US soccer legend Brandi Chastain talks about her famous celebration, Abby Wambach and the USWNT's future

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Brandi Chastain: Her Historic 1999 World Cup Kick

When Brandi Chastain hammered home the game-winning penalty kick in the 1999 World Cup, it changed U.S. soccer forever.

Since that legendary goal, and the famous celebration that shortly followed, soccer in the United States has grown steadily -- with the MLS rising in popularity, European games airing here several times every week, and most recently, the U.S. Women's National Team taking home another World Cup title.

SEE ALSO: Wambach closes out US team career with air of contentment

On Wednesday, ahead of Abby Wambach's final professional game in New Orleans, Chastain spoke with AOL about a number of topics pertaining to the soccer world.

She encourages fans in the New Orleans area thinking of coming to the game to visit the Liberty Mutual Insurance booth, where photos and U.S. Soccer swag will be given out.

Tell us about your partnership with Liberty Mutual insurance, and how the company is dedicated to supporting soccer from youth through elite levels.

As a player and a fan, I couldn't be more thrilled to be working with Liberty Mutual insurance and to be able to talk about how important they are for the growth and development of youth in this country in the soccer environment. But also what they do to allow our national teams to train and play and hopefully make their way either to the medal stands in the Olympic games or win a world championship. So, I look back on my career with the national team and think about how, in the early days, we were just hoping someone would want to be involved in women's soccer. Now to have a wonderful company sponsoring us, such as Liberty Mutual, it really shows how much we've grown over the years, and how they are saying now how important women's soccer and men's soccer are to this country. It's a very feel-good relationship for me.


Your goal in 1999 was obviously a major turning point in American soccer. But you don't necessarily recognize that as the favorite point of your career. You've mentioned things such as "doing silly things" with Mia Hamm and your first trip to the Olympic games. Can you elaborate on that?

Well, I think when people think about my career, they obviously go to my penalty kick right away, and they say "Oh, that must be the best moment you've ever had on the field. But I had played with the national team 192 times, and all those games were significant for me. But I think there's a few moments in particular that will rest with me as critical-impact, life-changing moments.

Surely the penalty kick is in the top five, but in the '99 World Cup, when we were in the quarterfinal against Germany, for example. I had just scored an own goal, and we were down 1-0 in the quarterfinal, which is a knockout round. And I could've been thinking "I just lost the game." I could've gotten down on myself -- I wasn't good enough to be there; what have I done? -- and gone into a negative tailspin. But my teammate, Carla Overbeck was right next to me, and she said "Don't worry about it, we're gonna win this game, and you're gonna help us." And she just gave me all this confidence. From that moment going forward, I never thought about the fact that I scored an own goal. Because she gave me that support, I actually went on to score another goal in that game -- thank goodness -- for our team. We eventually won that game, and they rest, obviously, is history.

I think the moments that you have with your teammates on the field, in those tough times, resonate the deepest because they're the most meaningful in terms of you as a person, and the character of people that you're around. I think that's what i remember most about my teammates and my experience with the national team.


About the famous celebration: You've said that at the time, you didn't think about it at all, and referred to it as "momentary insanity." Looking back, would you have done it any differently if you had the chance?

(Laughs) Oh no. Absolutely not. I think the greatest thing about sports, beyond all the life lessons that it teaches young people that help them grow and develop, is that sports should be spontaneous and organic and genuine. That they allow us to make these decisions under pressure and in real time is significant. I wouldn't change that moment. It was exactly what it was meant to be: a true response to an incredible moment.

And we get to talk about it to this day, which allows me to talk about my relationship with Liberty Mutual insurance. It allows me to talk about what a great and wonderful opportunity we have tonight to see Abby Wambach, the greatest goal scorer in the history of women's and men's soccer, to play her last match here in New Orleans. It gets me into the door to talk about a lot of different things, so I'm very grateful for that moment.

