Goalkeepers are known to be strange folk. But why wouldn’t they be different from most field players? They wear different colors, use different equipment and have different skills while facing different challenges. Because of this pressure, some can be pretty tightly wound and you really wouldn’t want to upset them. On the U.S. Women’s National Team, they’ve got two relatively normal ‘keepers, so Center Circle thought it would not endanger the safety of the interviewer to sit down with Hope Solo and Briana Scurry to find out…
…Five Things You Always Wanted to Know About Goalkeeping, But Were Afraid to Ask:
How do you cope with those smelly gloves?
Hope Solo: “I’m fortunate not to have that problem any more because of my Nike sponsorship. They keep me smelling nice in new gloves whenever I need them! However, back in college, when I first met my boyfriend, I had quickly showered post-game and we went out. We were holding hands on walking around the streets and he reached up to scratch his eye and I guess smelled his own hand, and said, ‘what’s that smell?’ It was my left-over glove smell! It was so embarrassing. From then on, I scrub my hands and wrists after every training.”
Briana Scurry: “I get a new pair every two weeks. I like to throw my old ones into the crowd if it’s after a game. I hope the fans don’t mind the smelly ones.”
Do you really enjoy rocking a forward’s world on a fifty-fifty ball?
Hope Solo: “I never thought I was that ‘crazy goalkeeper’ who likes to take people out, but the answer is yes. Without a doubt. I guess we are all a little psycho.”
Briana Scurry: “Absolutely, better their world gets rocked than mine. They are probably trying to intimidate me and I won’t have it. I’m the one doing the intimidating out there.”
Could a field player last an entire goalkeeper session?
Hope Solo: “I bet my last dollar that they couldn’t. It just a whole different kind of fitness. People just don’t understand how hard it is to throw yourself on the ground and then get up 200 times, in an afternoon, all the while keeping your technique clean in catching the ball.”
Briana Scurry: “No way. After a few balls hitting them someplace other than the hands, they would run screaming out of the goal. I wouldn’t blame them. That can hurt.”
What are you thinking about during a game that is totally one-sided and you are standing at the top of the penalty box for 90 minutes?
Hope Solo: “I am constantly telling myself to stay focused because those are the type of games that something goofy can happen and it can happen in just one second. Honestly, I’d rather play in a game against a stronger team where I get action, but the one-sided games are a good test for me mentally.”
Briana Scurry: “One of my thoughts is, ‘Boy I’m going to have to work out later in the gym or something. Also, ‘Here’s another win for the USA.’”
Are referees too quick to blow their whistle when a goalkeeper gets jostled inside the box?
Hope Solo: “Yes, they are, however, they also miss a lot of times when a forward sneakily holds our arms down on a corner kick because there are so many people around you. When we get hit, they call it, but they rarely call it when someone holds our arms down and stops us from going for a ball.”
Briana Scurry: “Sometimes, yes. Other times, no. There have been several times when I’ve had my arm pulled on purpose and there was no call at all. I know it’s hard to see that because the field player will grab it quickly as they are going for the ball, and with all those bodies, it is easy to get away with it. It happens, it’s part of the game. I get away with a few things myself.”