Must-See Interview: Hope Solo

HopeSolo (ISI)

Photo by ISIphotos.com


"In everything I do, I play to win, and I speak the truth, and people are either going to love me or they hate me." – Hope Solo

U.S. women's national team goalkeeper Hope Solo has become as polarizing figure as there is in the women's game. Her talent on the field as arguably the premiere goalkeeper in the world is unquestionable, but her actions off the field have taken some of the attention from her success and accomplishments.

In an interview for ESPN's TV show E:60, Solo, who just released a tell-all book, dishes on everything from Greg Ryan's controversial decision to bench her in the semifinals of the 2007 Women's World Cup, her celebrity experiences off the field, her conflict with former USWNT standout and current TV analyst Brandi Chastain during this summer's Olympics to her success on the field. Give the interview a watch and let us know what you think about what Solo has to say in the comments section below. Enjoy:

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88 Responses to Must-See Interview: Hope Solo

  1. Tim says:

    Solo is self-aggrandizing and takes any opportunity to promote herself. I’ll choose not to watch, thanks.

  2. Mig22 says:

    I’m in the ‘love her’ camp. Yes, she’s bats**** crazy, but I still love her. And she’s not wrong about Ryan’s decision or about having no obligation to kowtow to the 99ers.

  3. Uocdr says:

    I dislike her.

  4. trevor says:

    steriod using cheat

  5. elgringorico says:

    I hate how much attention this stupid “push” is getting. He said… she said, who cares. This would never be an issue in men’s sports. The decision to bench Solo is outdated and in the past, no reason bringing it back because of a “push” that could have just been a slight hand on shoulder preventing her to leave. Point is nobody knows let’s move on.

    On that note I might agree a bit with Tim.

  6. Javier says:

    Where’s the “if she was a guy..” camp??

    Guess what people.. if a male athlete is a selfish a$$hole, he’s an a$$hole too. No, it wouldn’t be OK, let alone celebrated, if she was a guy.

  7. elgringorico says:

    Just got to 5:20 where she essentially says “GO READ THE BOOK” and get pissy about it. ugh.

  8. brian I says:

    Watched the interview yesterday, and I completely agree with her in respect to the World Cup fiasco and definitely agree with the Brandi Chastain comments. It’s almost impossible for me to sit and listen to her attempt to broadcast a game.

    I feel like Hope gets harshly criticized for saying exactly what a lot (not all) of people think. She’s not complaining about people’s opinion about her. Since that’s the case I can say that I’m on her side, and a fan.

  9. Justin says:

    That was a great interview, I respect Solo more now

  10. Tyler says:

    Can’t disagree with her. She’s exactly what you want in a Goalie.

    There’s a ton of misogyny on the Internet, so I expect some nasty comments. Already seeing a few.

  11. Tyler says:

    Your evidence?

    Nah, it’s the Internet who needs it, right? Maybe we should show up at your work and tell everyone you smoke crack and touch little children on the weekends.

    I mean hey, we don’t have any evidence but who cares, right?

  12. elgringorico says:

    Try to think of her objectively, not as a woman, but as a human. She creates controversy and constantly brings attention to herself. She is very clearly trying to sell her book and MAKE MONEY by blowing up all these stupid stories.

    Does she not realize that all dancing coaches move their partners bodies into the correct position? It’s how they teach.

  13. brian I says:

    One more thing…could you imagine if Kasey Keller came out of retirement. We made it to the World Cup Quarters or Semis (for realism sake lol) without giving up a goal, with Howard in net. Then for that Semifinal game Jurgen starts Keller…we’d go crazy!

  14. Tim says:

    Misogyny? I don’t like self-aggrandizing jerks who are male athletes, either. Misogyny is not the issue here.

    elgringorico has this exactly right. She is trying to sell books and sell herself.

  15. Tyler says:

    People would freak out and rightfully so. Hope is demonized for being an outspoken woman who also happens to be the hand sdown best darn keeper on the planet.

  16. Tyler says:

    Nobody was talking about you. But since you clearly took a general comment personally you must already feel guilty about your comment.

    Nice work. And of course she’s selling her book. Doesn’t mean she’s wrong.

