In the Box


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Passion is a word that quickly comes to mind when speaking about U.S. Women's National team defender Brandi Chastain.

Winning World Cups, Gold Medals, and achieving recognition and rewards have not changed a person so committed to the game of soccer and it's future.

Many could rest on laurels, not Chastain.

The former All American striker at Santa Clara unlike Mia Hamm, Joy Fawcett, and Julie Foudy has not committed to retiring, a decision she will consider after the "Fan Celebration Tour."

When talking about her own career Chastain is always quick to credit the players around her and the influence that have on each other.

"I am lucky, I was in a situation where I was around incredibly, intelligent, competent, passionate people who love the game as much as I do."

Chastain was first capped at the National team level in 1988 when attention for the women's national team was non-existant.

After a positional switch from striker to defender in 1995-96 it all took off for the talented left back.

Speaking to me on my radio show Chastain's spirit and positiveness abounded much like the never say die attitude of the women's national team that we witnessed in the Summer Olympics.

Despite the incredible history of winning to me the ground breaking and the part the women played in the moving forward of soccer and women's sport's around the world is even more important.

To have influenced women's athletics globally is remarkable.

Countries whose cultures forbade women's athletics now have women participating in sport.

Chastain and her teammates have knocked down pre-conceived notions around women in athletics. But the integrity of the culture around the women's national team seems never to change.

"When you build something yourself it is like planting a tree, you put the seed in the ground, you water it, you talk to it, you take care of it. You don't want to see anybody ruin it, you don't want to see it die," says Chastain.

"You want to see it thrive and have other people enjoy it and I think our growth as a national team we have learned it is more than one person that makes it successful and not one person will ever win games . It is that mentality that we moved forward with."

That mentality will be on display here in Houston on October 23 at Reliant Stadium when they take on Ireland.

How fortunate we are to have been picked as one of only ten cities who get to see Chastain, Hamm, Foudy, Fawcett, and the new youth of the national team like Shannon Boxx and Cat Reddick.

Just another chance for the women to influence youth right here in our own backyard.

Davis is a nationally recognized broadcaster for HDNET where he partners up with former U.S. National Team defender Marcelo Balboa. He was one of the lead voices for ESPN during the 2002 World Cup and has called major international soccer matches for the Fox Network as well.  He is a weekly columnist for the Houston Chronicle and hosts the "Soccer Hour with Glenn Davis" radio show on 90.1KPFT FM Radio every Sunday from 5-6 pm.  Davis played soccer professionally for the Houston Dynamos where he was a league all star selection and team captain.

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