See photos of Abby Wambach's career

49 PHOTOS
Abby Wambach
See Gallery
US soccer legend Brandi Chastain talks about her famous celebration, Abby Wambach and the USWNT's future
The US 2015 Women's World Cup Team's Abby Wambach (L) and Carli Lloyd (2nd R) present US President Barack Obama (C) with a team jersey during an event honoring them at the White House in Washington, DC, October 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
CARY, NC - APRIL 5: Forward Abby Wambach #28 of the Washington Freedom and defender Danielle Slaton #17 of the Carolina Courage fight for control of the ball during the WUSA game at the SAS Soccer Park on April 5, 2003 in Cary, North Carolina. The Freedom defeated the Courage 2-1. (Photo By Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO-MAY 5 ::Abby Wambach #28 of the Washington Freedom runs with the ball during the WUSA game against the San Diego Spirit during the WUSA game at Torero Stadium in San Diego, California. The Freedom won 3-0. (Photo by Christopher Ruppel/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JUNE 12: Rookie forward Abby Wambach #28 of the Washington Freedom looks to move the ball during the WUSA game against the Boston Breakers on June 12, 2002 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. The Freedom defeated the Breakers 2-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger /Getty Images)
VILLANOVA, PA - AUGUST 17: Fans of Abby Wambach of the Washington Freedom show their support during the game against the Philadelphia Charge on August 17, 2002 at Villanova Stadium in Villanova Pennsylvania. The Freedom won 1-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 22: Abby Wambach of the Washington Freedom holds the 2003 WUSA Goal of the Year Award during the WUSA Founders Cup Awards Ceremony on August 22, 2003 at the Natural History Museum in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Norway's Marianne Pettersen (11) tries to get away from the defense of Abby Wambach of the USA during their FIFA 2003 Women's World Cup quarter-final soccer match 01 October, 2003, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. AFP PHOTO/Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, Greece: US forward Abby Wambach and her teammates celebrate their victory at the end of the gold medal football match against at the Olympic Games, 26 August 2004 at Karaiskaki stadium in Athens. USA won 2-1. AFP PHOTO DDP MICKAEL KAPPELER (Photo credit should read MICKAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - AUGUST 26: Fussball / Frauen: Olympische Spiele Athen 2004, Athen; Finale / USA / Gold- Brasilien ( USA - BRA ) 2:1 n.V.; Abby WAMBACH / USA erzielte das Siegtor fuer die USA 26.08.04. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
U.S. Women's National Soccer Team forward Abby Wambach in warm-ups prior to an international friendly match against Mexico at PAETEC Park in Rochester, New York on September 13, 2006. The U.S. Team won the match 3-1. (Photo by Mark Konezny/WireImage)
The United States' Abby Wambach wearing a special pink Breast Cancer Awareness top during pregame warmups on Saturday, May 12th, 2007 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The United States Women's National Team defeated Canada 6-2 in a women's international friendly. (Photo by Andy. Mead/WireImage)
Abby Wambach of the US celebrates after scoring a penalty shot during a Group B match against Sweden of the Women's Football World Cup 2007 at Chengdu Sports Center, in China's southwestern province of Sichuan, 14 September 2007. AFP PHOTO/LIU Jin (Photo credit should read LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
TIANJIN, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 22: Abby Wambach of USA celebrates after she scored a point during the Womens World Cup 2007 Quarter Final match between the USA and England at Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium September 22, 2007 in Tianjin, China. (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)
CARY, NC - APRIL 27: Abby Wambach #20 of the U.S. Women's National Team stands for the singing of the national anthems during an international friendly match against the Australian Women's National Teamon April 27, 2008 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. The U.S. won 3-2 in stoppage time. (Photo By Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MAY 10: Abby Wambach #20 of U.S.A. chests down a high pass during a 6-0 win by U.S.A. over Canada in an international friendly match against Canada on May 10, 2008 at R.F.K. stadium in Washington D.C. (Photo by Tony Quinn/Getty Images)
SLUG: SP/FREEDOM. DATE: May, 3, 2009 CREDIT: Katherine Frey / TWP. LOCATION: Boyds, MD. SUMMARY: Saint Louis Athletica vs. Washington Freedom, women's soccer at Maryland SoccerPlex CAPTION: Washington Freedom's Abby Wambach winds up to take a shot on goal in a game against Saint Louis.
MIAMI SHORES, FL - FEBRUARY 9: Forward Abby Wambach of the USA Women's Soccer Team works out during a training session on February 9, 2011 on the campus of Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JULY 10: Abby Wambach of USA celebrates after scoring her goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup Quarter Final match between Brazil and USA at Rudolf-Harbig Stadium on July 10, 2011 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Alex Livesey - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JULY 10: Abby Wambach of USA leaves the pitch holding a U.S. flag after her team's victory of the FIFA Women's World Cup quarter final match between Brazil and USA at Rudolf-Harbig stadium on July 10, 2011 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Alexandra Beier - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
