USWNT Years: 2005 – present
Club Team: Seattle Reign
Hope Solo is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Her athleticism, aggressiveness off her line, and impeccable positioning are game-changers for any team that plays in front of her. A converted forward, she played her college soccer at the University of Washington before being called up to the US Women’s National Team in 2005. She has excelled internationally while displaying a seemingly endless capacity to court controversy.
Hope Solo is best known for:
Being the best keeper in the world, never-ending legal drama, being sent home from the 2007 Women’s World Cup after bad-mouthing Brianna Scurry’s performance in the 4-0 loss to Brazil, and performing on Dancing with the Stars. Oh, and she was naked in the ESPN Body issue, which was somehow controversial when she did it and is now no big deal when other USWNT players pose for the same issue. Oh, and her selfie nudes were leaked all over the internet, and no, you should not look at them because that is rude.
Fun records: (1) Went 1,054 minutes without allowing a goal, (2) holds the international record for most clean sheets, (3) holds records for BOTH longest winning streak AND longest losing streak on the USWNT.
Current controversies: Solo was involved in a domestic disturbance at the home of her sister in 2014, and was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault against her sister and nephew. The charges were dismissed when neither her sister nor her nephew appeared for scheduled depositions. Just one week after being cleared of these domestic assault charges, Solo was involved in another alcohol-related incident, narrowly escaping another arrest. She was suspended from the USWNT for 30 days. After complying with un-released demands, she was quietly reinstated ahead of the Algarve Cup.
Solo is married to former NFL player Jerramy Stevens and lives in a suburb of Seattle, not too far from her hometown of Richland, Washington. Richland is known mostly for being home to a major nuclear power plant, and also for having produced a world-class keeper.
Women’s World Cup 2015
: If Hope Solo can get her personal life and problems under control, and if she doesn’t lose her starting keeper spot to Ashlyn Harris (which, to be fair, is still unlikely), this World Cup will be a career-defining tournament. Win it, and she adds the one notch in her belt that is keeping her behind Briana Scurry in US Keeper history. Detract from the team through unpredictable behavior or inconsistent performance, and Solo may have a hard time rehabilitating her legacy. No pressure, though.