BY SPNW Staff 02:21PM 07/26/2012

State Links To London Olympics: Soccer

Goalie Hope Solo seeks her second Olympic goal medal as the the lone state representative on the U.S. women’s national team.

Sportspress Northwest offers a series of biographical sketches of athletes with significant ties to the state of Washington who will compete in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Today’s focus: Soccer. Hope Solo (Richland High, University of Washington) and Stephanie Cox (Gig Harbor) are the most recent Washingtonians to win an Olympic soccer medal (2008 Beijing). Washington will be represented by two soccer players in London.


HOPE SOLO/ Richland High, University of Washington

BORN: July 30, 1981, Richland. RESIDENCE: Seattle. SPORT: Soccer. POSITION: Goalkeeper. COUNTRY: USA. OLYMPICS (2nd): 2008, 2012. HOW QUALIFIED: Selected by USA Soccer. STATE CONNECTION: Richland High, University of Washington, Sounders Women.

Hope Solo / Wiki Commons

Solo’s promising soccer career seemed to go haywire when, at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, she complained publicly over being benched by U.S. coach Greg Ryan prior to a semifinal match against Brazil, despite recording shutouts over Sweden, Nigeria and England.

Solo’s rant got her kicked off the U.S. team, seemingly jeopardizing her spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. But after the U.S. lost to Brazil, ending a 51-game USA undefeated streak, USA Soccer fired Ryan and reinstated Solo, who went on to lead the USA to a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

A native of Richland, Solo made All-America three times at the University of Washington and later played goalkeeper at every age level of the USA’s National Teams programs. Her performance in Beijing certified her as the greatest female goalkeeper in the world.

In addition to her vast National Team experience, Solo has also played professionally for the Philadelphia Charge (2003), Kopparbergs/Goteborg (2004), Lyon (2005), St. Louis Athletica (2009-10), Atlanta Beat (2010), magic.jack (2011) and Seattle Sounders Women (2012).

OLYMPICS: Won a gold medal as part of the USA’s Women’s National Team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Played every minute of every match, making big saves throughout the tournament, including a point-blank shot by Marta in the gold-medal match, a 1-0 USA victory over Brazil. At the Tuesday start of play in England, Solo had a save in the U.S.’s 4-2 win over France.

NATIONAL TEAM: (1996-99): Started for the USA’s U-16s and U-18s (did not yield a goal for the U-18s in eight matches in 1999, including three Pan-Am tournament matches in Winnipeg, Canada; (2000): Debuted for the USA National Team, when she was in Olympic Residency Training Camp . . . On April 5, 2000, made first National Team appearance in a match against Iceland . . . On May 5, recorded first international shutout, blanking Mexico; (2002): Played five matches for the USA, starting three . . . Helped lead U.S. U-21 squad to a victory over Germany in the Nordic Cup.

(2003): Drafted by the now-defunct Philadelphia Charge of the Women’s United Soccer Assn.; (2004): Trained with national team during Olympic Residency Camp and was named alternate goalkeeper on the Olympic Team . . . Played in the Swedish First Division with Goteborg; (2005): Started seven of the USA’s nine international matches, earning seven shutouts. Helped lead USA to Algarve Cup title in Portugal by posting three shutouts, including a blanking of Germany in the championship match. Also played in the French First Division with Olympique Lyonnaise.

(2006): Started all three matches at the Four Nations Tournament in China, earning three shutouts . . . Started three of four matches at the Algarve Cup, earning two shutouts . . . Goal given up against France in a 4-1 win at the Algarve Cup ended a streak of 1,054 minutes without allowing a goal; (2007): Started in goal for U.S. women all season until she was benched during semifinals of World Cup in Beijing . . . Kicked off team for criticizing her coach, later reinstated (coach was fired); (2008): Was in goal in the championship match of Four Nations Tournament . . . Named Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year.

(2009): Played professionally for St. Louis Athletica of Women’s Professional Soccer . . . Made seventh appearance in the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal and was named Player of the Tournament. . . . Became the first goalkeeper to be voted the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Female Athlete of the Year . . . Named Most Valuable Player of the Algarve Cup in Portugal, and was voted the Women’s Professional Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year.

(2010): Played for the St. Louis Athletica and Atlanta Beat of Women’s Pro Soccer . . . Finished season with eight shutouts.