USA's striker Alex Morgan (L) celebrates scoring the 0-1 goal with USA's striker Abby Wambach during the FIFA Women's Football World Cup final match Japan vs USA on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND (Photo credit should read DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - JULY 17: Abby Wambach of USA celebrates scoring the second goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup Final match between Japan and USA at the FIFA World Cup stadium Frankfurt on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - SEPTEMBER 22: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States goes for the ball against Canada during the final match of the Celebration Series on September 22, 2011 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 09: Abby Wambach of the USA during the Women's World Player of the Year nominees press conference during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2011 at the Kongresshaus on January 09, 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
FRISCO, TX - FEBRUARY 11: Abby Wambach #20 of USA during an international friendly with New Zealand at FC Dallas Stadium on February 11, 2012 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: Abby Wambach of USA celebrates victory during the Women's Football Gold Medal match between USA and Japan, on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 01: Abby Wambach #14 of USA reacts to fans after defeating Ireland in the game at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 1, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. USA defeated Ireland 2-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: U.S. Olympian Abby Wambach visits the USA House at the Royal College of Art on August 10, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for USOC)
FIFA Ballon d'Or award winner Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) poses with FIFA Women's footballer of the year US forward Abby Wambach after the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 20: Abby Wambach #20 of the USA gets a Gatorade bath by her teamates after a 5-0 win against Korea Republic after Wambach broke Mia Hamm's alltime International goal scoring record with 159 at Red Bull Arena on June 20, 2013 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 20: Abby Wambach #20 of the USA 157th International goal against Korea Republic during the first half of their game at Red Bull Arena on June 20, 2013 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 30: Abby Wambach #20 of the US Women's National Team in action against New Zealand at Columbus Crew Stadium on October 30, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
BRASILIA, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 14: Abby Wambach of USA during the match between USA and Brazil in the International Tournament of Brasilia at Mane Garrincha Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Celso Junior/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 20: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States stands before playing a game against Haiti during the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship at RFK Stadium on October 20, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
US football player Abby Wambach gives a press conference ahead of the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
USA forward Abby Wambach listens to the national anthem before the Algarve Cup football match USA vs Iceland at the Estadio Municipal in Lagos on March 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO (Photo credit should read JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
WINNIPEG, MB - JUNE 12: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States looks on in the second half against Sweden in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 match at Winnipeg Stadium on June 12, 2015 in Winnipeg, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 26: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States acknowledges the crowd after defeating China 1-0 in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Quarter Final match at Lansdowne Stadium on June 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States runs on the pitch before taking on Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
USA forward Abby Wambach celebrates after their victory in the final football match between USA and Japan during their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone of USA jointly lift the Winner's Trophy during FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Final between USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States of America celebrates after their 5-2 over Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Forward Abby Wambach kisses the FIFA World Cup trophy at the US Women's World Cup football team's championship rally, at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles, California, July 7, 2015. The US team defeated Japan 5-2 in the final to win the World Cup to become the first team to win the championship three times. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Hope Solo and Abby Wambach from The United States women's national soccer team is seen at 'Good Morning America on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Hope Solo and Abby Wambach from The United States women's national soccer team is seen at 'Good Morning America on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15: Honoree Caitlyn Jenner (R) accepts the Arthur Ashe Courage Award from former professional soccer player Abby Wambach onstage during The 2015 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - AUGUST 19: Forward Abby Wambach #20 of the United States runs during the friendly match against Costa Rica at Finley Stadium on August 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 16: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States during the National Anthem before the match against the Costa Rica at Heinz Field on August 16, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - OCTOBER 27: Abby Wambach pictured during the U.S. Womenâs National Teamâs visit to the White House in Washington, D.C. on October 27, 2015. Credit: mpi34/MediaPunch/IPX
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


