Hope Solo's Top Saves for the USWNT
As she begins her 31st year, Hope Solo continues to get better.
Virtually an ever-present for the U.S. Women's National team during the past eight years, Solo has provided a reassuring presence in goal for the best national side in the world.
As the premier player at a position usually staffed by a woman that cannot play any other position, Solo can dominate games by herself when she is fit and has saved the United States many times before.
During her long career with the national team, she has made some fantastic saves and acrobatic plays reminiscent of the men who play the position.
Unfortunately, because the women's game is not broadcast as much as that of the men, there do not exist many good clips of Solo's saves. Nevertheless, with a little patience, you can see some of her finest work for her country.
Into Danger vs. Sweden
Save clip from 2:24 to 2:33
Hope Solo is never afraid to stick her face into danger, and here she shows that selfless determination, as she comes out on top in a one-on-one matchup to deny the Swedes a goal.
A Leaping Tip vs. Brazil
Save clip from 1:44 to 1:51.
Solo isn't just good on the ground. Even when she doesn't expect to be tested, she is alert when a whipping cross from the right side unexpectedly threatens the top of her goal.
With an athletic leap and twist, Solo just tips the ball over the bar to ensure that it doesn't sneak under her crossbar.
Doubly Good vs. Nigeria
Save clip from 3:22 to 3:31
Double saves are some of the most thrilling and entertaining in football, as the goalkeeper must have incredible reflexes and awareness to thwart two attackers in quick succession.
Hope Solo excels at them. After making a save at her near post, she throws herself in front of another Nigerian striker to somehow make the ball clutch to her chest and prevent a very late equalizer in the 2007 World Cup.
A Penalty Save vs. Brazil
Save clip ends at 1:30
I don't care that Hope Solo's save of Marta's penalty was later ruled invalid on a technicality: It was still one hell of a stop.
Even though she guessed the direction of the kick correctly, few other female goalkeepers have the athleticism to lunge that far to their left and punch the ball off the line.
Had the referee not been a spoilsport, that moment would have been one of Solo's finest at the World Cup last year.
Crucially Denied at the Near Post vs. Brazil
Had Hope Solo not come up with a superb save during the final of the 2008 Olympics, Brazil could easily have walked away with the title that the U.S. eventually won.
Marta, the best player in the world then and now, simply does not miss from point-blank range. Yet, even falling away when the ball was struck Solo had the reflexes to stick her right arm out and make a strong save.
To come up with the goods late in the match like she did makes the save even more stunning.
Simply Stunning vs. Canada
You have probably seen this unbelievable save already, and it needs no introduction. I have seen few better from either male or female goalkeepers.
Normally, when a keeper has already started to dive for a shot and the ball takes a deflection towards goal, it will inevitably hit the back of the net.
Except when Hope Solo is between the posts.
Somehow, she uses her unmatched athleticism to scramble and tap the ball off the line, then somehow denies the onrushing Canadian attacker to make a spectacular double save.
Every bit of Solo's tremendous ability encapsulated in one breathtaking moment.