  17. House says:

    If my kids grow up to be like Hope Solo I’d consider myself a huge failure as a parent.
    Such a self-aggrandizing doper.

  18. Illmatic74 says:

    I like her. I rather have athletes who speak their mind. It is a lot more interesting then hearing athletes spout the same cliches over and over again.

  19. Tyler says:

    Here’s another one of those comments just dripping with an underlying hatred.

    In one sentence managed to say
    Hope Solo is a failure at life.
    Hope Solo’s parents are failures.
    Hope Solo is a narcissist (probably true).
    Hope Solo is a cheater.

    You people are pathetic misogynists.

  20. elgringorico says:

    Lol yes, we hate women. That is clearly what’s happening here. C’mon man.

  21. Tim says:

    Yes, I feel guilty. That’s the problem here. Making a general statement about those you disagree with and then claiming you weren’t talking about the one who calls you out on it is a classic internet gimmick.

    You can choose to disagree and choose to like her. But you do not need to accuse people of misogyny and question their motives.

    I don’t have a problem with her trying to sell a book. I do not like it when she creates controversy and makes inflammatory comments about other people to do so.

  22. Pitt Evertonian says:

    Great keeper, but I just wish she would grow a little backbone and be able to take some criticism. Her Twitter outburst on Chastain was petty and probably re-inforced some catty stereotypes of women. If she wants her sport to be accepted like a men’s sport, then she is going to have to realize that criticism (just and unjust) is going to come her way from the media. Deal with it.

  23. elgringorico says:

    No, it doesn’t mean she’s wrong, it just means she puts money over being a good person.

  24. Dw says:

    You act like she is calling ESPN up asking for interviews. She gets the call and she speaks her mind. So what if she is promoting her book because everyone would in a sense if they had a book on the market.

  25. Tyler says:

    I was talking about the Trevor kid. I mean it wouldn’t be very honest of me to claim she isn’t a narcissist because she clearly loves herself. Many top athletes are like that sadly.

  26. Kevin_Amold says:

    This line of attack is so boring.

  27. dcm says:

    Hah, Abby Wambach is awesome.

  28. House says:

    Read my post again. You missed the part where I cured cancer, solved the middle-east crisis and gave away the secret for a perfect cup of coffee.
    …what a moron.

  29. elgringorico says:

    +1 The Wombat, for example, is a tough, spirited player who keeps generally keeps her mouth shut and shows her determination on the field.

  30. Tim says:

    Well, I disagree with the Trevor as well. No way he can know that and it was a trolling comment. But that doesn’t make him a misogynyst. It makes him an internet troll.

    And just because many top athletes are narcissists doesn’t mean I have to like it or appreciate it when I see it. There are also plenty of top athletes who aren’t.

  31. Peter says:

    You guys have it right!!! I love the fact she is outspoken! The fact is her coach made a horrible decision, Chastain is an Awful commentator and she called them out on it. Also can we please stop with the 99 team already!! Why should she have to be asked questions about this team anyway!! The game has changed and their time is gone. Lets move forward already.

  32. KarlthewonderYak says:

    I’m not a misogynist, but I do hate women.

  33. Reid says:

    a quote from a great man keeps ringin in my head and it can be applied here.
    “your not wrong Walter (Hope), your just an a$_hole”

  34. suarez says:

    and why is that negro calling me a racist?

  35. Tim says:

    Precisely, Reid.

  36. rory says:

    I wonder which classic female US star she wants to attack next?

  37. BSU SC says:

    I don’t care what others have to say about her, Hope Solo is one of the sexiest women on the planet.

  38. rory says:

    Wish we would have known that Abby thought Brianna was the right choice back then too. Tired of everyone blaming Ryan for the decision that looks horrible in hindsight but if two stars on the team agreed then you have to wonder about how bad a decision it was during the fog of war.

    Also, makes you wonder if Solo’s “anyone who knows anything about soccer” comment was directed at Lilly and Abby.

  39. Rory says:

    Hate to play the armchair psychologist… but this interview is really telling… her hatred for Kristine Lilly seems to be the root of her hatred towards the 1999 Women’s team of legends.

  40. George says:

    But I’m sure Tim Howard wouldn’t of found the 1st camera he could find and make the kind of comments she did after the game!

