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Dancing With The Stars

5 Things You Need to Know About DWTS’ Hope Solo

You may have read our bios for the cast of Dancing With the Stars Season 13, but there’s a lot more to learn about the 12 celebs. Here are five interesting tidbits about sexy soccer star Hope Solo.

1. Her father died eight days before seeing her play for Team USA for the first time
Hope's dad, Jeffrey Solo, was her first soccer coach when she started playing at age 5 in Washington. After Hope's parents divorced, her dad — a Vietnam veteran — lived on the streets, but Hope wouldn't describe him as homeless.

"He was a tough Italian guy who was raised in a boys’ home in the Bronx," she told USA Today. "He always had that street sense in him. In terms of being 'homeless,' I'm always very careful not to define it that way. He chose to live in the woods. He enjoyed it. I'd offer him money, and he'd never take a dime. If I looked for him, I wouldn't look for him at a homeless shelter."

He had never seen her play for the U.S. women's soccer team and was looking forward to attending a match on June 23, 2007 in New Jersey. But he died of a heart attack on June 15, 2007 — just eight days before the game — at age 69. Hope and her brother Marcus spread their father's ashes at Central Park and outside Yankee Stadium.

Watch Hope talking about her dad in this touching ESPN video:

2. She took heat for criticizing her coach and teammate during the previous World Cup
During Team USA's World Cup match against Brazil in 2007, coach Greg Ryan made the controversial decision to put veteran Briana Scurry in goal over Hope — despite Hope having not given away a single goal in almost 300 minutes of the World Cup and Briana not seeing a full match in three months. Brazil beat the U.S. 4-0 and Hope was vocal about her disappointment. A little too vocal.

"There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves," Hope told the press after the game. "You have to live in the present. And you can't live by big names. You can't live in the past. It doesn't matter what somebody did in an Olympic gold medal game in the Olympics three years ago. Now is what matters, and that's what I think." Her teammates weren’t happy and Hope was booted from the subsequent match against Norway. However, she did apologize for her comments, writing in a MySpace post, "Although I stand strong in everything I said, the true disheartening moment for me was realizing it could look as though I was taking a direct shot at my own teammate. I would never throw such a low blow. Never."

3. She has a boyfriend
Despite reports that they broke up last year, Hope still seems to be dating Adrian Galaviz. Hope and Adrian were recently spotted at the Just Dance 3 launch party in L.A. “He was stealing kisses on her cheek,” an onlooker told Page Six. Sources say the two have been dating on and off for 11 years after meeting in Seattle. That's commitment!

4. Jealousy alert! She was recruited by Maks
Kirstie Alley probably had to beg to get him, but DWTS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy went after Hope Solo himself. He's a big soccer fan and was vocal about wanting her to do the show. He studied her footwork as she was playing in the 2011 World Cup and wanted to train her — plus he thinks she's hot. ('Cause she is.) It’s not surprising that he noticed her feet. According to a USA Today story, not a practice or a game goes by without somebody on the U.S. women's team saying, "Nice feet, Hope!" She admits that she's pretty obsessed with her feet. "I love pedicures. And, yes, I have a ton of shoes." And when she found out that ex-Ukrainian Bachelor Maks wanted her, she did the smart thing and wanted him back. "I saw that Maks had gone on ESPN's SportsCenter trying to recruit me a few months ago, but I was focusing on the World Cup at the time," Hope told ESPN. "When I came back home, I looked at my schedule and I saw no reason why I can't do it." That's all you have to do when you're Maks. Ask and you shall receive.

5. She's a hot endorsement commodity
Hope became a marketer's dream after leading Team USA to the World Cup Finals in July. According to SportsBusiness Daily, her Twitter followers jumped from 8,000 to more than 250,000 in little over a week. (She's now close to 300,000.) She and teammates Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan signed endorsement deals with Bank of America and, shortly afterward, Hope signed a multi-year deal with Gatorade. Hope and Alex also attended the New York City premiere for the final season of the HBO show Entourage. Richard Motzkin of Wasserman Media Group, who has represented Hope for 10 years, told SportsBusiness Daily that interest in Hope after the World Cup was “staggering.” “Being on the cover of Sports Illustrated helped her awareness with the general public,” he said. “She has an opportunity to become well-known not just in the soccer scene, but in the public mainstream as well.” Guess that's happening now!

09.19.2011 / 07:48 PM EDT by Gina Carbone
Related: Dancing With The Stars, Hope Solo

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