(2011): Despite missing much of the qualifying campaign with a shoulder injury, Solo was named to the U.S. roster for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. After keeping clean sheets in group C wins over North Korea and Colombia, Solo conceded two goals in the 2–1 loss to Sweden, which consigned the Americans to second place in the group and a quarterfinal meeting with Brazil . . . Solo became the 27th American woman, and second goalkeeper, to reach 100 caps with her start in the 3–1 semifinal win over France . . . In the final, the U.S. lost 3-1 in a penalty shootout to Japan, after twice taking the lead in an eventual 2–2 draw . . . Solo won the Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper, and the Bronze Ball award for her overall performance. She also made the all-star team.

(2012): Played for the Seattle Sounders Women’s team as a training exercise for the 2012 Olympic Games.

WASHINGTON: Inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 2008, along with Blair Bush (fooball), Mary DeLay (tennis coach), Chris Magruder (baseball), Mark Stewart (football) and the 1997 women’s crew and men’s varsity eight . . . Selected All-America by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) as a sophomore, junior and senior . . . Selected All-Pac-10 four times . . . Named Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2001 . . . Finished career as UW’s all time leader in shutouts (18), saves (325) and goals-against average (1.02) . . . In 2002, as a senior, named first-team All-Pac-10, nominated for the Hermann Trophy (Collegiate Player of the Year), recorded 76 saves in 18 matches, posted two shutouts, and had a 1.21 goals against average . . . In 2001, as a junior, led a UW defense that set school marks for fewest goals allowed (12) and lowest goals against average (0.58). Recorded 77 saves and finished with an 0.68 goals against average, lowest single-season total by a UW goalkeeper . . . In 2000, as a sophomore, named first-team All-Pac-10 and set a single-season record for goals against-average at 0.76. Registered six shutouts . . . Led the UW to its first-ever Pac-10 women’s soccer title in 2000 . . . In 1999, as a freshman, made second-team All-Pac-10 after recording three shutouts. Had a school-record 13 saves in a match against BYU.

RICHLAND HIGH: Scored 109 goals as a forward . . . Scored three times in the semifinals and twice in the state championship game for the Bombers in 1999 . . . Set a conference single-season record with 38 goals as a senior . . . Two-time Parade All-America.

PERSONAL: Full name is Hope Amelia Solo . . . Interests include anything to do with the beach and water . . . Enjoys outdoors and camping . . . Loves beach volleyball, boating and snow boarding . . . Aspires to work with inner city kids to help them get involved with organized sports and positive pastimes.

AMY LEPEILBET / Spokane Native

Amy LePeilbet

BORN: March 12, 1982, Spokane. RESIDENCE: Crystal lake, IL. SPORT: Soccer. POSITION: Defender. COUNTRY: USA. OLYMPICS (1st): 2012. HOW QUALIFIED: Selected by USA Soccer.  STATE CONNECTION: Spokane native.

NATIONAL TEAM (2011): Had injury issues but still played in 12 games, starting 11, for more than 904 minutes and was healthy in time to start all six games at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, her first world championship tournament . . . Played all but 67 minutes of the World Cup . . . Earned her 50th career cap in the Women’s World Cup opener against North Korea . . . (2010): Had best year, establishing herself as a regular in central defense while starting 17 of the 18 matches the USA played . . . Finished second in minutes played with 1,439 . . . Started all five games and played all but 45 minutes at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament . . . Played all 180 minutes in the two-leg Women’s World Cup playoff against Italy . . . (2009): Made a return to the national team due to her excellent play in WPS and ended up starting four matches, including the big win against Germany in October.

PROFESSIONAL (2011): Played 862 minutes in 10 games for the Boston Breakers, starting all, while helping the club to a playoff berth . . . (2010): Was again one of the best defenders in WPS, earning second consecutive WPS Defender of the Year Award . . . Played every minute of all 22 games she started and was named to the WPS Best XI … Also named a starter in the WPS All-Star Game . . . (2009): Taken by the Boston Breakers fourth overall in the 2009 WPS Draft . . . Had an excellent season for the Breakers, playing every minute of all 19 games she started in the center of the defense and was named the WPS Defender of the Year … Also named a WPS First Team All-Star and played in the WPS All-Star Game.

