Monday, July 18, 2011

Hope Solo Reinforces
U.S. Claim to World's Best Keepers

Hot, er, Hope Solo
What is it with American soccer goalkeepers? Is it because we can catch and the rest of the world cannot? Is it because our kids grow up watching quarterbacks and catchers lead and naturally, the goalie becomes the central figure on the football pitch because they're an equally solitary figure? Or is it because they're batshit crazy sometimes?

Hope Solo is the new darling of American soccer and the debate is on whether yesterday's Women's World Cup loss cost her millions. Don't care. Don't care if Hope Solo is hot, if Hope Solo has a boyfriend or if Hope Solo is dating. I don't care about the Hope Solo controversy from the 2007 World Cup. Don't care if Hope Solo has a tattoo or if Hope Solo is gay. I don't care if Hope Solo is the next USA soccer symbol.

The marketing of Hope Solo doesn't interest me. Know why? Because I know and enjoy football and I can appreciate a good keeper. For the most part, Solo is a good keeper. She's sensational on penalty kicks--which is super important in a Women's World Cup, apparently. And she's solid in the run of play.

I ranted about the abysmal quality of goalkeeping in the Women's World Cup, and Solo was head and shoulders above the rest. Now, does that make her the tallest midget? Maybe so, but Solo is a keeper through and through. She's tall, agile as hell for her size and has booming kick. I think she was guilty of some real stinkers in this tournament, but she was the best keeper in the tournament, and temporarily makes her the best keeper in the world.

She'll be back in four years no doubt and like Tim Howard, she can complain of poor play in front of her leaving her on a figurative island far too many times. American's have far too few stakes to put in the ground when it comes to soccer. Goalkeeping is definitely one place where collectively we're the best. Hope Solo is reinforcing that notion. Now if we can start building out from the back and beefing up that defense, we might be able to close out one of these big tournaments with a trophy!

No comments: