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Hope Solo: One In a Million

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Whether or not you’re a soccer fan, chances are good that you know who Hope Solo is. Hopefully you identify with her as one of the greatest goalie’s of all time rather than the recent Hope Solo who’s temper flared resulting in two accusations of assault. The headline-making goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s national soccer team has not only been featured in countless magazines including Sports Illustrated, and ESPN The Magazine: Body Issue, she was also a contestant on the hit show Dancing with the Stars. Equal parts controversial and charismatic, the Richland, Washington-born beauty is widely regarded as not only the greatest female goalkeeper in the world, but one of the greatest goalkeepers in the game, period.
 
It’s a reputation she’s earned for good reason: A member of the U.S. national soccer team since 2000, Solo is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who’s tied the U.S. record for career shutouts. In high school, Solo was named a two-time Parade All-American and played as forward. She went on to play for the University of Washington Huskies, changing position to goalkeeper. Solo took to her new defensive role like a fish to water, going on to be named a four-time All-Pac-10 athlete and a three-time NSCAA All-American. She was also the first Washingtonian and first goalkeeper to ever receive the Pac-10 Player of the Year award as well as the only goalkeeper nominated for the prestigious Hermann Trophy. Solo left the Huskies as Washington’s all-time leader in shutouts (18), saves (325), and GAA (1.02).
 
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As a professional, she’s played for many professional organizations including WUSA, WPS, and other international associations. In September 2008, Hope was drafted to the Saint Louis Athletica in the newly formed Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league. During the inaugural 2009 season, Hope led the Athletica to a second place finish in the regular season standings, going on to be named the 2009 Goalkeeper of the Year.

During the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, her exceptional skill was amplified during a quarterfinal match against Brazil, in which the U.S. defeated Brazil in penalty kicks. Although the team lost to Japan in a very close match, Solo received the Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper and the Bronze Ball award for overall performance. Immediately after the 2010 WPS season, Solo underwent major shoulder surgery. Though her recovery took nearly a year, she entered the 2011 Women’s World Cup as the US team’s starting goalkeeper, helping the team place second.
 
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Solo’s athletic success and persona has attracted a ton of media attention and interest from endorsors. In 2011, she signed a one-year endorsement deal with Bank of America and in 2014 with Western Union. Hope’s list of sponsors also includes Nike, BlackBerry, UbiSoft, EA Sports and Gatorade.

Solo also revealed details about her troubled childhood in her 2012 memoir, which debuted at number three on The New York Times Best Seller list—the highest ever for a soccer book. Perhaps that’s what drives her involvement with a number of philanthropic endeavors, including the Boys and Girls Club and the Women’s Sports Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping females through sport and physical activity. Regardless of the reason, one thing is clear: Solo is dedicated not only to being the best at her craft, but also dedicated to helping others realize their potential.
 

 

 

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Sports
  • sludgemonkey

    Does she need a hug?