  41. Seriously says:

    Exactly, she is right about everything she says in regard to that. One of the worst decisions by a coach ever.

  42. Seriously says:

    They asked her for her opinion, she didn’t seek them out. LD always speaks his mind when interviewed does that make him bad? No

  43. josh says:

    I think Hope is a great keeper, and a boon to the women’s game. Her athleticism and presence on the field transcends gender, and that is a good thing. But I cringe at anyone, male or female, that loudly and proudly proclaims “I speak my mind, and tough luck if you don’t like it.” It indicates the inability to grasp that what is in one’s mind is not necessarily truth, and has real impact on other people.

  44. silvio says:

    hope solo is a clown. she forgets she is part of a team and wants to only be the attraction rather than let all her teammates have some glory after olympics. I dont see any other usa players out criticizing/slamming other players from past, rather are enjoying their victory. Hope solo has many problems.

  45. Fred says:

    Not even top 2 on the national team.

  46. Seriously says:

    Also does anyone really disagree with what Solo said about Chastain? She is a bad commentator and says things just to try and appear neutral. She is shown in America, yes try to be objective, but that doesn’t extend down to attacking the team just to try and appear like you aren’t a homer. Chastain is garbage, her 15 minutes should have been in 99 and she should have disappeared after that. She does nothing to further the game or US Soccer so dont bring her around anymore.

    Julie Foudy isn’t a great commentator either, but she is leaps and bounds ahead of Chastain. Stick with her or find a better female to comment if you feel you have to have a woman.

  47. Rory says:

    Keep in mind her original tweet about Chastain did not reference her commentary ability, instead it claimed Chastain didn’t know anything about the game. Those are two different issues. I’d say Chastain (and again, Hope is very telling here by impling Chastain is only “the girl who took off her shirt” and not referencing her storied career) gets under Hope’s skin because she’s so revered.

  48. marco says:

    Yeah, she didn’t fail a steroids test, she just got caught with a bunch of steroid-masking agents in her system! TOTALLY different.

  49. Adam M. says:

    Solo has been upset over the last five years because she was wrongly benched in a big game, didn’t like a color commentator criticizing her teammates (not her), and got treated poorly a couple of times by people she worked with. Her story is interesting overall, but if she were a successful male athelte, these stories would hardly raise an eyebrow (go read Ball Four if you haven’t). Fact is that it makes goot tv because the camera loves her and its unusual for a female athelte to open up the way she has about herself and her professional relationships. Is she seeking attention? No more than anyone else in our celeb-crazy world, but at least she has actual achievements behind it.

  50. Rory says:

    Again though, her initial twitter posts weren’t about Chastain’s commentary, it was a personal shot at her ability to play and knowledge of the game, something along the lines of “Wish we had a commentator who understood the game” or some crap.

    Can you imagine if Lebron James said that about someone like Issaih Thomas or Karl Malone?

  51. elgringorico says:

    Precisely what? He quoted a movie and didn’t provide any factual basis or argument. You calling people women-haters is just as extreme and absurd as Solo’s defacing of several people for her own benefit.

    Note that all of her silly stories (the Ryan snub, dancing teacher, and her friend saying that comment about her dad) are closed door and in every scenario the opposing party has 100% denied what she has said.

    She’s just exaggerating stupid stories for no reason at all. In the real world we call people like that attention whores or drama queens.

  52. yankiboy says:

    I disagre with Hope’s comments about Chastain and I disagree with you.

    I think Cahstain was doing her job when she mentioned RB’s defense. I would categorize the comments as “mildly critical” at best.

    Chastain is not my favorite commentator by any stretch of the imagination but I’ve never considered her “garbage”.

    I also disagree with you marginlization of Chastain after the 99 WWC. She’s done a lot to try and grow the sport in the US.

    Solo looked like a clown when she suggested that Chastain had no idea of what she was talking about–it hasn’t been that long–not that many things have changed. It’s not like we’re talking about the NFL and Chastain played back in the days that guys wore leather helmets.

    I did like the way that Solo was supporting RB–I’m sure I’m not alone when I suggest that the two already had a lot of beef going back for several years and Chastains criticism of RB was an opporunity for her to take a swipe back at Chastain, especially for her comment after Solo failed the test.

