In the USA's opening win on Sunday September 21, 2003 over Sweden in the Women's Soccer World Cup, defender Brandi Chastain broke her right foot and missed the rest of the tournament.
The double World Champion from San Jose, California, was a member of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team that won the first FIFA Women's World Cup in 1991 and hero of the United States' victory in the 1999 World Cup with her penalty-kick goal against China. In the beginning of 4th world championships 2003, which took place in the USA, Brandi Chastain was injured. It happened in the first match against Sweden. She felt a sharp pain while celebrating Cindy Parlow's goal in the first half. The defender was unsure when she was hurt, but she said a Swedish player previously kicked her in the foot "... and I landed on the ankle." Later, X-rays showed a fracture of the third metatarsal. Two weeks before, Chastain had already an X-ray of her right foot, which had been causing her pain. At that time a "stress reaction" but no fracture was diagnosed.
"The most important thing about the day is we earned three points," Brandi Chastain said after the 3-1 victory over the Swedish team. The injury was secondary: "My main concern is the team moving on, and if that means I have to contribute by cheering from the sidelines, I will cheer as loud as I can for my team mates."
This kind of fracture usually takes three to six weeks to heal, but team doctor Bill Garrett said Chastain may be able to return earlier. The Cup final was three weeks from the Sweden match. The injured player thought as well that her World Cup was not over: "I'm a quick healer and feel very good about my chances of playing in the later rounds." So she continued with the training despite her leg in a cast. But the time for healing was too short, she could not play a further match in the tournament.
After the semi final, she told how agonizing it was for her to stand on the sideline in her uniform, unable to play, watching the loss to Germany. The U.S. girls were beaten 3-0 by the next World Champion.
Brandi after the injury and her training despite the handicap.
TV report (without sound) donated by ACEman.
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