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Solo, Morgan kick up heels, share stories with students

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

For United States women’s soccer stars Hope Solo and Alex Morgan, life has been hectic since participating in the World Cup during the summer of 2011.

Despite their busy schedules, Solo and Morgan made an appearance at Ohio State to speak to students about their experiences and a variety of other topics as part of an Ohio Union Activities Board-sponsored event.

Before talking to students, Solo, who plays goalie, and Morgan, who plays forward, sat down for an exclusive interview with The Lantern.

Both players said they were excited to interact with OSU students.

“I’m so excited to be on campus and see really more or less what the student body is like, than the city itself,” Solo said.

The U.S. women’s soccer team made it all the way to the final game in the World Cup, but lost to Japan in the championship. Even though they lost, the soccer stars said the event was a great experience.

“The World Cup was obviously an amazing experience,” Morgan said. “It was my first World Cup. We had a great journey through the World Cup. We did end up on the short side of the stick with that loss in the end to Japan. But we have no regrets.”

During the World Cup, Solo and Morgan became two of the most recognizable players on the U.S. team. That popularity afforded them opportunities to experience things outside of soccer.

Solo participated in the dancing competition “Dancing With the Stars,” and Morgan appeared in the most recent edition of the yearly “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition,” in which she posed in body paint.

“It was probably the longest day of my life,” Morgan said of the magazine photo shoot. “It took probably 14 hours to paint. I felt very uncomfortable at many times during that day, but I’m very happy with the results.”

But the players said their focus stays firmly on soccer.

“It starts with soccer and it ends with soccer,” Morgan said. “That’s our priority and although we have these opportunities outside of soccer, we need to go back and keep soccer our priority.”

The Olympics don’t start until July, but Solo and Morgan said the team’s preparation is in full swing.

Team USA will play matches in Portugal, Japan and other locations before heading to London.

And after falling short in the World Cup, Solo and Morgan were clear. They want gold in the Olympics.

“Is there any other way to enter the Olympics?” Solo said.

Solo and Morgan appeared to win over the OSU students who gathered to hear them speak. Solo called up one lucky student to give her a hug because they were from the same town in the state of Washington.

The stars’ good looks didn’t hurt, either.

“They’re really hot, that’s the real reason why I came,” said Darius Shams, a fourth-year in zoology. “I’ll be honest, but I did watch the World Cup over the summer, so I am a soccer fan too.”

For some students, the players’ visit meant they could see people they regard as personal heroes.

“Hope Solo is one of the two people in my life I’ve always wanted to see, which were her and Jennifer Nettles, who I saw in concert,” said Darby Mitchell, a fourth-year in exercise science. “So I’m just really excited I got to see her.”

Kelsie Ozamiz contributed to this story.

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