If you have eyes, ears and access to the internet, you’ve probably already heard of Hope Solo, goalkeeper for the U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team and (according to many) one of the greatest goalies in the world. As much as we bow to Hope’s raw, unbridled soccer abilities, it’s really her fun-loving attitude and lack of filter that have won us over in the past weeks. She’s like your crazy college roommate, except she could kick your head clean off your shoulders! The U.S. women’s team squares off against Canada in the semifinals today, so before they go on to play either France or Japan for the gold (we’re using the power of positive thinking!), get to know Solo, and the many reasons she’s our badass Olympian of choice:
1. She does whatever she wants, like post naked for the ESPN Body Issue cover last year.
Plenty of female athletes have posed in their birthday suits, but few have been photographed looking like some kind of aggressively jacked Greek statue. Well-played, Solo. [Photo: ESPN]
2. She’s not afraid of speaking her mind. Or starting a little Twitter war.
“Its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game,” Hope tweeted during her Twitter rant against NBC commentator and soccer great Brandi Chastain, after the former World Cup champion criticized Solo’s teammate Rachel Buehler. Some rolled their eyes at Hope’s fighting words, but we side with those who point out that hey, no matter what you think of her tweets, Solo is clearly a supportive team member. [Photo: Getty Images]
3. She went ahead and confirmed all those Olympic Village fantasies you’ve been having.
“There’s a lot of sex going on,” Hope told ESPN right before the Olympics kicked off. “With a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you want to build memories, whether it’s sexual, partying or on the field. I’ve seen people having sex right out in the open. On the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and dirty.” [Photo: Getty Images]
4. She looks like a ripped Megan Fox
A ripped, Olympic-caliber Megan Fox. [Photo: Getty Images]
5. She didn’t embarrass herself on Dancing With The Stars last fall.
Hope also blew off the traditional round of publicity interviews after being eliminated from DWTS, ostensibly because she has zero effs to give.
6. She isn’t afraid to criticize the boss…or deal with the consequences.
Hope was benched in favorite of goaltender Briana Scurry in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. After the team lost to Brazil (ending a 51 game winning streak), Solo went off on coach Greg Ryan…in public. “It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that. There’s no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves,” Hope declared in an interview. Hope was forced to sit out the team’s game with Norway, but was back on the roster when the team returned in 2008. Did we mention the U.S. won in 2008? [Photo: Getty Images]
7. She likes to party. Sometimes on live morning TV
In the same interview where she dropped the Olympic village sex bomb, Hope admitted that the U.S. women’s soccer team was drunk during their post-World-Cup interview on the Today show in 2008. “When we were done partying, we got out of our nice dresses, got back into our stadium coats and, at 7 a.m., with no sleep, went on the Today Show drunk,” she laughed. “Needless to say, we looked like hell!”
8. She also posed for the cover of Vogue, because why not?
Hope joined Serena Williams and Ryan Lochte on the cover of Vogue’s Olympic issue this summer, as she can literally do anything she wants. [Photo: Vogue]
9. Celebrities love her.
We just love that Hope is hanging out with Nina Dobrev and David Arquette at the DIRECTV’s Sixth Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl back in February. We’d like to imagine they drive around in a van solving sports mysteries, so…we’re going to do just that. [Photo: Getty Images]
10. The woman loves cake!
Most of us would have to live on a diet of wheat grass and raw beef in order to stay in Olympic shape. Hope is about to eat a cake shaped like a silly lion after she eats her birthday cake. We guess what we’re saying is that she should already have a gold metal. [Photo: Twitter]