July 20, 2011 by Richard · Comments Off
This is interesting coming from a soccer athlete who has spent most of her club career shuffling between the US and Japan. Before this year’s World Cup she had been playing in her homeland for the INAC Leonessa. With the establishment of the Women’s United Soccer Association in 2001, she found herself playing for the Atlanta Beat, in the highest-level professional women’s league in the United States. She scored the first goal in club history, and became the centerpiece of the Beat’s three seasons, helping them into the playoffs each year. Despite her petite frame at 5’5″ (164 cm) tall and 121 lbs. (55 kg), she held her own against larger players and was one of the league leaders in fouls taken. Following the close of WUSA in 2003, she returned to Japan, where she joined powerhouse NTV Beleza. In 2004 she was chosen Women’s Player of the Year for the Asian Football Confederation. On September 24, 2008, she again returned to the US after she was selected by the Washington Freedom for the first round of the 2008 WPS International Draft. She was their mainstay in the midfield throughout the first two seasons before returning again to Japan to prepare for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Her remarkable career had started at the age of 12, when she made it to Japan’s highest domestic league. On December 6, 1993, at age 15, she made her Japanese international debut in her first ever match against the Philippines, scoring four goals in all. She subsequently became a fixture for the Japanese national team, participating in her country’s last five appearances at the FIFA Women’s World Cups and the 1996, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympic Games to clinch a record 171 caps for Japan. She also has the best Japanese female score of 79 international goals, including a hat trick in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup group stage match against Mexico. For her 5 goals during the tournament, Sawa received the Golden Boot, Golden Ball and MVP awards as an illustrious finish to her World Cup career.
July 17, 2011 by Richard · Comments Off
USA team’s goal keeper Hope Solo hopes to maintain her low-key lifestyle but is set to enjoy a lucrative pay day following Sunday’s Women’s World Cup Final. Her popularity has skyrocketed during the tournament with her followers on Twitter growing from more than 10,000 to 117,000 ahead of the match with Japan.
A number of endorsement deals are also expected after the event hoping to profit from Solo’s recent fame and popular appeal in women’s soccer. Yahoo! Sports has reported that Go Daddy.com is considering making her an offer to become a “Go Daddy Girl” with race car driver Danica Patrick. But Solo wants to keep a level head whatever the outcome on Sunday. In a recent interview she said “I like having some privacy and just being me and I don’t want that to change…Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate money and respect the value of it, but I don’t make every decision based just on that I have got more important things to focus on and apart from soccer and one more game, I am not really thinking about anything else right now.”
29 year old Solo plays for Florida’s Magic Jack team in Women’s Pro Soccer but has a house near Seattle where she spends her time off from playing. She enjoys camping and has recently renovated much of her home herself remodeling the bathroom and undertaking a landscaping project. “It is my thing and I find it cool and relaxing to plan stuff out and see how you can make your home nice,” said Solo. “I have been joking with the girls that if we win the World Cup I will rip out the kitchen and put in a whole new one.” Solo is praised for her saving of a critical penalty kick that cost Brazil the match with USA in the knock out group matches and despite being disappointed in allowing a goal against France due to a fumble, observers described it as a misfortune than a deliberate lapse. She is enthusiastic about her team’s prospects on Sunday “I came here with two goals,” she said. “I wanted to win the World Cup and be the best goalkeeper in the tournament.” In just more than 90 minutes, Solo is one step away from lasting and lucrative fame outside of the World Cup.