US Women's Soccer: Hope Solo Proves She's Worth the Hype in Earning London Gold

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterAugust 9, 2012

Hope Solo rarely does anything on the down-low.

She attracts a ton of attention whenever possible, but now, after the United States Women's National Team have secured Olympic gold at Wembley Stadium, it seems Solo is worth the hype.

All of sudden, Solo's public disputes and stunts are tolerable. She's a loudmouth, sure, but she's a loudmouth with a gold medal.

There's no doubt she's a talented goalkeepershe's been a first-team fixture for the USWNT since 2000, and with well over 100 caps, she's one of the most experienced on the team.

But she is constantly dogged by a self-implemented media furore, and this damages her reputation more and more as the years go by.

The biggest stunt the Washington-born star has pulled is most certainly appearing in ESPN's "The Body Issue"a stunt that attracted plenty of positive attention for once, but there was a clear underlying feeling of attention-seeking attached to it.

Other acts, such as the Twitter feud with Brandi Chastain and dishing to intimate Olympic village details to UK newspaper The Daily Mail, haven't exactly gone down quite as well and have, if anything, left a lasting bad taste in fans' mouths.

But playing a crucial role in her nation's 2-1 win over Japan in the Olympic Women's Soccer gold-medal match should absolve her of past sins.

She was confident throughout, and despite facing a near 70-minute bombardment from all angles, she held firm and conceded just one soft goal.

When Asuna Tanaka bore down on goal in the 83rd minute, Wembley Stadium held its collective breath, certain the equaliser was due and the game would go to extra-time.

But no, Solo, with what could well be the save of her life, stretches to parry it clear and save Christie Rampone's blushes. That save secured U.S. the gold and with it a clean slate for herself.

Let's hope she doesn't grace The Today Show drunk again, though.

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