Fourth-degree assault charges were dropped against USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo on Tuesday afternoon, according to Fox Sports. Although she was permitted to participate in all team activities since June, when the charges were filed, the uncertainty surrounding her availability for the upcoming 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup had many wondering if Team USA would have to travel to Canada without arguably the world’s best keeper.
Solo has been brilliant since she stepped into the international scene in 2007 with Team USA at that year’s World Cup. She recorded 2 clean sheets in the group stage at the 2011 World Cup and turned in an admirable performance in the knockout stage, for which she was awarded the “Golden Glove,” which recognizes the tournament’s best goalkeeper, and the Bronze Ball (FIFA). Solo’s superb play has also translated well to the other popular quadrennial sporting event: the Olympics. After losing her first career Olympic match to Norway in 2008, Solo and Team USA have won 11 consecutive matches at the event, which has resulted in 2 gold medals for the red, white, and blue. Solo has an incredible 6 clean sheets interspersed throughout the 11 wins and has allowed less than one goal per match (FIFA).
If Solo had been convicted, which likely would have led to US Soccer keeping her off the roster for this summer’s festivities, Ashlyn Harris would likely have replaced Solo in the Starting XI. Though having considerable international experience with the U21 and U19 USWNT, Harris only has 4 career caps with the senior team, two of which came during 2014 (US Soccer). A product of Anson Dorrace’s hallowed UNC-Chapel Hill women’s soccer program, she won three national championships from 2005-2008 (US Soccer). Look for Harris to make an impact with the national team when Solo’s career has run its course.
Information from the FIFA and US Soccer websites were used in this post.