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Tough, gritty, and a driven leader. Christie Pearce Rampone was known as “Captain America” during her incredible 19-year run with the U.S. Women’s national team. She was a dominant force and a player that everyone on the squad looked up to.

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“I took that role seriously. We had incredible talent on those teams, but sometimes talent doesn’t equate to championships. You have to have the best players working together for the good of the team. I tried to help make that happen.”

Pearce Rampone, who went to Monmouth University in New Jersey, was named captain of the women’s national team in 2008 and authored a career few players have ever matched. She was a three-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup champion. She was durable and resilient on her way to becoming the oldest player (40) to appear in a FIFA Women’s World Cup game.

“I took a great deal of pride in my conditioning. I always wanted to be there to answer the bell.”

Pearce Rampone, who played in 311 Team USA matches in her career, says the game and sport performance have changed tremendously over the years because of technology.

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“It’s amazing what has been done in the game today. Players wear heart rate monitors and a GPS. Every movement is tracked and recorded. Your fitness levels are evaluated by the trainer during the game and there are times that you will see players running at halftime or after the game to make sure they’ve done enough.”

Ever selfless, she shares wisdom for the young girls who want to follow in the footsteps of the great players who accomplished so much for the women’s national team.

“As long as you believe in yourself and trust yourself, you’re going to go a little further in your career. You have to put yourself out there, you have to go all in if you want to reach the highest level.”

Young athletes everywhere would be well served to listen to the simple and sound advice of Captain America.

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