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.
COLLEGE TURNING POINT
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.”
“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.
Full name is Hope Amelia Solo … Traveled to Thailand in November of 2015 to be mentor at the One Young World Summit, a gathering of some of the brightest young people from around the world to empower them to make lasting connections to create positive change … Worked alongside other counselors such as former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, musician and activist Sir Bob Geldof, astronaut and Humanitarian Ron Garan and Nobel Peace prize nominee father Mussie Zerai … Is a strong voice for women’s equality and participates on panels to empower women world-wide to pursue equal rights across all segments of society, including an event with the President of Mauritius Ameenah Gurib while in Thailand … Already a popular player with fans and media, she gained tremendous notoriety after her 2011 World Cup performance, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue … Authored a best-selling autobiography in 2012 titled Solo: A Memoir of Hope … In 2012, she married Jerramy Stevens, a retired tight end in the NFL who played five seasons for the Seattle Seahawks and four seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers … They met at the University of Washington and are both proud Husky alums … Worked with Team Up and Grassroots Soccer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa … Her trip to South Africa was the first time she had attended a men’s World Cup … Almost went to college as a field player or for basketball and initially never wanted to be a goalkeeper … Has a website at www.hopesolo.com.
Regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world, Solo possess world class athleticism, instincts and a commanding presence and kicking game as part of the foundation of the USA defense … She started in goal at every age level of the U.S. National Team programs and owns every major U.S. goalkeeping record … She is the most-capped and winningest goalkeeper in women’s soccer history ... 2015: A member of the 2015 Women’s World Cup champions, she had a stellar tournament and earned the Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper for the second consecutive Women’s World Cup … Played every minute of the Women’s World Cup over the seven matches … Was named to FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team and was on the short list for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … Made several huge saves in the opening match against Australia to help preserve the critical 3-1 victory vs. Australia that kick-started the USA’s victorious World Cup run … Had five shutouts in a row during the World Cup, a U.S. record for most shutouts in a single WWC and consecutive WWC shutouts, and tied the U.S. record for most World Cup shutouts with 10 in her career … Broke the U.S. all-time records for wins and caps for a goalkeeper during the 2015 Women’s World Cup ... Played 1,890 minutes in 23 matches during the year, starting 22, and logged a 17-1-4 record with 12 shutouts, second most in a calendar year during her career … Earned her 90th shutout in the seventh game of the Victory Tour against Trinidad & Tobago ... Was named the CONCACAF Female Goalkeeper of the Year and to the CONCACAF Best XI ... Had three shutouts in the 2015 Algarve Cup, and saved a penalty kick in the championship game against France 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 1,710 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 to set the U.S. all-time record … 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 … 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 … Led the USA in minutes played with 2,579 … 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 to date … 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 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, performing extremely well in her first world championship while earning three shutouts … Was 13-0-2 on the year, allowing just eight goals … 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 traveled to Greece as the alternate goalkeeper on the gold-medal winning Olympic Team in Athens ... 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.
2015: Started eight matches for the Seattle Reign due to WNT commitments, but helped the club to the regular season title and a berth in the championship game … Had a 5-2-1 record … 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.