Stars in goal - Solo v Angerer
30 June 2015 | Sports
American Hope Solo and German counterpart Nadine Angerer are two of the top shot-stoppers in the world, transforming the image of female goalkeepers.
Here AFP Sports compare the two players ahead of their team’s semi-final clash in the Women’s World Cup in Montreal today:
Germany captain Nadine Angerer became the first goalkeeper to win the FIFA World player of the year award in 2013.
She has a reputation for producing world class performances under high pressure as she proved yet again in the quarter-final against France which Germany won 5-4 on penalties.
In 2007 the shot stopper denied Brazil’s Marta as Germany won their second straight title at the Women’s World Cup.
And it was Angerer who stopped not one but two normal-time penalties to deny Norway in the final of Euro 2013.
Angerer has been playing at international level for 19 years, a German record, claiming 144 caps to date.
Her star status is relatively recent though having spend the best part of a decade as the understudy to Germany’s legendary goalkeeper Silke Rottenburg.
She finally got her chance when Rottenburg injured a knee in 2007.
The Portland Thorns keeper has already announced her intention to retire from international football at the end of Canada 2015 and wants to sign off on a high with a record third title.
Angerer says: “There aren’t any tactics. It’s just intuition.”
Imperial in the United States goal in recent years Hope Solo’s off-field life has also made headlines.
At 33 years, Solo is accumulating records in Canada - an unmatched 88 clean sheets in 175 matches played for the US and 423 minutes without conceding a goal, a national record for the Women’s World Cup.
The 1-0 quarter-final win against China was her a fourth straight clean sheet in Canada, where she has made 11 saves.
Ex-US coach Pia Sundhage recently described Solo as one of the most challenging players she had ever worked with “especially when it comes to trouble”.
Her build-up to the World Cup was hampered by a 30-day suspension after she was a passenger in a car belonging to the US Soccer Federation driven by her husband, former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens, when he was arrested for drink driving.
Solo was nearly arrested herself for her unruly behaviour to police.
In another incident, domestic violence charges filed against Solo by her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew in June 2014 were later dismissed.
Her relationship with her teammates has also been fraught at times.
Comments she made concerning the use of veteran goalkeeper Brianna Scurry for a semi-final at the 2007 World Cup which the US lost 4-0 to Brazil resulted in many teammates shunning her.
She came back to win gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and although the team lost to Japan on penalties in the 2011 World Cup final Solo received the Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper.
Solo says: “I want to win the World Cup, give it everything and have no regrets.”