By | 2017-07-22T06:49:02+00:00 20 October 2015|Blog, News, USWNT|10 Comments

±It’s been 11 years since the U.S. Women’s National Team last played in Seattle. Back then, I was training with the team, but I didn’t make the roster for the game. What I remember from that time was thinking to myself, “One day. One day, I’ll be there playing in Seattle for my country.”

This Wednesday night, when we take CenturyLink Field against Brazil, I’ll play my first game in Seattle as a member of the USWNT. The anticipation has me thinking a lot about what that’s going to be like, and how my life has changed in the past decade or so. It also has me reflecting back on my relationship to the city and to the state, and what I truly love about them both.


Almost every day I’m home, I’ll look out our bedroom window at sunrise or sit on the back deck at sunset, and take in the landscape. The Olympic mountain range, the massive evergreen trees, the water — everything feels so vast and grand, it gives me perspective on the world. You can’t help but realize that there’s so much more to life than the pettiness and hatred that’s out there. All of that seems so silly in the face of how truly incredible the world can be. We can drive 30 minutes north and see orcas, these amazing killer whales, swimming free on the Puget Sound. It’s a beautiful, beautiful place to live, and all around you are reminders of the greater things in life. 


Fishing at one of our favorite fishing spots in Washington.

There was a time when none of that mattered to me all that much. When I was considering where I would be going to college, I thought I was going to move far, far away just to get away from everything, and start over. I thought I had problems — my father was gone, I had issues with my mom and my stepfather — but looking back, my problems weren’t really all that bad, and it was naive to think that leaving would somehow fix them.

Going just over the mountains to the western side of Washington was never anything I planned on doing as a 17 year-old. Something pulled me to the University of Washington, and I could not be more grateful that it did. I could have chosen a different university that maybe didn’t pride itself on the learning part of school, or the human part. But I don’t think I would have learned as much — in fact, I know I wouldn’t have. It would have been all soccer. My coaches, Lesle Gallimore and Amy Griffin, they changed my life. They were really strict coaches and people. School came first. They wanted us to be good people, good teammates. And they wanted us to be responsible, even at age 18, 19, 20, 21. They held us accountable, and I loved it. Because for me, I always loved hard work. I believed in hard work, and I still do. I embraced that culture at the university, and it just continued to make me better. It helped make me a well-balanced person, and realize that there’s more to life. It also helped me learn to tackle things head-on. I learned a lot from Lesle and Amy, and I continue to.


With Lesle and Amy, my wonderful coaches and mentors, in 2011.

There were so many other people who helped me at the University of Washington, too many to name, to be honest. Everyone from Barbara Hedges, our athletic director and a strong, powerful woman, to Luther, the landscaper for the soccer field — they always took the time to talk to me, and I always enjoyed the time I spent talking to them. I felt like I was influenced by these wonderful, beautiful people all the time in my time at the university. Other than family, these were some of the most important people in my life.



With Carli not far from the Space Needle.

My relationship with Seattle has taken a lot of turns since then. When you’re a high profile athlete who’s grown up in a state, you’re written about all your life. People think they know you based on what they’ve read in the newspapers, no matter how inaccurate it actually is. There are definitely days when I wish I could meet people who don’t already have their judgment in place. 

But there are other things I’m glad never change.  I still love seeing the Space Needle. My NWSL team, the Seattle Reign, trains and plays at Memorial Stadium, right at the foot of the Needle, so I get to see it quite a bit. Every time, it reminds me of being with my father in the city when I was a little girl. 

Jerramy and I still love going down to Pike Place to shop for fish. We get the best crab legs and scallops there. All the local fishermen know us (when I’m alone, they ask about Jerramy), so they know exactly what we’re going for — whether we’re looking for halibut or lingcod. The whole thing feels really homey to me: being among thousands of tourists, almost being one of them, and just going to the market and yukking it up with the fishermen. I love that.

I love getting on the ferries with a hot chocolate and a blanket to go see the local islands or the orcas when friends come to visit. 

And I love the idea of playing for my country against Brazil at CenturyLink.

I’m giving out 40-some tickets to friends who have never been to see a USWNT game, and I’m really excited for them to see how cool it is. They may turn on the TV for the Olympic Games and the World Cup, but they’ve never been in the stadium. They’ve never seen the atmosphere or how excited the kids are, the signs and the shirts and the energy. I also got a suite for my family and friends behind one of the goals. Grandma Alice has never been behind me for a game before. She’s never seen the game the way I see it, the way she will against Brazil. I’m excited for that, too.

I can’t wait for the fans in Seattle to see me as part of the Women’s National Team, rather than just Hope Solo, goalkeeper. I’m part of a larger USWNT culture, a magnificent team with some amazing talents and personalities. And we’re really, really fun to watch. 


Playing against Brazil always brings out the best in us.

We only will have had two days of training prior to playing Brazil, and a lot of our players have been off because they didn’t make the playoffs for the NWSL. But it doesn’t matter.  We’re still players, and we’ll still give everything we have. We hate to lose, and even more than that, we hate to lose against a team like Brazil. They feel the same way. It’s always chippy and really physical. There’s always a lot of gamesmanship.

