Photo Courtesy: EzineMark.com
Becoming an athlete of Solo's caliber does not come without perseverance, and her upbringing certainly speaks to that spirit.
Solo comes from a broken home, her parents divorcing when she was the age of six. That may seem unremarkable considering the rising divorce rate, but that was just the beginning of the story.
Jeffrey John Solo was a war veteran, having served in the Navy at Vietnam. After his divorce, Mr. Solo found himself occasionally living on the street or in the woods outside of town, though his daughter refused to say he was homeless (via Jill Leeber Stieg of USA Today):
"He was a tough Italian guy who was raised in a boys home in the Bronx," [Solo] says. "He always had that street sense in him. In terms of being 'homeless,' I'm always very careful not to define it that way. He chose to live in the woods. He enjoyed it. I'd offer him money, and he'd never take a dime. If I looked for him, I wouldn't look for him at a homeless shelter."
Despite these obstacles in her early childhood, Solo maintained a strong relationship with her father. He was her first soccer coach, teaching and helping shape her into the formidable athlete she is today.
He passed away on June 15, 2007, shortly before that year's World Cup.
Solo simply did what she knew: persevere. Starting in her first World Cup, she led the national team to the semifinals.