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Brandi Chastain

Professional soccer player

Did you ever want to become a professional female athlete but thought that wasn't possible to do for a living? Wouldn't you like a career that keeps you healthy while doing what you want to do with your best friends? Then read about one woman who has done both!


San Jose, CA


Professional soccer player (Midfielder/defender for the San Jose CyberRays)

Why did you choose your profession?

When I was growing up, becoming a soccer player was not realistic. So, I looked through other professions: doctor, lawyer, etc. But the opportunity to play soccer came up ... the profession chose me.

What are some advantages to your job?

Maintaining good fitness and health, the challenge of being competitive, getting to travel to different states and different countries, getting to spend time with my best friends…as a matter of fact, there isn't one negative thing about my job.

Who is your role model? Why?

My mother. She was a businesswoman before businesswomen were "in vogue."

Name one challenge you faced when you were young?

I had two challenges: being injured three times and needing knee surgery; and not making the national soccer team after the first World Cup in 1991. In both instances, I could have given up, but with support from friends and family, I overcame them.

Favorite food:

I love all ethnic foods-Mexican, Thai…and to top it all off with Vanilla Swiss Almond Haagen Dazs.


Golf, reading, and hanging out with friends.

How do you stay healthy: mind, body, and spirit?

My job allows me to be healthy, physically. Apart from this, I take time for myself by doing yoga, taking a swim in the pool…not for exercise but for peace and to reflect on myself.

What advice would you give to young girls today?

Find something you enjoy and do it. Only you know what makes you happy. And always smile! 

What is one health issue that you feel is important to teen girls today?

Body image-it's one of the great misconceptions. We're all different and unique, which girls should feel special about. Be happy with yourself. It's okay to be who you are and feel good about it.

If you knew what you know now, what would you do differently to improve your health?

Nutrition, which is interconnected with fitness. I was considered an overweight kid when I was young and into high school. This was painful. I didn't know anything about nutrition. If I'd have known more about it, I could have been in more control of my life.

Content last reviewed June 01, 2003
Page last updated December 26, 2014

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.