Solo makes history with a century of shutouts
USA goalkeeper Hope Solo made history on Saturday by recording her 100th clean sheet in international football during the Stars and Stripes' 1-0 victory against South Africa, becoming the first ever shot-stopper to hit the century mark for shutouts. In the process, Solo also secured her 150th international win, another record to her name.
Solo was in fine form in Chicago, though admittedly she did not have much to do against the South Africans, turning away their two attempts on target. As if her 100 shutouts were not impressive enough, it is worth nothing Solo reached the milestone in her 197th cap for USA meaning she has kept a clean sheet in more than 50 per cent of her appearances for her country. What is more, ten of Solo's clean sheets came at the highest level of competition at the FIFA Women's World Cup™.
"The monkey is off my back, and it feels good," Solo said about her historic shutout. "Honestly, I'm just really proud of it." USA coach Jill Ellis was also quick to heap praise on her goalkeeper after the game.
"Her legacy is set," Ellis said. "She's a tremendous, world class goalkeeper. Not just for us, but for the world. She's a player that goes into those big moments and just gets better. It's remarkable what's she's achieved."
Solo and Co have an opportunity to make more history in August at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics. The Stars and Stripes could become the first team to take gold a year after winning the Women's World Cup, which they did for an unprecedented third time last summer at Canada 2015.