Julie Foudy, former captain of the U.S. women's soccer team, is working with the Capital One Cup, a competition that honors the top Division I athletic programs each year. Foudy, a four-time All-American at Stanford, helped the U.S. win the 1999 World Cup plus two golds and a silver in the Olympics. She has been a commentator at ESPN since 2005.
ThePostGame: How's retirement been treating you?
JULIE FOUDY: It's been great. I've been retired for a while now so I'm getting pretty good at it.
TPG: What is your role right now with Capital One?
FOUDY: I am presenting the Capital One Cup to my alma mater, Stanford, for women's sports and to Virginia for men's. It's a great honor. It's my first time so I'm glad to be out here and presenting this award for Capital One. Stanford has been great this year whether that be for water polo, rowing, swimming, volleyball, etc. The same goes for Virginia.
TPG: Do you return to Palo Alto often?
FOUDY: Yes, I run a leadership camp there, so I'm up there quite a bit. It's great to walk around there and just think, "Oh, this is home." I love being up there.
TPG: Oregon has become an increasingly big rival to Stanford these days, who was the big rival when you were up there?
FOUDY: Definitely Cal. They were our biggest rivals when I was at Stanford. Santa Clara was the big rival for soccer, though.
TPG: How has being a parent changed the way you look at sports?
FOUDY: Well, I am hands-off now. With my kids and sports, I always think of my parents and how they helped me. I let them play for the love of the game and don't have to get too involved so it's great. My 6- and 8-year-old kids are already interested in all kinds of sports from soccer to lacrosse.
TPG: Recently a New York Times article came under fire for its comments on Serena Williams and body image. What are your thoughts on how the media handle body image in women's sports?
FOUDY: Yeah, it's interesting. I actually read the article and it was interesting to get different takes from all the different players. Serena's quotes were great. She kept saying, "I am powerful. I am strong. That's part of my game," because that's how her style of play is with the body she has. To be the best in the world you have to know what your body wants you to be.
TPG: With FIFA embroiled in scandal and the US winning the Women's World Cup, what do you think needs to happen for women's soccer to keep their momentum going forward? How do you see the landscape shaking out in the next few years?
FOUDY: I think the biggest challenge today is the women's pro league. Obviously women's soccer has gotten a ton of attention recently. But will that translate into ticket sales? For years people could only name a few women's team players like Alex Morgan and Hope Solo. But now you have a ton in there like Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Alyssa Naeher, Sydney Leroux. The list goes on.
TPG: Have you seen, in recent years, an overall rise in popularity for soccer from both genders in the United States?
FOUDY: Absolutely. I think one of the biggest parts about that is that it's not a question of gender in soccer in the U.S. We don't have the kinds of cultural restrictions that some other countries may have. So it's easy for soccer to become more popular.
TPG: You have a ton of experience in the media. Have you noticed a change in the way you are asked to cover women's sports over the years? Has there been a concerted effort for fair and balanced coverage?
FOUDY: Definitely. Especially with the World Cup. Before, they asked me to keep it more general: "The audience doesn't understand" kind of thing. But now you can take a much deeper dive. I can compare a 4-3-3 formation and a 3-4-3 formation and be fine. People understand the game, so there's no need to talk down to them.
TPG: Recently, you took home a golden blazer, how was that experience?
FOUDY: Dream come true. It was surreal. It was just a great experience. Two of my favorite people there, Roger Bennett and Michael Davos. Being honored, it was great. I love my blazer. I wear it to the grocery store, when I work out.
TPG: A while ago some friction occurred on Twitter between you and Hope Solo. Can you comment on Twitter and the open forum it has become today?
FOUDY: Well all I can say is never tweet without thinking and don't tweet while drinking. No…I think twitter is very important these days. It's a very powerful platform. For me, it's the first area I go to for news. So for media it's incredibly helpful.
TPG: Favorite sports movie of all time?
FOUDY: That's a good question. Does Tommy Boy count as a sports movie? No, I think my favorite one is the story about Immaculata. The Mighty Macs. I really liked that one.