    Where I agree with you is that I prefer Foudy. I also wonder if there is a feeling on the part of networks that there has to be a women on the set doing commentary when the USWNT plays. Those are the two points that resonate with me. I’m not sure if the latter is about marketing or a sense of obligation in including a woman because it is a womens sporting event.

  53. Mig22 says:

    Fair point, Rory.

    On the other hand, remember that it was Chastain’s criticism, not of Solo but, of Buehler and the defense which set her off. I can’t fault her for defending her defenders.

    It’s a p*ing contest, to be sure. :)

  54. yankiboy says:

    I’m not going to say that giving his opionion makes LD a bad guy but when guys like Terrell Owens or Jose Canseco or Jeremy Shockey do it, they get lit up by industry types, guys on sportalk radio and the internet. They’re just speaking their own version of the “truth”.

    Hope gets lit up when people take exception to a lot of her comments.

    Personally, I’d actually argue that’s “progress” as opposed to suggesting that there is some sort of gender-based double standard.

  55. Tim says:

    elgringorico, I think you misunderstood. I agree with you.

    I said “precisely” in reference to Reid’s comments, because I assumed that Reid’s quote was directed at Solo. Now that I look at it, I can see where one would think his comment was directed at another commenter in this thread. Either way, I think the comment applies to Solo quite well, and I think I have agree with just about everything you have said in this thread.

  56. elgringorico says:

    yeah my bad I thought you were Tyler calling me a woman-hater again. Mixed up my T names.

  57. whoop=whoop says:

    She’s the best goalkeeper I’ve seen in the woman’s game and it’s not even close. I wouldn’t presume to know someone based on their public persona and really don’t care…… I’ll leave judgments about “what kind of person she is” to people who know her. The only relevant thing is that my relationship to her is watching her play soccer, and that is a joy.

  58. Sagcat says:

    Strong women with opinions will always be controversial and polarizing. Especially to men.

  59. BSU SC says:

    that might be so…but it’s not like the national team is lacking sexy women.

  60. Sagcat says:

    If not for the stereotypes – if a male athlete had said something similar – it would not have been a story.

  61. Tim says:

    That is so not true. If Lebron made those same comments about Magic Johnson as an announcer, you don’t think people would be talking about that? Of course they would.

  62. yankiboy says:

    I don’t really see where gender plays a role in the above statement. I just don’t.

    Aren’t high profile people (regarless of gender) with strong opinions who are outspoken usually considered to be polarizing???

    If some of the outspoken athletes I referred to earlier previously were women, they’d still be lightning rods for discussion/debate.

    Hope’s profile is a testament to sports and popular culture. Fifteen years ago, I don’t think that there would have been more than 10 comments posted here. I think that demonstrates more men being interested enough and aware enough to take the time to discuss her.

  63. Carl Nostrand says:

    Go Hope! She is a leader in the sports world, not just the mans world any more thanks to brave women like Hope Solo.

    Stay in the present is her message and a dame good one!!!

    I haven’t read the book but don’t need too. I understand exactly were Hope Solo is comming from. You go girl!

    She is not turning on the team as much as the media is turning up a story. A story that has yet to be played out for the world to see. One that the media and whitty critics can have a say.

    A soccer story from America….. This is the real news.

    I think Hope Solo is world class on the feild, and still pollishing of the field.

    We need goilies in America. Better yet we need training pitches that are safe and comfortale for all of our youth male and female to learn how to dive, fly, and extent at the perfect time.

    When all of our youth players (M&F) become balanced and centered enough to flow with the presure of being in goal, ready and able to take one for the team, thats when we can expect to reach Hope Solo’s goal.

    I like hearing about Hope Solo future and look forward to the book.

    Wu li wa

  64. yankiboy says:

    To elaborate on what Tim added to the discussion.

    When Kobe was asked about if this years Oympic team matched up with the Dream Team the chatter afterwards had nothing to do with beacuse Kobe and Jordan are dudes.

    It was a generetional debate that was fueld by the legendary status that ’92 team had.

    Maybe you didn’t notice because you might not care about Hoops but that story was buzzing on sports media outlets and people were arguing about it for days. It was a bit silly but it still got a lot of play–because of the generational thing–not the gender thing.

