The Seattle Sounders Women announced the signing of goalkeeper Hope Solo and forward Sydney Leroux for the 2012 season on Tuesday. The USL W-League side took advantage of Women's Professional Soccer being inactive in 2012 to sign the U.S. international pair.
Richmond, Washington-native Solo played collegiality for the University of Washington. While still in college she joined the U.S. national team, and has since locked down a starting role. She won the Golden Gloves award for the best goalkeeper in the 2011 World Cup and helped the U.S. win 2008 Olympic gold.
Her success has helped the 30-year-old earn celebrity status. Following the World Cup she appeared on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" and featured in ESPN's "Body Issue."
“Hope is undoubtedly the best women’s keeper in the game today,” said Sounders general manager Amy Carnell. “Her signing represents the caliber player Sounders Women’s fans can expect in 2012. As the landscape of women’s soccer continues to evolve, we realize the unique opportunity before us. The addition of Hope Solo and Sydney Leroux sets the tone for what we think will be a very special year for Sounders Women’s soccer.”
Recently Solo helped the U.S. qualify for the 2012 Olympics without conceding a goal during qualifying. Leroux broke into the national team setup at the same time, scoring five goals in only her second cap, a 13-0 win over Guatemala.
The 21-year-old was picked first overall in the WPS draft of college seniors.
“Sydney is the consummate goal scorer with an incredible attacking attitude,” said head coach Michelle French. “She not only shows tireless effort on the offensive side of the ball, but she is very unique in that she prides herself on her defensive recovery and ability to win the ball back. She makes an impact no matter where she plays on the field.”
Solo and Canadian-born Leroux will split time between the Sounders and training camp with the U.S. ahead of the 2012 Olympics.