U.S. Goalkeeping Hope Solo Star Kept Her Best For Last At The Summer Games


LONDON – Hope Solo's personality is appealing unusual, generally prickly, and absolutely unapologetic. And the U.S. women's soccer aggregation could not be happier about it.

The U.S. goalkeeping brilliant kept her best for aftermost at the Summer Games, with a superb accomplishment that included four outstanding saves as the ancillary retained its Olympic appellation with a 2-1 accomplishment over Japan. Solo is never added absorbing than aback she has a point to prove. A accessible argument with civic aggregation fable Brandi Chastain at the alpha of the tournament, again
acceptance three goals adjoin Canada in a abutting semifinal, accepted to be the absolute cocktail for a Solo adept chic at Wembley Stadium.

Just don't apprehend her to change.

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"I am who I am," Solo said afterwards her abutting acquaintance Carli Lloyd denticulate the two goals that clinched accomplishment for the Americans, who avenged aftermost year's Women's Apple Cup defeat to Japan.

"I don't affliction how I am seen. I don't affliction how bodies apperceive me. I am actuality to win, and it is not consistently pretty. You don't apperceive aback you are activity to be asked to footfall up.

"I anticipate I apperceive how to comedy able-bodied beneath pressure, but a lot of abundant players are like that."

Life, and soccer, is never quiet for Solo, and it was alluringly applicable that an Olympic adventure that concluded in celebrity was a predictably agitated ride for the U.S. goalkeeper.

Solo's bluster at Chastain led to her actuality kept abroad from the team's aftermost media affair afore the final, but on the field, Solo could not be silenced. Several accomplished saves in the aboriginal bisected accustomed the Americans to bear Japan's pressure, but it was her diving stop on Mana Iwabuchi that will continued be remembered.

Iwabuchi was bright on ambition afterwards captain Christie Rampone gave the brawl away, and the Japanese acting addled the brawl cleanly, alone to be denied as Solo dived to her appropriate and pushed the brawl away.

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"Hope adored the day, literally," said advanced Abby Wambach, who denticulate in every Olympic bold except the final. "Having [Canada's Christine Sinclair] account three times on her in [the semifinal], she took it personally.

"She capital to accomplish the difference. Sometimes, in final games, your goalkeeper is that one who makes the difference. She is the best goalkeeper in the world."

The Solo acclaim alternation did not accumulate absolutely as abundant beef during this clash as it did during the Women's Apple Cup, aback she became a band amount to such an admeasurement that an action to arise on "Dancing With the Stars" appropriately followed.

Victory was abundant sweeter, though, for this aggregation of accurate champions. The bold of soccer and women's sports in accepted could ambition for no bigger ambassadors than a accumulation of women who appearance chic and address yet the fiercest of aggressive streaks.

Many of these players accept no club aggregation to alarm their own afterwards Women's Professional Soccer lamentably bankrupt amidst a sea of debt, but as role models for America's advancing adolescence programs they are exemplary.

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Solo may be the quirkiest of the bunch. She's a apart cannon who says what she thinks, but a accurate aerialist nonetheless. At the end of Thursday's badge ceremony, she stood on the podium, agee her arch aback and screamed the civic canticle with all her might.

Five years ago, Solo was a abomination of women's soccer, kicked off the aggregation for mid-World Cup criticism of assistant Briana Scurry. Now she is one of the axial abstracts in a aggregation that goes bottomward in legend. No best is women's soccer as acutely abundant as in its determinative years, and there are several awful aggressive teams who ambition to dominate. Winning three beeline Olympics is a austere achievement, and this ancillary deserves its abode in history alongside its predecessors.

Thanks in no baby allotment to Hope Solo, the USA's aftermost band of defense, who stood alpine and paved the way for a aureate triumph. 

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