Whether or not you’re a fan of the game, it’s hard to argue against the growing impact of international soccer in the United States.
Team USA was bounced from the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but its four games drew record ratings among American television viewers.
Brandi Chastain knows a thing or two about capturing the attention of an entire nation, and she believes the men’s national team might be having its own moment in the sun.
Chastain, as you might recall, netted a penalty kick for the women’s national team in the 1999 World Cup to give the Americans a win over China in the championship game.
In an interview with Florida radio station News Talk Florida on Tuesday morning, the former soccer star claimed that her team’s historic victory “catapulted” soccer’s credibility in America at the time, and that the success of the men’s team has placed the game in the national spotlight yet again.
“And now, that’s right now, what’s happening with U.S. soccer, with the men’s national team, I mean, Tim Howard is — I’ve seen so much about Tim Howard, and I love Tim Howard, I watched Tim Howard play in the English Premier League — I just think it’s fascinating now how people think this man can save the world,” Chastain said. “He can save a lot of shots on goal, but now he’s saving the world. And that’s just fun that soccer is making that type of impact on everyone’s lives.”
Team USA still has a long way to go before it can dream of winning a World Cup, but as Chastain knows all too well, it’s certainly headed in the right direction.
Photo via Twitter/@CaptainBronco