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Hope Solo

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Hope Solo's Story - One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.

From an early age, Hope Solo wanted to be a professional soccer player. She just didn’t think it would be in goal. A highly-decorated scorer as a forward in high school in Richland, Wash., she didn’t come to terms with being a goalkeeper until her later years in college. With the support of her coaches at the University of Washington, she was told she could be the best in the world. They were right. Since then, she had been dedicated to her craft, and while she says that no one can perfect the art of goalkeeping, she loves that challenge it brings, and that’s what continues to motivate her.

Inspired and Inspiring: Hope Solo at the One Young World Summit

In November, U.S. WNT goalkeeper Hope Solo traveled to Bangkok, Thailand to participate in a very special event, the One Young World Summit, where some of the brightest young talent from global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other forward-thinking organizations are joined by world leaders, acting as the One Young World Counsellors, to debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, musician and activist Sir Bob Geldof, astronaut and Humanitarian Ron Garan and Nobel Peace prize nominee father Mussie Zerai were among those who attended.

KEEPER BEGINNINGS

Hope Solo

Hope Solo was a forward who loved to score goals. But when she was fifteen, her team’s goalkeeper got hurt, and her coach, Carl Wheeler, stuck Solo in goal. She did well; so well that she was eventually asked to play ‘keeper for the state ODP team of the next age group above her. “I was this tiny, skinny beanpole, a dorky kid with braces back there in goal. But my team took me under its wing.” Solo continued to play ‘keeper for the ODP team but for every other team, she was still very much a forward.

Despite her talent between the posts, young Solo was not a fan of the ‘keeper position. “As a kid, I was just back there twiddling my thumbs,” says Solo. “I didn’t understand the intricacies of being a keeper, of organizing the defenses, none of that. And my grandparents were like, uh, why are you back there? You should still be up there scoring goals.” Solo agreed. She thought ‘keepers had a bad rap for being “the slow one, the unathletic one,” and when someone would ask, “Who’s the keeper on the team?” she still remembers hanging her head and not wanting to admit it. That would soon change.

Hope Solo

COLLEGE TURNING POINT

Hope Solo

By the end of high school, she was recruited by colleges all over the country – “Some times I didn’t know if they were recruiting me for forward or for ‘keeper.” But the University of Washington Huskies coaching staff, Lesle Gallimore and Amy Griffin, a former World Cup goalkeeper, told Hope, “I think you could be the best goalkeeper in the country.” They weren’t the first to have told her that, but they were the first to convince her. “After that, I put all my eggs in that basket. I believed it.”

MOTIVATION

“There’s so much talk about the lack of quality goalkeeping in the women’s game: that female goalkeepers aren’t good, that soft goals are let in,” says Solo. Solo’s mission is to make her mark on the position, to set a new standard. And as a two-time gold medal winner and the holder of the U.S. record for most career shutouts, she’s well on the way to redefining not only how goalkeepers play, but how they’re perceived.

Hope Solo


U.S. National Team: Regarded by many as the best goalkeeper in the world, Solo possess world class athleticism, instincts and a commanding presence as part of the foundation of the USA defense … She has started in goal at every age level of the U.S. National Team program.

