Christie Rampone turned 40 this past Wednesday and today will lead the United States in their Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match against China, all while caring for her 9 and 5-year-old daughters. How is that for a soccer mom?
Rampone has been a force on the U.S. Women’s National Team since 1997. She is the only remaining player from the historic 1999 team, the last U.S. squad to win the Women’s World Cup. As an american woman, this news should be celebrated. In 1999, Rampone was a bright-eyed ingénue. Today, 16 years later, Rampone is the team captain playing in her fifth Women’s World Cup.
“I can’t believe I’m around this long, but it’s pretty exciting,” she told ABC News. “Knowing that I started my career out winning the World Cup, I would love to end it winning the World Cup.” Rampone, who is married, has been able to shine both on and off the field by bringing her daughters, 9-year-old Riley and 5-year-old Reece, along for the ride.
“I didn’t want to separate my family just to play soccer,” she said. “Rylie … she’s been to 31 states and over 15 countries.”
“It’s a pretty amazing experience for them that they get to be around not only mom but just this incredible lot of females that are role models,” she said. Rampone says her kids “absolutely” keep her grounded, and have the right to let her know if they have had enough with their mom’s professional soccer career. “We’ve got that open communication,” Rampone said. “If you want mom to stop, I’m not playing. But they’re like go for it. Keep playing.”
Rampone’s daughters had a chance to watch her make history again in this year’s World Cup, when she came in as a substitute in Team USA’s game against Nigeria. The play made Rampone the oldest player to ever feature in a World Cup.
Rampone says her daughters are now old enough to sometimes grasp that their mom is a history-maker. “A lot of the times it’s mom but then it’s like Rylie went, ‘Are you a celebrity?,’” Rampone recalled. “And, like, not even close, you know?” The New Jersey-based Rampone says this will be her last World Cup. Next, it will be time for the roles to reverse, with Rampone following her daughters’ sports careers. “They’ve spent a lot of their lives watching mom and traveling with mom because of what mom loves to do, so I want to be there to support them,” Rampone said. “So when, you know, they start playing their games , like I want to be there for that.”