April 15, 2012
The Players: A Different Kind of Hope
Hope Solo is a well known women’s soccer player. She currently plays for the U.S National Team. Many soccer fans recognize her as a tough and spirited goalie from the 2011 Women's World Cup. Recently, Hope Solo has become an icon for women's soccer in America. But where did she get her start?
Hope Solo was born in Richland, Washington on July 30, 1981. Her parents divorced when she was only six, however, her close relationship with her father remained strong. He continued to be a major figure in her life. Solo went to Richland High School, as a forward on the soccer team, she scored an outstanding 109 goals for her team. Playing far from the net, she scored three times in the semifinals. She led her high school team to three league titles from 1996-1998. During her senior year, the high school team won the state championship. During the state championship in 1999, Solo scored twice against the Bombers. In her senior year she scored thirty-eight goals. Solo was twice honored with the Parade All-American during her time at Richland High School. A scholar as well as an athlete, Solo graduated with a 3.7 GPA.After high school, Solo attended the University of Washington. When she joined the soccer team, she switched positions from forward to goalkeeper.Hope Solo quickly adjusted and started to shine in her new position during sophomore year. In college, she became the top goalkeeper in Pac-10 history. Hope won many honors and awards in college, including a four-time All-Pac-10 selection for the Washington Huskies. At the end of Solo’s college career, she left the soccer team as the all-time leader in shutouts (18), saves (325) and a GAA (1.02). Solo was named a NSCAA All-American three times. Furthermore, Hope was the only goalkeeper ever nominated for the Herman Award.
After college, Solo was drafted in 2003 to the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), she played for the Philadelphia Charge. She also made nineteen appearances for Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC of Göteborg in Sweden. In 2005, Solo played for the Olympique Lyonnais in the French First Division.Within three
years, Solo was one of the few players to be drafted to play for the Saint Louis Athletica. She had a rough start, letting in six goals during her
first four games. Solo ended the season with eight shutouts and she was named the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) Goalkeeper of the Year. When the Saint Louis Athletica folded in May 2010, Solo signed with the Atlanta Beat. Before the 2011 Women’s Expert Soccer season, Hope Solo signed with a new franchise, the MagicJacks. Her professional career hit its peek when she was the starting goalkeeper for the United States National team during the 2007 World Cup. The team ended up losing 4-0, ending the U.S National teams fifty-one game undefeated streak. Hope Solo is the second all-time record holder in caps, wins and shutouts for a GK in U.S. history. Her amazing performance in the 2011 World Cup has shown her true potential. For her amazing performance in the 2011 World Cup she was awarded the "Golden Glove" for best goalkeeper. During the same year, she also won the "Bronze Ball" award for her overall performance in the World Cup games. In the future, fans can expect great things from this outstanding athlete. She gives a new kind of hope for women’s sports and soccer in the U.S.