Hope Solo says female players should be allowed to play for men’s teams and believes football can be the most popular sport in the United States.

The Seattle Sounders goalkeeper, who has won over 100 caps for the United States women’s team and claimed an Olympic gold medal in 2008, spoke exclusively to Goal.com at the Global Sports Forum in Barcelona.

And the 2011 Ballon d’Or nominee admitted she considered turning out for a men’s side in 2003, when the US Women’s Soccer League suspended operations.

“I thought about it (playing in a men’s league) when our league folded,” Solo said. “I thought about playing for a lower-division men’s club team in Saint Louis.”

“And I do believe I would have been able to take care of myself and handle my own if it was a lower division.”

Former Serie A side Perugia attempted to sign German international Birgit Prinz and Sweden striker Hanna Ljungberg in 2003, while Brazilian forward Marta has continually claimed she could cut it in a men’s league.

“It’s unfortunate that it wouldn’t be allowed by FIFA because I think as women, we need a place to play and there’s not always a lot of opportunities to become the best in the world, and if you look at the players who want to do it, they want to be the best in the world; the Martas, Maribel Dominguez, the Ljungbergs,” she said.

“I think it should be allowed if it’s fair and if they deserve to be on the team. Not out of charity.”

“We haven’t embraced the game of soccer (as much as other countries) but on the women’s side we fill the stadiums,” she said.

“We outsell many of the MLS teams in America when the women play. It’s very different but it’s not a very intelligent fan base because we don’t have the rich history and we don’t have the tradition.”

Source: Goal.com

Story: Ben Hayward

Read the full story here:


  1. Bruno 9 years ago

    Line ups

    Germany: Schult – Schmidt, Krahn, Bartusiak, Peter – Kulig, Keßler – Mittag, Marozsan, Faißt – Okoyino da Mbabi 

    France :Bouhaddi, Renard, Boulleau, Georges, Soubeyrand, Franco, Le Sommer, Abily, Necib, Thiney, Delie
  2. Diane 10 years ago

    @Sebastian –

    1.Stamina is not the same as prowess, which is defined as skill or expertise. In that sense Hope has prowess. Throughout my comment when I said Hope, I was speaking specifically of a ‘keeper, the other parts of my comment referred to field players.

    2.If your shot is on frame then you have a 100% chance of it going in, unless you’re unlucky enough for the goalkeeper to stop it. 🙂

    3.Injuries like bumps, bruises and bloody lips/noses? Or like tears, sprains or broken bones? All players of either sex are liable to be injured in any of these ways. When I said that they, meaning any female field player, could compensate for differences in strength with a different playing style, this is what I was referring to. The more experienced the level, the less likely injury is simply because the players have better skills and a better understanding of the game and therefor wouldn’t commit amateur fouls like happened to Krieger. The opposing player committed a rec league foul and Ali was hurt as a result.

    I’m not sure how many levels there are on the men’s side, but I think you’re right about the U-17’s. Many top level women’s teams scrimmage against that age bracket.

    Goalie here in the US is usually referring to a hockey goalie. Most goalkeepers prefer to be called goalkeeper or ‘keeper. Of course that varies with each individual player.  🙂

    I’m not a fan of mixing the genders in soccer, women play a style I enjoy much more than most men’s teams. I do think there are a select few women that could compete above the U-17 level, but very few.

  3. Sebastian Kanty 10 years ago

    @Diane – my reasoning is like this..

    1. Athletic prowess –  a soccer player who is not a goalkeeper, relies more on physical conditioning and stamina than a goalkeeper. he or she is more likely to engage in physical play, and runs a lot for the duration of the game. this doesn’t mean that a goalkeeper doesn’t have to be fit, but having the stamina to run for an entire game aren’t as important in a goalkeeper than quick reflexes and agility.

    2. Set pieces – and perhaps most importantly pk’s are very much a game of chance and luck. this is when reflexes and agility are key, with a huge dose of luck. if a man tries to take a pk on a female goalkeeper, he will have almost the same chance of scoring on her, then if he was to take the penalty kick on a male. in this situation the roles male vs female are pretty even i would say, a female player would have almost the same chance on scoring on a male. there are great and horrible shots in both mens and womens game, and the same applies to goal-tending.

    3. Injuries – in close play, and one on one attributes where physical attributes comes to play, a woman will fall to the ground more times than a male. i believe this is simple physics. besides, the men play rougher then the females, although many of the situations where injury occurs, are more acting than actually injuries, especially in the leagues along the mediterranean.

    Do you know how many divisions or levels there are in the US, i don’t. in sweden there are like 8-9. the lowest division is just a bunch of guys, that usually works for the same company, and just wanna have some fun a’la cyndi lauper…once a swedish journalist wrote that a female elite team, would be equal to a div 4 team, don’t know if this is true or not..

    i wrote goalie for short, didn’t know that it can’t be called that in the us..besides being a goalkeeper/goaltender, the word is sometimes used for for the guys at the door to nightclubs…at least in some countries in europe..

    that hope is an elite athlete i have no doubt. but my point was if she could keep up with the men, in terms of stamina and physical play for 90 min. in which level/division are the levels more on a equal level, and are there so many levels in the us? and this would have to work week in, week out. as a goalkeeper she hasn’t the opportunity, someone else, not a goalkeeper would have to try. you also said that she could make up the difference in strength with another style of play, and which style would that be?

  4. Diane 10 years ago

    I think Hope comments about the highest level of the women’s game without thinking about how it could affect the lower levels. Elite women probably could compete with a lower division men’s side, but that would open the way for guys to play on women’s teams also and how would that benefit the women’s game? I’m fully for separate gender teams after you advance out of the lowest level of youth soccer. @Sebastian – Hope is a goalkeeper, not goalie and don’t ever say to her she’s not an elite athlete. Some luck is involved in all things, but don’t be fooled thinking a ‘keeper doesn’t need sharp athletic “prowess”. I’m not sure how you figure a woman would be at higher risk for injury, either. She might not be as strong, but could make up for it with a different style of play.

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