Hope Solo reaches a new height for goalkeepers

Kevin Kaduk
Fourth-Place Medal

Hope Solo is a household name and the rare Olympic gold medalist who invites as much scorn and controversy from soccer fans as she does celebration and cheers.

Of course, Solo would never have reached the odd space she occupies if it weren’t for being good enough to stay in the public spotlight for so long. Solo has been such a mainstay on the U.S. women’s national team that she just reached a new height for a goalkeeper of either gender.

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Aug 3, 2016; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Team USA goalkeeper Hope Solo (1) celebrates after the game against New Zealand at Estadio Mineirao. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 3, 2016; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Team USA goalkeeper Hope Solo (1) celebrates after the game against New Zealand at Estadio Mineirao. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Solo’s start against France during Saturday’s Olympic competition was her 200th cap in international play. No man or woman goalkeeper has ever collected that many and only 10 other U.S. players across any positions have ever reached the milestone.

[RELATED: Why the Olympics cauldron is so tiny]

Solo, 35, has been a part of the national program for 16 years and has racked up plenty of other impressive achievements. She has 101 career shutouts, 151 career wins and two Golden Glove awards for best keeper at the World Cup.

Solo, though, has made plenty of headlines for what happens off the field. She has been accused of domestic violence (charges were later dropped) and allegedly berated police officers during that arrest for domestic violence. She has also been outspoken in matters both large (equal pay for women athletes) and small (her dismal performance on Dancing With The Stars).

Most recently, Solo drew criticism from citizens of Olympics host Brazil after posting Instagram pictures of a large amount of insect spray and herself wearing protective netting. Solo was taunted by fans during the United States’ first match at the Olympics, a 2-0 win over New Zealand.

“I’m glad the fans had fun,” Solo told reporters afterward. “If they had more fun at my expense, more power to them.”

Solo may invite more controversy and criticism for the rest of her career. When it comes to the record books, however, she’ll have plenty of room to have the last laugh.

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