Skip to main content

Kids’ games pay handsomely for adults at the top of their profession, but the money usually flows to male athletes in the popular American sports like football, basketball, and baseball. United States Women’s National Team player Hope Solo was an exception, accumulating a nice nest egg during her career as a goalkeeper for World Cup and Olympic soccer champions.

Hope Solo was one of the world’s best goalkeepers

Hope Solo, 38, was the U.S. goalie during most of the national team’s major triumphs in international soccer this century and a star of nearly the same magnitude as Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach.

Regarded as one of the best goalies in the world, Solo holds the American record for shutouts and was recognized with the FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Glove Award in 2011 and 2015. The Іntеrnаtіоnаl Fеdеrаtіоn оf Fооtbаll Ніѕtоrу & Ѕtаtіѕtісѕ selected her as the world’s best goalkeeper four times.

Solo made the USWNT roster in 2000 and went to the 2004 Athens Olympics as a backup to Briana Scurry. She became the primary goalie a year later and the team was undefeated with her in the nets for 55 games from 2002 to 2008.

After helping lead the United States through the early stages of the 2007 World Cup, Solo was benched for the semifinal in favor of Scurry and the move backfired in a 4-0 loss to Brazil. Solo’s criticism of coach Greg Ryan’s decision put her at odds with some of her teammates.

Home Solo became firmly entrenched as the starter again after the controversy blew over. She was the goalie when the U.S. won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008. In 2011, she carried the team past Brazil in a quarterfinal decided by penalty kicks only to see the USWNT subsequently lose to Japan on penalty kicks.

Solo earned her second Olympic gold in London in 2012 and backstopped the 2015 World Cup champions as the Americans took home the trophy for the third time since 1991.

Her international career ended with a loss to Sweden in the 2016 Olympics. She established team records with 202 appearances and 190 appearances in goal, 153 victories, and 102 shutouts.

There have been controversies in her personal life

Hope Solo’s career off the field has been as rocky as her time between the posts  was smooth. There have been several high-profile incidents involving the soccer player or her husband, former pro football player Jerramy Stevens.

Stevens was taken into custody on a domestic violence allegation in 2012 after police responding to a call saw blood on Solo’s arm and another women laying in the kitchen with a hip injury. Stevens was released without being charged.

It was Solo who was taken into custody on suspicion of domestic violence in 2014 following an altercation involving her sister and nephew. Solo spent a day in jail but the charges were dropped when the alleged victims refused to cooperate.

The first of Hope Solo’s two United States Soccer Federation suspensions came in January 2015 after she was accused of belligerent behavior toward police after Stevens was arrested for driving under the influence.

Soccer was good for Hope Solo’s net worth

Hope Solo’s pro career, related endorsements, and celebrity status that led to opportunities including an appearance on Dancing with the Stars in 2011 provided a steady income and a nice nest egg to live on in her post-soccer days.

By one estimate, Solo’s net worth from money made playing soccer and endorsing brands including Seiko currently exceeds $4 million. Her home in Kirkland, Washington, was valued at $1.2 million.

Hope Solo saw her paychecks from the USWNT come to an end in August 2016 with a six-month suspension and the decision to terminate her contract following remarks she made in anger after a loss to Sweden in the Olympics after which she called her opponents “a bunch of cowards” for playing defensively.