1999, Chastain, a former star at San Jose’s Archbishop Mitty High School and Santa Clara University, scored the clinching goal in a penalty-kick shootout that lifted the United States over China in the World Cup final at the Rose Bowl. The goal was historic.

The celebration was iconic — and controversial. When the left-footed kick sailed into the right side of the net, Chastain celebrated by ripping off her white jersey while dropping to her knees, revealing a black sports bra that became as much of the story as the goal itself. A quarter-century later, it is still a seminal moment in the rise of women’s sports, something that will always be a part of Chastain’s legacy.

“For me, it was just a celebration like I’ve never felt before,” Chastain, who turns 56 on July 21, told the Bay Area News Group for this anniversary story. “I’ve had so many people share their stories about what that has meant to them – and they’ve all been so incredible. “Even the ones who say, ‘Hey you put a black eye on women’s sports’ or ‘That was unnecessary,’ I get to have a conversation with them.

I get to close the gap on how hard it is to be on the national team and the work that goes into it.” Looking back at the 199.