New book details Hope Solo’s struggles, achievements

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – After leading the US women’s soccer team to an Olympic gold medal, goalkeeper Hope Solo embarks on a new career as author when her much-anticipated book entitled “SOLO: A Memoir of Hope” hits book shelves Tuesday.

The book contains details about Solo’s years of “erratic, self-destructive behavior” and several much-publicized incidents in her career, about the death of her father two months before the 2007 World Cup and her subsequent benching by US coach Greg Ryan.

In the book, Solo revealed that she played her matches during the World Cup after spreading a tiny bit of her father’s ashes on the field that she hid in her goalie gloves.

With Solo guarding the net, the Americans tied their first game with North Korea and won their next three via shutouts. But Solo was replaced by Brianna Scurry for the semifinal game against Brazil, which the Americans lost 4-0.

In the book, Solo did not hold back sharp criticisms against Ryan, who she claims decided to bench her against Brazil after consulting with team veterans including Kristine Lilly and Abby Wambach.

She detailed that during a meeting, Ryan pushed her back onto a couch as she tried to leave. She also described how she confronted Lilly and Wambach, the rest of her time in China and the events that happened after she returned home.

Also included in the book are Solo’s feelings about the 1999 U.S. team, which won the World Cup and was regarded as the foremost American women’s soccer team in history. She explains the long shadow that team cast, and the split she felt between players from that era and her own, some of which she believed fueled her benching in China.

During the London Olympics, Solo Solo criticized Brandi Chastain, a member of the 1999 team who was doing color commentary for NBC, for not supporting the American team enough and for being too negative.

The book also chronicles Solo’s several stints outside the football field, including a photo shoot in ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue” and her appearance on “Dancing With The Stars”.

The book also details Solo’s preparations for the 2012 Olympics, which ended last week with a 2-1 win over Japan for Solo’s second Olympic gold medal.

“We felt like a team,” Solo said after the Olympic final. “Everybody felt like they could contribute. Everybody. Honestly, it’s the first time in my athletic career that I felt like it was a true team.”

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