What is your outlook on the match tonight in New Orleans?

New Orleans is always full of energy -- let's be honest. There's not anything that happens in this city that's done on a normal emotional level. It's going to be a packed house. I was listening to the news, and they say it's going to be a crowd like an NFL game, which, again, speaks volumes about where U.S. soccer and women's soccer in this country -- with the support of Liberty Mutual -- where we have come, and what it is we're doing. And that we get to celebrate a player who's making a choice for this to be her last game. It just talks about what sport can do for an individual, what it can do for a team, what it can do for a community.

Abby said it herself best yesterday in the press conference: There might not be a better city in the world to be able to celebrate your last game in than New Orleans. It's going to be a very exciting, very electric night.


Your playing days have been over for a little bit now. Do you have any sort of tips or advice you can offer to someone like Abby Wambach, who is transitioning into retirement?

Abby is very fortunate. I don't think 95 or more percent of us get to choose when our careers finish. Most of us are told when they're done. But there's not a lot of conversation about what happens next. I think Abby has been around enough players that have been through it that she has enough expectations about what it will be like.

But ultimately I will say to every player that you have to embrace the moments that come next like you embraced the ones you had on the field. You put your whole heart into it, you're honest with your efforts. You try to make the most impact that you can, and you leave the place where you are, hopefully, in better shape than when you got there. With that framework, you can be successful in anything that you want to attempt.


Was there a particular moment toward the end of your career that you realized you might be ready to move on from playing?

(Laughs) Actually at the time that I finished, I wasn't ready. I wanted to continue playing, and I wasn't one of the lucky ones that got to make that choice. But I feel what I did well was that I went to practice with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and a lot of love for the game. I tried to bring that out in my teammates. I never took those days for granted. So in that way, I'm super happy with how things turned out.

The only thing I would change is having a little bit more time. Time is something you don't get back. But I did enjoy every moment and I put my all into it. So in that way I feel very satisfied.

What's in the future for you personally?

I'm coaching. I'm loving coaching. I coach my son's under-10 team, I coach high school boy's varsity -- we have a big game on Saturday night where the Earthquakes play at Avaya Stadium in San Jose. I help coach soccer with my husband at Santa Clara University.

Hopefully, I get a chance to coach one of our national teams. I feel the experience that I've had, playing for some of the best coaches, learning the things that I've learned, I've always felt like -- and I've heard other teammates and coaches of mine say -- I was always sort of a coach on the field. So I feel like that, for me, seems like a natural next evolution. I feel I need to give back the experience that I've had. It would be a waste for me if I didn't do that.

See photos of the USWNT's epic 2015 World Cup victory

42 PHOTOS
US vs. Japan Final, Women's World Cup
See Gallery
US soccer legend Brandi Chastain talks about her famous celebration, Abby Wambach and the USWNT's future
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Alex Morgan #13, Lauren Holiday #12, Abby Wambach #20 and Whitney Engen #6 of the United States of America hold the World Cup Trophy after their 5-2 win over Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
The United States Women's National Team celebrates with the trophy after they beat Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
United States' Becky Sauerbrunn kisses the trophy as Lauren Holiday, left, and Kelley O'Hara, right, look on after the U.S. beat Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
The United States Women's National Team celebrates with the trophy as confetti falls after they beat Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
United States' Carli Lloyd kneels on the pitch as Japan's Rumi Utsugi, left, walks off after the U.S. beat Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States of America celebrates as time expires in their 5-2 win over Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
From left, United States' Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Holiday, and Carli Lloyd celebrate after Lloyd scored her second goal of the match against Japan during the first half of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Megan Rapinoe #15 of the United States with the ball against Homare Sawa #10 of Japan in the first half in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States scores her second goal in the first half against Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Japan's Saki Kumagai (L) and USA's Carli Lloyd vie for the ball during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup final between the USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Japan's goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori fails to stop a goal during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup final at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
United States' Carli Lloyd, right, celebrates with goalkeeper Hope Solo (1) and Megan Rapinoe, top, after Lloyd scored her third goal against Japan during the first half of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States celebrates with teammates after scoring her second goal against Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
United States' Carli Lloyd, right, celebrates with teammates after Lloyd scored her third goal against Japan during the first half of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
United States fans with painted faces cheer in the stands before the start of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship between the U.S. and Japan in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A young fan waves a Japanese flag before the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship between the United States and Japan in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Risa Suzuki, left, of Japan, and Kerrry Haughton, of New York, smile after posing for photographers outside BC Place stadium before the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship between the United States and Japan later in the day, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
USA fans cheer before the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup final between the USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
US Vice President Joe Biden cheers on Team USA during the final football match between USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Vancouver on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ANDY CLARK (Photo credit should read ANDY CLARK/AFP/Getty Images)
Japan's midfielder Aya Miyama kicks the ball during the final football match between USA and Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
USA players celebrate a goal during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup final between the USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States scores her second goal in the first half against Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
USA midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) is congratuled by after scoring a goal during the final football match between USA and Japan during their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori reacts after allowing in a fourth USA goal during the final football match between USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Vancouver on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ANDY CLARK (Photo credit should read ANDY CLARK/AFP/Getty Images)
United States' Tobin Heath, center, celebrates with Morgan Brian, left, after Heath scored a goal against Japan during the second half of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Japanese football supporters react following a goal by the US as they attend a public screening in Tokyo on July 6, 2015, of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup final between Japan and USA being played in Vancouver, British Columbia. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori #18 of Japan is unable to save a shot by Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States as Lloyd scores in the first half in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
USA's Becky Sauerbrunn (R) and Japan's Asuna Tanaka head the ball during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup final between the USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Goalkeeper Hope Solo #1 of the United States clears the ball in the first half against Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Japan's forward Yuki Ogimi (R) vies with USA defender Julie Johnston before scoring a goal during the final football match between USA and Japan during their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Aya Miyama #8 and Mizuho Sakaguchi #6 of Japan celebrate a USA own goal in the second half in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori #18 of Japan is unable to save a shot by Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States as Lloyd scores her second goal in the first half in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Lauren Holiday #12 and Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States celebrate with teammates after Lloyd scores her second goal against Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
USA supporters cheer their team during the final football match between USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Vancouver on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ANDY CLARK (Photo credit should read ANDY CLARK/AFP/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Sasha Obama (L) watches the United States take on Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Japanese soccer fans watch a live broadcast of the Woman's World Cup soccer final match between Japan and the United States at a public viewing venue in Tokyo, Monday, July 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Fans watching on an outdoor screen from the National Harbor, Md., celebrate after the United States' scored their third goal against Japan during the first half of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Krista McMahan, of St. Louis, wears soccer ball contact lenses as she cheers before the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship final between the United States and Japan in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Fans react as they watch Carli Lloyd score for the USA during play against Japan in the Women's World Cup title match on television Sunday, July 5, 2015, in Marlton, N.J. Lloyd scored three goals in the first half as the United States has taken a 4-0 lead in the first 20 minutes of the Women's World Cup final. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Keegan Bilboa, 6, of Springfield, Missouri, sits atop shoulders outside BC Place stadium before the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship between the United States and Japan later in the day, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer brings out the World Cup Trophy before the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final between the United States and Japan at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