PERSONAL: Attended Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake, IL., and Arizona State University . . . Enjoys bike riding, snowboarding and music, favorites including Kings of Leon, Lady Antebellum and Lady Gaga . . . Favorite TV shows are “Seinfeld,” “Modern Family” and “Glee” . . . Enjoys non-fiction and biographies . . . Coached junior varsity soccer and was an assistant for the varsity at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix during the 2005-2006 season.


GOLD: Michelle Akers (Shoreline), 1996 Atlanta; Hope Solo (Richland, University of Washington), 2008 Beijing; Stephanie Cox (Gig Harbor), 2008 Beijing. SILVER: Michelle French (Burien, University of Washington), 2000 Sydney. BRONZE: None.

Olympic Qualifiers

Athletes with connections to the state have qualified (or been selected) to represent the U.S. in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games July 27-Aug. 12.

Athlete Sport Gms. # Country State Connection
Nathan Adrian Swimming 2 USA Bremerton native
Scott Baynes Basketball 1 Australia WSU grad
Sue Bird Basketball 3 USA Seattle Storm guard
Kim Butler Basketball 1 G. Britain Bellarmine Prep
Dave Calder Rowing 4 Canada University of Washington
Will Crothers Rowing 1 Canada University of Washington
Tyler Farrar Cycling 1 USA Wenatchee native
Amanda Furrer Shooting 1 USA Mead High, Spokane
Scott Gault Rowing 2 USA University of Washington
Rob Gibson Rowing 1 Canada University of Washington
Lauren Jackson Basketball 4 Australia Seattle Storm forward
Anthony Jacob Rowing 1 Canada University of Washington
Ebba Jungmark Track 2 Sweden WSU grad
Seth Kelsey Fencing 3 Canada Brush Prairie
Ariana Kukors Swimming 1 USA Auburn Mountainview
Meagan Kalmoe Rowing 2 USA University of Washington
Bernard Lagat Track 4 USA Washington State University
Giuseppe Lanzone Rowing 2 USA University of Washington
Amy LePeilbet Soccer 1 USA Spokane native
Adrienne Lyle Equestrian 1 USA University of Washington
Adrienne Martelli Rowing 1 USA University of Washington
Arielle Martin Cycling 1 USA Spanaway native
Conlin McCabe Rowing 1 Canada University of Washington
Tamari Miyashiro Volleyball 1 USA University of Washington
Haley Nemra Track 2 Marshall Is. Marys.-Pilchuck
Brett Newlin Rowing 2 USA University of Washington
Kara Patterson Track 2 USA Seattle native
Jennie Reed Cycling 3 USA Seattle native
Jarred Rome Track 2 USA Marys.-Pilchuck
Janine Sandell Volleyball 1 Great Britain University of Washington
Hope Solo Soccer 2 USA University of Washington
Travis Stevens Judo 2 USA Bellevue native
Courtney Thompson Volleyball 1 USA University of Washington
Aretha Franklin Track 4 USA University of Washington
Queen Underwood Boxing 1 USA Seattle resident
Eric Uptagrafft Shooting 1 USA Spokane resident
Tejay van Garderen Cycling 1 USA Tacoma native
Brad Walker Track 2 USA University of Washington
Mary Whipple Rowing 3 USA University of Washington


  • RadioGuy

    Sorry, but ever since Hope Solo threw Brianna Scurry and Greg Ryan under the bus after she didn’t get her way in the 2007 Women’s World Cup, I’ve had zero use for her.  I wish her teammates well in London, but I will not root for the USA women’s soccer team until she’s gone.  Hell, I’ll skip going to any Sounders women’s games, for that matter (even though I like watching Alex MOrgan play).

    Good luck to all our OTHER Olympians who don’t place themselves above their teammates and coaches.

  • RadioGuy

    Sorry, but ever since Hope Solo threw Brianna Scurry and Greg Ryan under the bus after she didn’t get her way in the 2007 Women’s World Cup, I’ve had zero use for her.  I wish her teammates well in London, but I will not root for the USA women’s soccer team until she’s gone.  Hell, I’ll skip going to any Sounders women’s games, for that matter (even though I like watching Alex MOrgan play).

    Good luck to all our OTHER Olympians who don’t place themselves above their teammates and coaches.