Where There’s Hope, There’s Hope Solo
Wildly talented and unapologetically outspoken, Womens Professional Soccer player Hope Solo plans to take Saint Louis Athletica to the next level this season.
Hope Solo can kick your ass. Dont be fooled by the statuesque beautys model good looks; whatever sport you want to play, her competitive drive and natural athleticism will leave you in the dust. And having a name fit for a superhero doesnt hurt.
Solo, a decorated Womens Professional Soccer league goalkeeper, was allocated to Saint Louis Athletica in September 2008. Athletica finished in second place in its inaugural season, but lost in the WPS Semifinal playoff game, something Solo hopes to change this season, which kicked off April 11.
“When I had the opportunity to choose where I wanted to play, St. Louis was the only city on my list,” Solo says. “I was welcomed the first day I stepped foot in St. Louis. There is a realness to this city. People seem to want to work hard and play hard, and that is my style, because that is what life is all about.”
Growing up, playing sports was standard in Solos family, and as a kid, she competed with the boys. “Athletics were important to me because they kept me focused,” says Solo. “I never took my eyes off of my dream and still havent.” She couldve played any sport and excelled, but chose soccer, a game she describes as “beautiful” and “fast-paced,” because of its unique balance of graceful movement and brute force, much like Hope herself. When she went to the University of Washington to play college ball, her natural talent and drive to succeed helped her transition from playing forward, an offensive position, to guarding the goal, a change that Solo was apprehensive about at first.
Her Olympic dreams were realized in 2008 at the Beijing games. “Winning the gold medal was a culmination of a lifes work,” says Solo. “I wanted that gold medal for more important reasons than winning it for myself.”
When asked about her hope for Athletica this season, she doesnt miss a beat when she replies, “To win the WPS championship.” That type of flat-out confidence and gumption is what Solo is known for, both on and off the field. Her personal goal? “Honestly, I want to be the best goalkeeper in the league,” she says. “And in the world.” Spoken like a true superhero.
For more info on Saint Louis Athletica and for the game schedule, log on to womensprosoccer.com/stlouis.
St. Louis’ Women’s Professional Soccer League player Hope Solo gets candid
Photo credit: Photos by Carmen Troesser