A long overdue induction was announced today as Hope Solo was one of three inductees in the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2022. She, along with Clint Dempsey and Shannon Boxx will be inducted in May this year in Frisco, Texas.
Solo was given the news by Clint Dempsey during a CBS Sports broadcast where she and Shannon Boxx were brought on as guest analysts for a CONCACAF qualifying match between the USMNT and CANMNT.
When it comes to revolutionizing a position on the pitch, not many have done it better and as consistently as Hope Solo for both club and country. At a time where most goalkeepers “stayed at home” so to speak, Solo excelled at both shot-stopping, organisation and as the game overall progressed, picking out a pass with her feet. Her reputation proceeded her every time she stepped foot on the pitch and with her in goal, you knew that USWNT always had a chance to win whatever game they were in.
From a purely talent evaluation level, Hope Solo was one the most athletic goalkeepers I’ve watched in this sport. She not only could change direction quickly but she was also strong enough to push, punch or deflect whatever shot came her way.
Her performances helped the USWNT to two Olympic Gold medals and a World Cup title in her 16-year career. In a lot of those tournaments, the USWNT wouldn’t have made it to the podium if it hadn’t been for her ability and skill. That’s just how good she was.
Solo never won any club honours but she did help OL Reign (then Seattle Reign FC) to two NWSL Championship finals. She was once again an influential part of the Reign making those finals, something they have not accomplished since.
Hope Solo ended her professional career with 202 caps making her the 11th most capped player for the USWNT. She also made 134 club appearances with the Philadelphia Charge, Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC (now known as BK Häcken FF), Olympique Lyonnais, Saint Louis Athletica, Atlanta Beat, magicJack and Seattle Reign.
Make what you will of her off the pitch issues but her goalkeeping has never been in doubt. In my opinion, she has been the best goalkeeper the USWNT has ever had and probably the best goalkeeper the women’s game has ever seen.
It’s only right that she be inducted into the Hall of Fame and congratulations to her. It’s a shame that it’s taken this long but the moment has finally arrived for Hope Solo and it’s fully deserved.