    Just because Kobe said that this year’s team could beat the ’92 squad. He wasn’t even peacocking. He just answered a reporter’s question…

  65. yankiboy says:

    Your not blaming the media for some of Hope’s controversies, are you?

    I just want to be sure that I understand correctly the comments about the media.

    Hope is marketing Hope–I don’t have problem with that. That’s how the game works.

    The one point that I can agree with you on is that this story isn’t written yet. There are a lot of chapters to be written.

    Hopefully Solo will have a fantastic and long career. I look forward to watching it as it plays out.

  66. Jacknut says:

    I’m there. If she were a guy, she wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow with her behavior. Goalkeepers are flakes after all.

  67. David says:

    I’m glad Jeremy Schaap went ahead and told me it was Cat Whitehill who made the comment about Solo exploiting her father’s death. Now I don’t have to read the book now, since the suspense was killing me.

    Regarding Chastain’s comments about Beuhler, I thought they were very mild and not that critical, and Solo was way out of line calling her on it. I’m not a fan of Chastain’s commentary, but Beuhler is an average-to-below-average center back for the international game who is extremely limited athletically and lacks technical ability that should be required at that level. If you watch USWNT games, many of the defensive breakdowns occur because of RB. That’s what Chastain should have said, and would have possibly justified Solo backing her teammate, but instead she took a chance to gain publicity over rather vanilla comments.

  68. TheFrenchOne says:

    the greatest travesty of this entire interview? that jeremy schaap was the interviewer. i know this story goes beyond soccer, but i can’t bear to watch an interview led by someone who doesn’t regularly cover soccer.

  69. whoop-whoop says:

    Considering almost none of the coverage she gets is soccer related, I suppose its appropriate.

  70. Scott says:

    One of my hard and fast soccer rules is:
    1. Goal keepers are always at least a little off in the head.
    My 2nd rule is:
    2. A good goal keeper is worth a little crazy…a great keeper is worth a whole lot of crazy.

  71. GW says:

    Not all dance teachers teach like that. Every pupil is different. A good teacher usually figures out beforehand what is acceptable and what is not. DWTS operates in a fairly compressed time frame so who knows how it all went down. Given what I have seen of such teachers, if you think Solo’s teacher/partner wasn’t at least as big an ego maniac as she is, you obviously have never had any lessons from a top pro. Put two such people together and sometimes you get explosions.

    Objectively Solo is a pro athlete with a limited amount of time to carve out a career for herself before the spotlight leaves. Her sport is currently on life support in this country and even if it wasn’t it would pay pretty paltry wages in a comparative sense.
    Only a few of the USWNT women have Solo’s combination of looks, personality and athletic ability that give her the chance to develop an alternative career doing something else. She is just getting a head start on it. Look at where it got Michael Strahan.

    Given the expectations and demands this society lays on sports heroes/icons whatever you call them and the speed and ferocity with which we are willing to tear them to little pieces should they falter , I have zero problem with Solo using her entire arsenal to carve out a living for herself.

    Looking out for #1 is an American tradition and Solo is good at that. She may not be what the sport needs or wants but she is what the sport deserves.

  72. GW says:

    Who cares? Ryan does. That is why he came out with a strong denial.

    I don’t know if you work in the USA. If you do and if that is truly your attitude towards physical contact between colleagues in the workplace, then you are a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    Go to your workplace and just try acting like Ryan allegedly did with a female colleague that you maybe don’t really get along with and see what happens.

    In this country, regardless of gender, touching a colleague at work in any manner but particularly one where there is room for misinterpretation ( two people alone, different genders ) is a bad idea.

    If this did happen Ryan was an idiot to ever be alone with Solo.

  73. GW says:

    As I recall 99‘ers like Lilly were the people behind Solo’s shunning trauma. I remember following it at the time thinking that Solo was being treated with exquisite and exceptional cruelty. Boy they sure showed her didn’t they?

    Why are you surprised that she has no great love for them?