2015: Received her 90th shutout in the seventh game of the Victory Tour against Trinidad & Tobago... 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Champion... Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her third World Cup selection... Has played and started 21 matches for the USA this year for a 17-0-4 record, logging 1800 minutes... Won the Golden Glove award as the best goalkeeper in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup... Recorded five straight World Cup clean sheets for the USA, and ten in World Cup play, tying Brianna Scurry for the most by a U.S. goalkeeper... Earned her 134th win with 1-0 shutout in the quarterfinals against China, moving her into first place on the WNT's all-time wins list... Earned her 174th cap in the Round of 16 game against Colombia, making her the WNT all-time leader in goalkeeper appearances... Has 170 starts and 89 shutouts in her career, both leading marks for WNT goalkeepers... Recorded three shutouts, including a 3-0 victory over Switzerland, a 0-0 draw with Iceland and a 2-0 victory over France in the championship match of the 2015 Algarve Cup to help the U.S. win its 10th tournament title...  2014: Appeared and started in 20 matches for the U.S. compiling a 13-3-4 record and playing 1710 minutes, third-most on the team … Started four of five games of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship and won the Golden Glove as tournament’s best goalkeeper in helping the USA book its ticket to the 2015 Women’s World Cup … Recorded 11 shutouts on the year, setting a new U.S. all-time record that sits at 78 heading into 2015 … 2013: Missed some time at the beginning of the year due to injury, but returned to play 540 minutes in eight matches, starting seven, and posted a 6-0-1 record … Heading into 2014 with 67 career shutouts, she was well within reach of the U.S. all-time record of 71 … 2012: Started 31 of the USA’s 32 matches and posted a record of 26-1-3 while helping the USA to the Olympic gold medal, her second … Led the USA in minutes played with 2,579 minutes in goal … Played every minute of the 2012 Olympics and put in an epic performance on the biggest of stages in the 2-1 gold medal game victory against Japan, making a handful of crucial and spectacular saves to preserve the victory … Had three shutouts in the Olympics … Played in more games and played more minutes than any other year during her career and her 11 shutouts were the second best yearly total of her career … Played every minute of all five games at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament in Vancouver, Canada and did not allow a goal, which included a shutout of Canada in the championship game …2011: Solidified her standing as the world’s best female goalkeeper with a stellar performance during the Women’s World Cup in Germany … She was one of four U.S. players to play every minute and made key saves along with consistent overall play throughout the tournament, winning the Golden Glove as the top ‘keeper at the WWC … She also won the Bronze Ball as the third best player, the first time a goalkeeper has been voted one of the top three players in the tournament … Spent the first part of the year completing her recovery from major shoulder surgery the previous September, then made her return to the lineup on April 2, playing the second half against England … She then started the next 11 games and compiled a 6-1-3 record … Was on the short list of 10 finalists for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … 2010: Played in six games for the USA, winning them all, but had major shoulder surgery on Sept. 22 and spent the rest of the year rehabilitating … In the first match of the year, she became the first U.S. goalkeeper to save two penalty kicks during regulation time, twice stopping Iceland spot kicks in the opening game of the Algarve Cup … Made several excellent saves in the championship game of the Algarve Cup to help the USA to a 3-2 victory against Germany … Also played a world class match during a 4-0 victory against Germany in Cleveland, Ohio, in May … Finished seventh in the voting for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … 2009: Named the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year … Started six matches for the USA, earning four shutouts and allowing just one goal, that coming in the Algarve Cup final … Named MVP of the Algarve Cup after a spectacular performance in the championship game where she made a bushel of world class saves in regulation and then saved a penalty kick in the shootout that would have won the game for Sweden … Had a fantastic match against Germany in Germany to earn the shutout in a 1-0 victory … 2008: Started 27 games and compiled a record of 23-1-0 while allowing just 0.46 goals per game … Earned 13 shutouts on the year … Had an excellent tournament at the 2008 Olympics, starting all six games and playing every minute while making numerous huge plays throughout the tournament to help the USA to the gold medal … Was in goal for the USA in the championship game of the Four Nations Tournament and the Algarve Cup, the crucial semifinal victory in Olympic Qualifying that sent the USA to China and the championship game of the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea … Was on the 10-player short list for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … 2007: Started 15 games, earning nine shutouts and started the first four games of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in her first world championship … Was 13-0-2 on the year, allowing just eight goals and had three shutouts in the Women’s World Cup … 2006: Played in 18 matches, going undefeated at 14-0-4 … Goal given up against France in a 4-1 win at the Algarve Cup ended her streak of 1,054 minutes without allowing a goal from the run of play … 2005: Became the starting goalkeeper for the USA for the first time, starting seven of the team’s nine matches and earning seven shutouts … Started three of four games at the Algarve Cup, earning shutouts in each, including against Germany in the championship game … 2004:Trained with the USA in 2004 during Olympic Residency Camp and was named the alternate goalkeeper on the Olympic Team traveling to Greece ... 2002: Played 247 minutes with three starts in five matches and earning one shutout … 2001: Started four matches and played the full 90 minutes in all of them … 2000: Played three matches including her debut and first shutout against Iceland on April 5 … Participated in Residency Training Camp for the 2000 Olympics … Youth National Teams: Arrived late for the 2002 Nordic Cup after training with the full WNT, coming on at halftime against host Finland and then playing every minute of the remaining three-and-a-half games … Was the U-21 starter on the 2001 Nordic Cup championship team in Norway … Also played one match for the U-21s at the 2000 Nordic Cup in Germany ... Started for the U-16s and U-18s from 1996-1999 ... Did not surrender a goal in eight games for the U-18s in 1999, including three Pan-Am tournament starts in Winnipeg, Canada ... Shut out Mexico 1-0 in the 1999 Pan-Am final … First Appearance: April 5, 2000, vs. Iceland … First Shutout: April 5, 2000, vs. Iceland.

Professional / Club – 2014: Played every minute in 20 starts for the Reign to help Seattle to a 16-2-6 record, a regular season NWSL title and a berth in the championship game … Named to the NWSL Best XI Second Team … Led the league in wins and was third in shutouts with five … 2013: Missed the first eight matches of the season while recovering from injury, but ended up making a major impact while playing every minute of 14 starts … Was in goal for every win for the Reign during the season, and helped earn every point but one, compiling a 5-7-2 record … 2012: Allocated to her hometown Seattle Reign FC for the inaugural NWSL season … 2011: Signed with magicJack for the 2011 WPS season and played in four matches, compiling a record of 3-1-0 with two shutouts … Played in just four WPS matches as she took time off after the Women’s World Cup to heal her shoulder after accelerating her rehabilitation to make it back in time for the tournament … 2010: Played in six games for St. Louis Athletica before the team ceased operations, then signed with and played 16 games for the Atlanta Beat … Played the entire year with an injured shoulder and had major surgery soon after the end of the WPS season … Ended the season with a 6-8-8 record, six shutouts and a 1.64 GAA … Was third in the WPS in shutouts and goals against average and first in saves … Named as a starter in the WPS All-Star Game … 2009:Allocated to St. Louis Athletica for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 … Started 17 games for Athletica and was second in the league in saves and shutouts while allowing 14 goals and compiling a 0.82 GAA … Named the WPS Goalkeeper of the Year and a WPS All-Star … Played a key role in helping Athletica to a 10-6-4 record, good for second place during the regular season and a berth in the Super Semifinal … 2005: Stayed in Europe, this time to play in the French First Division with Lyon … 2004: Played in the Swedish First Division in 2004 with Göteborg … 2003: Taken in the first round of the 2003 WUSA Draft by the Philadelphia Charge … Played in eight games and had a 1.25 GAA.

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