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Solo

'Solo' – a no-holds-barred, tell-all autobiography – has already rocked some boats.

By Ross AtkinStaff Writer / September 1, 2012

Solo By Hope Solo with Ann Killion HarperCollins 304 pp.

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Hope Solo is not the type of person to write anything other than a no-holds-barred, tell-all kind of autobiography.  That is exactly what Solo: A Memoir of Hope, written with columnist Ann Killion of SportsIllustrated.com, delivers: a behind-the-scenes account of the good, the bad, and the ugly of Solo’s challenging personal life and that of her many years as a goalkeeper for the US women’s national soccer team.

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Knowing that the release of such a life story might ruffle some feathers and be a distraction, national team coach Pia Sundhage asked her star keeper to delay the book’s release until after this summer’s London Olympics. Sundhage even was prepared to bench Solo if she didn’t comply, according to an e-book epilogue to the memoir.

The post-Olympic release, as it turns out, has only enhanced public interest and helped it to become an immediate bestseller. Why? Because while the book ends with the US loss to Japan in the 2011 World Cup final, in London the American squad defeated Japan, 2-1, to win the gold medal – the ultimate hook for readership.

The game drew 80,000 spectators to Wembley Stadium and was watched by millions of viewers around the world. The afterglow continues as the team heads into the first of three post-Olympic matches in the US, beginning with a sold-out match Saturday (Sept. 1) against Costa Rica in Rochester, N.Y.

As anticipated, however, the “Memoir of Hope” has rocked some boats, including that of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” on which Solo appeared as a partner with professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy in 2011. In writing of her experiences on the show, she claims Chemerkovskiy handled her roughly and even slapped her once during a heated rehearsal. A possible lawsuit has been rumored, but Solo says she stands by her story, as she does by another episode related in the book about a confrontation that occurred with former national team coach Greg Ryan. The events surrounding the latter episode are some of the most emotionally charged in a book not lacking in this department. (It should perhaps be noted here that this is not an autobiography for the young and impressionable, especially given the liberal use of the “f” word.)

Solo and Ryan did not enjoy good relations in 2007, when Solo was the starting goalkeeper for the US World Cup team, but the relationship really deteriorated before a semifinal game against Brazil when Ryan told Solo he’d decided to replace her in goal with Briana Scurry. Solo did not take the news well. She objected to starting Scurry, who, though a veteran star of previous World Cup and Olympic teams, had seen little action playing behind Solo, who felt she was playing the best she’d ever played. When she stood up to leave, Ryan shoved her back down on the couch, or so she says. Ryan denies the accusation.

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