Four years ago at Germany 2011, Hope Solo left the pitch after the Final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ with the adidas Golden Glove trophy in her hand and a medal around her neck.
On that occasion, however, the colour of the medal – silver – meant she did not fully appreciate the individual award and was left with a bitter taste in her mouth.
In Canada, things turned out slightly differently. “It’s much sweeter this time around!” the United States goalkeeper, once more the recipient of the adidas Golden Glove award, exclaimed to FIFA.com. “It feels so good. It was incredible. This is surely the peak of my career,” continued the excited 33-year-old.
The reliable custodian conceded just three goals at Canada 2015: one in the Stars and Stripes’ opening match with Australia and two in the final versus Japan. She went 540 minutes without conceding, which represents the second longest unbeaten stretch in the history of the competition.
Her second adidas Golden Glove award in a row, recognising her as the top goalkeeper of the 2015 tournament, was therefore entirely deserved, not just for the aforementioned feat, but also for some truly spectacular saves.
“It’s been a perfect tournament in many respects: lifting the trophy, earning my Golden Glove award and Carli’s Golden Ball award. It’s great teamwork that got us to this point,” she said.
And that work began almost four years ago, when the players who lost the decider to Japan at Germany 2011 set about making up for the defeat they had just suffered. “Everything has come together at the right time. We’ve improved our training sessions, our tactics, our skills, the quality of the squad, and our mental outlook. Four years ago, we came so close,” she said.
The revenge that Solo and her team-mates took on Japan in Vancouver was impressive and decisive. The victory was doubly memorable as the Americans and their supporters had waited so long to get their hands on a trophy they had last won in 1999. “It’s been 16 long years. This Women’s World Cup win is dedicated to the entire United States!” she said.
In her moment of personal glory, Solo was quick to recognise those who have helped her get to where she is. “As for my Golden Glove award, I’d like to dedicate it to my team-mates and all the coaches that have stood by me all this time, in good times and bad, when I needed their support,” she continued.
“It may be an individual award, but there are a lot of people who enabled me to be here holding this trophy today, which is the greatest moment of my career, and I thank them. I dedicate it to my coaches and my team-mates, especially my defenders,” Solo added, prior to joining said team-mates in the dressing room to continue celebrating the USA’s historic third Women’s World Cup triumph.