Hope Solo: 4 Reasons She Deserves to Win the 2011 Ballon D'Or
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Hope Solo is on the shortlist for the 2011 FIFA Ballon D'Or Award in World Female Football. The other nominees are: Marta, Abby Wambach, Homare Sawa, Alex Morgan, Aya Miyama, Alex Morgan, Lotta Schelin, Louisa Necib, Kerstin Garefrekes, and Sonia Bompastor.
The 2011 FIFA Ballon D'Or was created with the purpose of awarding players on the basis of their performance during the year. The people who vote on the awards are coaches and captains of international clubs. Journalists also participate in the voting process.
Hope Solo deserves to be awarded the 2011 Ballon D'Or for her activities on the field—and off the field as well (although off-the-field activities are not considered according to FIFA Ballon D'Or regulations).
The article is actually written taking into account the professional accomplishments (which are the basis for the award) and off the field (which is more like a personal wish list). All athletes should be measured by who they are both on and off the field.
While no one is perfect, here are the four reasons for Hope should win the Ballon D'Or.
Determination in the Face of Pressure
Hope Solo (Courtesy of Nike Soccer)
Hope Solo underwent major surgery on her shoulder in 2011. She was able to recover in time to play for the US Women's Soccer Team in the FIFA Women's World Cup.
Hope Solo did not have an easy time during her recovery from surgery. However, she was determined to be the greatest goalkeeper in spite of the pain from the shoulder.
The next page shows how her determination in the face of pressure resulted in dividends.
Goalkeeper for 2011: Dives and Saves
Hope Solo (Courtesy of US Soccer)
Hope Solo was able to execute dives as a goalkeeper for the US Womens' Soccer Team in spite of the shoulder surgery. She was able to start six games and make 27 saves during the 2011 World Cup.
Hope Solo was proactive in defeating Colombia, North Korea, France, and Brazil. She also received the Adidas Bronze Ball and Golden Ball for her effort in the present year.
While the Ballon D'Or awards players on the basis of achievement, Hope Solo's off the field activities should also be included.
Promoting US Soccer off the Field
Hope Solo Promoting Positive Change (Courtesy: Bank Of America)
Hope Solo, Abby Wambach, and Alex Morgan launched the Lets Run Together Charity Relay with Bank of America. The purpose is to support people who will run in the Chicago Marathon.
The result will be that those who participate in a two mile marathon will receive money for the charity of their choice. The charity is one of many activities used to promote US Soccer off the soccer field.
Hope Solo has also participated in the ABC Program Dancing With The Stars in an effort to promote soccer (including US Soccer) to America. Hope Solo was instrumental in silencing some of the critics of US Soccer.
Down to Earth Persona
Hope Solo Signing Autographs
While the Ballon D'Or awards players on the basis of their accomplishments during the year, the idea of including the personality and promotion of the sport is a great one. Hope Solo is a down to earth person who is willing to take time for a supporter to even sign autographs.
When Hope Solo and Alex Morgan are together, the perfect chemistry is present. Most people would appreciate the vibrant personality of the two.
While the rest of the candidates also deserve the 2011 Ballon D'Or awards, Hope Solo has fulfilled the professional qualities.
It remains to be seen what will transpire in the 2011 Ballon D'Or awards. Best wishes to all of the candidates.