Hope Solo

At the time of writing, former United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) goalkeeper Hope Solo has recently been in the news after requesting that her induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame be postponed until 2023. Solo, 40, was arrested in North Carolina on March 31, 2022, after being found passed out at the wheel of her car with the engine running and her two-year-old twin sons in the back seat. She refused a field sobriety test and was subsequently charged with driving while intoxicated, resisting arrest and misdemeanor child abuse. Solo confirmed that she would an alcohol rehabilitation centre, saying, ‘ My energies and focus are totally directed to my health, healing and taking care of my family.’

In happier times, Solo won 2020 USWNT caps between 2000 and 2016, the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and Olympic gold medals in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. However, after the USWNT lost 4-3 on penalties to Sweden in the quarter-finals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Solo said ‘…we played a bunch of cowards’. Her comments were deemed ‘unacceptable’ and her national team contract was suspended and then terminated altogether, while her National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club, Seattle Reign, granted her ‘personal leave’ for the rest of the season. Solo never played for club or country again but, while she has repeatedly confirmed that she will never play again, never formally retired. Indeed. At one point she said, ‘I have not retired because, well, I got fired.’

Despite a controversial end to what was, otherwise, a long, illustrious career, Solo is widely regarded as one of the leading female goalkeepers in history. At club level, she played at the highest level domestically in the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and NWSL, as well as in the Swedish Premier Division and French First Division.

Leave a Reply