  74. Korglass says:

    I watched the game that lead to the Twitter controversy. IMHO, Brandi is a poor commentator and was not up to speed on Team USA details. Her general criticism of the defense included the lack of communication across the back line. She then opined that the line players should not be shifted about from game to game by the coach. Uhh, Brandi, you could have checked the injury reports before commenting. Her comments were generally unfocused, rambling and annoying. I could not fathom why Brandi was on the broadcast, and that was before Hope created the controversy. Based on the broadcast, I’m inclined to give Hope the benefit of the doubt for defending her team and coach. Having said that, I agree that Hope is a drama queen.

  75. GW says:

    For most of the sports world Brandi’s lasting claim to fame is as “the girl who took of her shirt”.

    Had she not been fortunate enough to take and make that winning penalty leading to her iconic moment (tell me there is a more iconic image of the USWNT?)would anyone even remember her?

    If Sara Whalen,Joy Fawcett, or Karla Overbeck had taken that penalty and then taken off their shirts, maybe they would as revered as Brandi. I would argue they
    were as good if not better players.

    Chastain is just like Solo in her desire to exploit her looks and celebrity. Solo just happens to be a little better at it and she is the new hot girl on the scene.

  76. Andy says:

    Thinking Hope Solo is a self-involved, publicity-seeking annoyance does not make someone a misogynist. That’s just what she comes off as to a lot of people and that’s her mostly her own fault.

    Just like Terrell Owens, Rob Gronkowski, etc.

  77. Andy says:

    Agreed. And also, thinking Hope Solo is a self-involved, publicity-seeking annoyance does not make anyone a misogynist. That’s just what she comes off as to a lot of people and that’s her mostly her own fault.

    Just like Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, Rob Gronkowski and dozens (or hundreds) of other male athletes.

  78. GW says:

    Sure.

    Just because you know the game it doesn’t mean your commentary will convince anyone that you do.

    I guess you’ve never heard a former player serving as a commentator who sounded as if he was a complete idiot ( of course, I could not possibly be talking about Alexi or Taylor or Eric or Harksie).

    Somewhere, deep down, I know those guys know more about the game than I ever will but if going by their commentary, I have a hard time believing it.

  79. GW says:

    Why do you assume she is the one exaggerating?

    It seems like nothing can be proved either way so it’s 50/50.

  80. GW says:

    See the Dutch Women’s field hockey Olympic team.

  81. GW says:

    I have never seen a defense so incapable of simply clearing a ball. It is also an immobile defense.

    Without Abby, Alex, Blondie and Solo this team is unexceptional.

  82. RB says:

    Why in the world does this debate keep happening? I mean why does anybody given a damn?

    Solo does a fantastic job keeping the ball out of the net. She was strangely benched and we got trounced; she was put back in and we won 2 Olympic golds and nearly a WC in between. As Dizzy Dean said, “It ain’t braggin’ if you do it.”

    And by the way, that’s her job to do, not be a wonderfully affable public figure. She has the chance to capitalize on her fame and go on DWTS or do interviews and promote a book, more power to her. Nobody rational fan can begrudge any female soccer athlete or world class caliber that, given the piss-poor situation society is giving such women in their chosen profession, especially as compared to the mountains of money awaiting even many of their less stellar male counterparts

    If you don’t like her or don’t want to watch her dance or read her book or listen to her comments, just don’t.

  83. Gene says:

    +1

    You summed it up so perfectly.

  84. bryan says:

    People like T.O., Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson, Gronkowski, and Solo can get away with running their mouth. Look at their careers. T.O. is 2nd all-time in receiving, Johnson holds all Bengals receiving records, Gronkowki holds all single-season TE records. And Solo is a multi-time Gold Medalist.

  85. Chastain says:

    Speak about the steroids, then you will be speaking the truth

  86. RAP says:

    Joy Fawcett and Karla Overbeck were MUCH better players than Chastain.

  87. brandnewday says:

    I think Hope Solo is right about Women’s soccer changing from 1999. In 1999, women’s soccer would put me to sleep in five seconds. In 2012, it takes six seconds. By the way, I think it is wonderful that are colleges are spending millions of dollars on women’s soccer programs while cutting the budgets for the Computer Science, campus police, building maintenance, janitor staff, and health center staff. God Bless Title IX, women’s sports are the key to beating China and India in the world economy. Thank you feminist!!!!