If a random person came up to me on the street and asked me which women’s soccer player should be a first ballot hall of famer, I would have two things to say to them. First of all, don’t ask random people questions on the street, unless you’re Billy Eichner. But secondly and MOST importantly, the answer hands down is Hope Solo. The fact that she was snubbed from this honor is a travesty and I believe has nothing to do with her on the field play.
First of all, congratulations to the lone inductee, Carlos Bocanegra. The man deserves soccer’s highest honor after a storied career, both domestically and internationally. He captained the U.S. team in 64 of his 110 international appearances and was a consummate pro anytime he took the field. However, the Hall of Fame certainly has room for someone else. Especially if that someone is from the unstoppable USWNT. and viewed as one of the greatest soccer players of all time.
Let’s first talk about Hope Solo’s accomplishments on the field that make her worthy of the induction. Hope was a three-time Olympian (2008, 2012, 2016) and a two-time Olympic medalist. Both of those medals were gold, by the way. She also participated in three World Cups, helping the USWNT medal in each one of them. She capitalized her WC opportunities with a gold medal in 2015. In two of those World Cups, she won the Golden Glove award; the award that is given to the best goalkeeper of the tournament. Additionally, she was named the world’s top keeper every year from 2012-15. Check out how she psyches out her opponent here on a penalty kick. She was simply a cold-blooded keeper.
It’s no secret that Hope Solo had her off the field issues and rubbed teammates and coaches the wrong way. Going at a fan-favorite, legendary goalkeeper is not going to make you many friends. She was also arrested for an incident with her husband, former NFL player, Jerramy Stevens – charges were subsequently dropped. None of these incidents should have left her off almost 43% of the HOF ballots. Though, it’s hard to say they didn’t play a part in her omission. Clearly, she has the credentials to be worthy of a spot in the HOF. Though we’ve seen it time and time again that HOF voting in any sport is a sham.
“The Right Way”
We’ve seen HOF voting continuously snub some of the greatest MLB players of all time. Either because of potential performance enhancing drug accusations or gambling. Legendary players like Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, and Pete Rose have all been labeled as black sheep. They’ve been snubbed because voters have deemed them of not playing the game “the right way.”
Voting has become an activity for purists who overlook a great player’s accomplishments because of a transgression. At the end of the day, it’s the stats that should matter. And I’m sorry, how many gold medals does Bocanegra have hanging at his home?
With the fight for equality in women’s soccer, don’t you think this would have been at least a nice gesture? Hope is worthy of the honor, she has the stats and the hardware to prove it. Shame on 43% of the voters who refused to look objectively at her on the field accomplishments. She should not have been penalized just because she was an outspoken player. Hope was a once in a lifetime goalkeeper. It’s too bad she won’t be enshrined as one.
- / 1 year ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.