Hope Solo is the cover story in the latest issue of Ville Magazine. The former Seattle Reign FC & United States goalkeeper talked about what she's been doing during her recovery from shoulder replacement surgery, and also had a couple of things to say about the Reign.
Here’s what she said of goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer:
Ville Magazine: It's being said it's the start of a new era with Haley Kopmeyer, your replacement for Seattle Reign. Do you agree with that statement? How do you view her as a player?
Hope Solo: Well she's the current era right? Obviously, I'm out. [laughs] Haley is one of the most fun players I have ever trained with. We had such a great camaraderie and I miss her every single day that I'm not there training with her. I'm proud to have trained with her and proud knowing that she learned a lot from me. She helped make my career very enjoyable. I look back with very fond memories on every moment of my Seattle team, and every moment I think of Haley. Haley is a very powerful and strong goalkeeper. She's great in the air, has a great kicking game, and it's going to continue to get better. She's continually getting more mentally tough, and working through the growing pains, and that's expected being a goalkeeper.
As for returning to the Seattle Reign FC...
Do you have hopes in returning to Seattle and rejoining the Seattle Reign team?
Hope Solo: My wonderful coach and owners at the Seattle Reign are welcoming me back at any time, but right now it's time for me to look at all my options whether that's playing overseas next season or returning to my Seattle team. I'm not sure.
You know my husband and I grew up in Washington, then we went to the University of Washington. Then he was a first round draft pick for Seahawks and I ended up playing for the Reign. So, our young, youth, college and pro career has all been in Seattle. When you're an athlete in the state for that long people like to think they know you, whether it's what they read in the newspaper or see on the news. For us, it was very disappointing, because we gave so much to our state, to our city that we just wanted people to get to know us for us, not who they read or saw on the news. It was time for us to leave Washington for a while and get to know people here in North Carolina and they get to know us. That was very important to us. We are building a home here in North Carolina, but we will always have ties to Seattle. It was just time for us to build some other roots.
Any Reign FC fan could tell you that the feeling is mutual regarding the relationship between Hope Solo and the Seattle Reign FC. Instrumental to Seattle's success on the field has been head coach & general manager Laura Harvey and owners Bill & Teresa Predmore's efforts to make life off the field for every Seattle Reign FC player as comfortable as possible. It’s something that numerous current and former players have highlighted about the Reign — that the team makes sure everything for them off the field is set, that the demands for the lifestyle of a professional athlete are met. So it comes as no surprise that Hope Solo has nothing but the best of sentiments for the organization.
As for returning to the United States national team, you’d think that would be virtually impossible given the tumultuous end to that relationship, yet Solo would not rule out being back in the mix for the next Women’s World Cup in 2019. Though for Solo, putting on a United States jersey once more has to mean something bigger.
Is it your goal to play in the 2019 World Cup?
Hope Solo: I always wanted to play in the best tournament in the world and that's the World Cup. France will host an incredible tournament. I would love to play in the 2019 World Cup, but I would never play for any employer that didn't pay their employees equal wages. At this point in my career, I have accomplished everything that I wanted to accomplish from getting the Golden Glove, winning Olympic gold medals and winning the World Cup. So for me, it is more important to make sure that women are treated fairly, that there is no more inequality. The US women's soccer team finished their new contracts, but US Soccer has been using the word "equitable" to describe the deal. Equitable and equal are not the same thing. So, do I want to play in the 2019 World Cup? Yes, but I also need to stand for something that is bigger than the fame of soccer and for me I'm going to stand for women. I'm going to stand for equality.
You can read the full interview with Hope Solo online here; it is a fascinating read. Hope Solo is still very much a name that draws attention in the sports world as she is in the midst of basically taking a year off from playing competitive games. A few days ago, Eurosport posted an entertaining video starring Solo and a cameo from French international legend Eric Cantona, declaring her the Commissioner of Women's Football, to hype her signing with the sports network as a pundit for the upcoming UEFA Women's Euro 2017 tournament.
In the interview she said moving to North Carolina was a healthy lifestyle change, perhaps something like hitting a reset button. How that plays out going forward remains to be determined, and only Hope Solo can answer for what’s next for her as a soccer player, as an ambassador for women’s rights, and most importantly, as Hope Solo the person.