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Week In Review: Could Hope Solo play in the MLS?

Jul 22, 2011, 8:31 PM EDT


This was a week of Steve Williams feeling betrayed (Elin: ‘Welcome to the club’). A week of sheer, frilly Dennis Rodman undergarments. But most of all it was a week when Hope Solo and the U.S. soccer team did an odd victory lap. Odd, because they didn’t win the Women’s World Cup — only come in second to Japan. But that didn’t prevent America from embracing them. Especially adored is Hope Solo, America’s Goalie. And here Slate asks the musical question, could Solo make it in the MLS?

The short answer is no—Hope Solo won’t be moving to MLS. The even shorter answer might be dead silence, since I couldn’t get anyone connected to Major League Soccer or U.S. Soccer to broach the subject, likely due to fear that they’d sound patronizing or chauvinistic.

One person who would talk on the record is Tony DiCicco, who coached the World Cup-winning 1999 U.S. women’s national team. DiCicco knows better than anyone how talented women soccer players can be, but he’s still realistic about the imposing physical differences between women and men. “How do you think Diana Taurasi would do if she was in the NBA?” he says, deflating David Stern’s assertion that a woman will soon play at pro basketball’s highest level. “Over one or two games, Hope could be great,” he continues. “But in the long run, the bigger, stronger players would win out.”

Slate goes on to say that the best shot for Solo to keep playing is with the creation of a women’s pro league. That would be cool — if just to be able to watch the game without all the flopping. But if I know this country, and I think I do, we’ll see a Lingerie Soccer League before we see a women’s MLS. Or we could just go all-in like in Croatia, and start signing Playboy models.

But there were other stories this week. Let’s look:

The fun and frivolity continues this weekend with Ben Chew, who will be doing posts from poolside while sipping tropical drinks. On Monday or Tuesday, Ryan Vogelsong stops by to talk with us about baseball and stuff. So you’ve got that going for you. Gunga-lagunga.


  1. trbowman - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    I don’t know anything about soccer, so I’m not going to make a judgment. I can say though, that every other time people have wondered if women can play in the men’s league the answer is – no. Point blank. Candace Parker would get destroyed in the NBA. Centenary men’s basketball would handily beat UCONN women’s basketball team…..

  2. rsox3fan - Jul 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    These broads have had their 15 minutes,enough already.

  3. lunasceiling - Jul 24, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Of all the players on the women’s USNT, Solo would have the best chance of playing in the MSL. She’s a goalkeeper (and an insanely talented one…). The physical advantages male athletes have are less telling in that position. However, she’d still be somewhat undersized for the position at 5’9″ (reach matters…), so it would be a long shot, especially considering how MLS is improving year over year. EPL or La Liga? Not a chance…

  4. ptho16 - Jul 25, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    No women’s soccer player could play in the MLS; even with it not being that great of a league comparatively, the difference in speed of play is too great. The speed that the women’s game is played at is comparable to a good mens high school team.

  5. danandcasey - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    You say “Slate goes on to say that the best shot for Solo to keep playing is with the creation of a women’s pro league.” Actually, Slate states that Hope’s best change is to be the centerpiece of a VIABLE professional league. A professional league has already been created – the WPS. Viable? – that is a different issue.