When US national team and former UW goalkeeper Hope Solo joined the Sounders Women this season, she said she was looking forward to playing before her hometown fans, and hoped having a handful of national team members playing on the same team would help the USA's chances at an Olympic gold medal.
Speaking on a conference call today in advance of the USA's Olympics-opening match against France on Wednesday, Solo said her time with the local W-League team lived up to her expectations:
My experience with the Sounders Women was everything that I thought it would be. I knew the organization was as professional as any professional team I’ve ever played for. I knew that the city was invested in growing the women’s game, and there was no other club team that I would have rathered play for than my hometown of Seattle trying to build the game. It was everything I could have imagined. We had sellout crowds, we had great fan support, we put some quality soccer together. For me, it was special to see that other national team players – in their off time, keep in mind that when I go back to Seattle, that’s my off time – they could have gone home to family, friends, boyfriends, husbands, whatever it might have been, and they decided to fly back to Seattle and step onto the field in a Sounders uniform. They did that for a reason. They did that because they believe in the organization. It was a great team to play for, quality soccer, and of course because every touch on the ball is going to help us in our journey to winning a gold medal in the Olympics.