World Cup champion USA keeper Hope Solo will headline the Australian Football Writers’ Festival in March, organisers revealed today.
Solo is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world, with more caps, more wins, more clean sheets (or shutouts) and more starts than any other goalkeeper in US history.
She's also a two-time Olympic Games gold medal winner, and winner of the 2011 and 2015 FIFA World Cup Golden Glove awards.
In 2015, she achieved her lifelong dream as a player, delivering the US Women’s National Team its first World Cup title since 1999.
From the regional city of Richland in Washington state, Solo first played with the U-14 team at the age of 12 and went on to play for the United States in every single age group.
As she climbed the ranks, she learned the challenges of being an economically disadvantaged player in the elite youth system, relying on the generosity of friends, family and her home state to fuel her aspirations.
Following a college career at the University of Washington, Solo played in every iteration of women’s professional soccer in America most recently for Seattle Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League.
She is recognised as a leader in the fight for equal pay and in 2016, was one of five members of the US Women’s National Team to file a wage discrimination claim against the Federation.
She also was a candidate in the 2018 US Soccer Presidential election, and has been an influential voice on and off the field, sharing the stage with US senators, heads of state, business leaders and global activists from around the world advocating for women’s rights, gender equality and corruption-free football.
Solo holds the single-season and career record for most goalkeeper wins at 26 and 153, respectively. She also boasts the most career clean sheets (shutouts) at 102, as well as the longest undefeated streak by a goalkeeper at 55 consecutive matches, spanning from 2002-2008. She made 202 appearances (192 starts) with the US women’s national team between 2000 and 2016.
Solo will join the new Chairman of Football Federation Australia (FFA), Chris Nikou, at the festival, along with award-winning German investigative journalist and author Jens Weinreich, former Socceroo and SBS-TV analyst Craig Foster, as well as other writers, journalists and authors from around Australia.
The Football Writers’ Festival will be held at the Jamberoo Pub, Jamberoo, south of Sydney, over the weekend of 23-24 March. It will include keynote conversations, and panel discussions, as well as downtime activities such as a football match and dinner and trivia. It is a joint initiative of Fair Play Publishing and the Johnny Warren Football Foundation.
The entry fee is $10 for one day or $15 for two days.
To find out more, including how to register, visit www.footballwritersfestival.com.au, follow them on Twitter @fballwritersAU, Facebook @footballwritersfestival or Instagram @footballwritersfestival.