What's your outlook on the USWNT as a whole, moving on from the World Cup and heading toward the Olympic Games?

There's always a natural evolution, matriculating, of player going to college, eventually they're gonna leave college and go onto the next thing. And the same is true with the national team. Change is imminent, and losing a player like Abby Wambach -- it's very difficult to fill those shoes. Not just on the field with the 184 goals that she's scored, but in leadership and in culture. But I feel there's a group of young players you're going to see on the field tonight that will be, I believe, as impactful in their own way come Rio 2016 and beyond, that is very exciting.

I like change. I think it's inevitable, and if you embrace it, it's wonderful. I think this next group is going to be exciting.


Soccer in America has taken such tremendous strides. Starting with your team in 1999, and moving on to this year's USWNT World Cup win, the MLS rising in popularity with European stars coming over to play, and even European games being televised here several times a week. A few years down the line, where do you see American soccer, in relativity to all the other professional sports here.

I think you need to look at it from two perspectives. Soccer in general will be in a healthier place. We have more fans than we've ever had, more teams than we've ever had. As a collective whole -- qualifying, especially on the men's side, for more Olympics and World Cups at every level.

That's a positive. That's a wonderful soccer environment that we're fostering, and it's getting bigger and deeper. But on the women's side, what's really important, is that we continue to grow and develop the professional leagues. Because there is a population of players who will come out of college -- I'll give you an example, Shannon Boxx, who is just retiring. She never would've been on the national team had there not been a professional league available to her at the time. That would be a great waste of talent if she didn't have a place to play after she was done with college just because now it's real-life time.

You have to make strides towards what you're gonna do next. If you're not on the national team, and there is no professional league, it's very difficult to continue to play at that level and sustain yourself. The roots are getting deeper in the women's professional league. I think having great sponsors and people who support you like Liberty Mutual insurance -- you need organizations like that to help you. So I'm looking forward to a deeper support system for the women's professional league in the future.

More from AOL Sports:
Auerbach Arithmetic: Measuring the most successful NBA franchises
Boy with Down syndrome finds friend in Heisman Trophy winner
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan retires after win

Read Full Story

People are Reading