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Originally published Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 6:07 PM

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Sounders Women sign Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux

Former Washington star Hope Solo, the goalkeeper for the U.S. Women's National Team and a former contestant on TV's "Dancing with the Stars," has signed with the Sounders Women.

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Hope Solo is returning to Seattle.

Solo, the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. Women's National Team, signed with the Sounders women's team. Solo, a 30-year-old native of Richland, is a former star at the University of Washington.

The Sounders also signed 21-year-old forward Sydney Leroux. Solo and Leroux are training with the national team, which is preparing for the Olympics this summer in London.

"Hope is undoubtedly the best women's keeper in the game today," said Sounders general manager Amy Carnell.

Carnell said Solo and Leroux will be available as their training with the national team permits. Carnell said she expected they would play in three exhibition matches and at least three of the Sounders' seven W-League home games. The league season begins in May and the schedule will be announced soon.

Solo was in goal as the U.S. team cruised to the title of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, outscoring its opponents 38-0 in five tournament matches. She was the Golden Glove winner in the 2011 World Cup as the U.S. finished second, and was the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. gold-medal winning team at the 2008 Olympics. Solo also was a contestant on the 13th season of TV's "Dancing with the Stars."

Solo played the past three years for teams in Women's Professional Soccer but that league announced last month it had suspended operations for 2012.

"As the landscape of women's soccer continues to evolve, we realize the unique opportunity before us," Carnell said. "The addition of Hope Solo and Sydney Leroux sets the tone for what we think will be a very special year for Sounders Women's soccer."

Leroux, who played at UCLA, scored five goals in the national team's rout of Guatemala during the CONCACAF qualifying.

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