It’s going to be an awesome game, right here in Seattle. I can’t wait.


  1. Staci October 20, 2015 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    I loved seeing you play in Jersey right before the world cup and in Pittsburgh right after it. I would love to meet you one day! Your story of your home life as a kid is very similar to mine. I lost my mom when I was 10 and after reading your memoir, I realize my mom and your dad were VERY similar! You deserve to play in front of the city you love with your heart and soul and I can’t wait to watch it!

  2. Gee October 21, 2015 at 12:09 am - Reply

    Very sweet blog, Hope! Even tho I don’t live in Seattle I have spent enough time there over past two years that I have fallen in love with the city and Washington State! I wish I could be at Century Link on Wednesday to witness you step on that field in your city but be sure I will beam with pride watching you stand between posts on my TV screen:) Good luck, Hope!

  3. Keri October 21, 2015 at 1:47 am - Reply

    Awesome blog Hope! You make me want to visit Seattle. Everyone should experience a live USA match at least once. It’s a great experience. I hope grandma Alice gets to beat on the AO drum. Can’t wait for this game. Cheers from CT.

  4. Anna October 21, 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Best of luck from Germany. Love you guys playing, hope you and the team enjoy it! How you play is inspiring every moment in my life and that’s why this team, the members and you are my heroes. It shows that my dreams can come true. I just need to work more hard. I maybe won’t reach this level at Basketball (my dream), but I’m trying to be the best athlete I can become. Thanks for giving me always the power to believe in myself and to not give up, no matter how difficult my life is and will be. Go out there and win this game for all of us. Love you and the team <3
    Anna (16, Germany)

  5. Michael Mast October 22, 2015 at 7:24 am - Reply

    I really enjoy your writing Hope. I live in Las Vegas and try my best to see the USWNT live whenever possible (Send Off Series in Carson, CA and upcoming Victory Tour in Glendale, AZ) will be my most recent and I was able to see y’all after the Olympics in Carson, CA a few years ago.

    Its always such a treat to watch this special team and program. I’m a huge fan of all sports with NASCAR as my first love and USWNT right afterward…I know what an odd duo! But your team is so down to earth and a pleasure to watch, the skill and teamwork you display is simply awesome.

    When I cannot attend a live game, I will not miss a game on TV or US Soccer’s website.

    You are so right about the area you live in, its easily one of the most beautiful places on this planet and one of my favorites to visit.
    I also like your perspective on watching a game in person, there is truly nothing like it in sports. Could not agree more.
    Anyway, I know you have a busy life, but you have a lot of fans who are behind you and wish you nothing but the best in your life!

    Best regards,

    P.S. Looking forward to seeing you in Glendale, AZ in December!

  6. Jennifer October 22, 2015 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Really enjoyed reading your blog post Hope! Great game last night against Brazil! Seattle looks beautiful! Maybe the USWNT will come to Avaya Stadium in sunny California! 🙂 All the best, Jennifer.

  7. Maria Reza October 23, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Write another book.

  8. Kristina October 25, 2015 at 2:33 am - Reply

    I literally just finished your book 2 hours ago & I have only owned it less than 48 hours. The trials of life never once got you down to where you couldn’t get back up; which is very admirable. You painted a wonderful picture of your life, even when times weren’t wonderful. You opened yourself up to where you were vulnerable, critics low blowing you, manipulating things you said, just cut/copying/pasting wherever they darn well pleased about you. You came out strong, you came out bold, you came out fierce. Negativity always trumps success in the media; you’re a star in so many individuals lives. For I know your father is smiling from ear to ear for his Baby Hope and her achievements. In case I never get to see Seattle or a Reign FC match, you will always have a fan in Nashville supporting you 100%

  9. shelley cain November 8, 2015 at 5:36 am - Reply

    Hey Hope, I have read your book, twice actually, and am so encouraged by your tenacity and perseverance. No matter what or who knocks you down you always get back up! Life can be hard, but your story inspires people to keep going and to push through the difficult times. I was in Orlando for the game and watched you interact with some of your youngest fans, I loved how you took the time to make them feel special and important. I wish you the best, I would love for you to write another book! And thanks for living out your dream. It helps me focus on my dream and to keep chasing after it! When I catch it I will let you know!

  10. Chloe Beasley June 9, 2016 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Hope Solo- even your name holds power. Everything about you is power. From the power in your dives to your emotional power. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different. The chances of you actually reading this is slim to none, but lemme just tell you this- I come from a VERY small town in Virginia and play for my local middle school. The chances of me ever playing for the national team is slim to none. But yet I still push myself harder then everyone else on any team I’ve ever played for. We do this thing on my middle school soccer team where we run 1/4 of a mile under 60 seconds and if everyone doesn’t accomplish it in the set time, everyone does it again. Well I run a 60 in 38 seconds. Definitely not because I’m fast. I always beat the strikers and all the super fast people because I have a mental image of you running beside me and telling me if I don’t push now I never will and then I’ll never even get that slim chance of playing for the USWNT. You’re my motivation. You don’t even know who I am but yet you inspire me and push me to to cling on to my big dream that has a small chance of being accomplished.

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