Soccer: The Art of Goalkeeping, with Hope Solo

Credit: Christopher Johnson [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

GOOOAAALLL! Hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly (who played professional soccer in England for 14 years) look at the science behind the most underrated position in the most popular sport in the world. And who better to help them than 2-time Olympic Gold medalist and World Cup champion Hope Solo, the former goalkeeper for the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team? You’ll hear segments from Hope’s interview with our own Neil deGrasse Tyson about everything from her shocking shoulder injury to the role of luck in blocking free kicks. To unravel the science behind the art of goalkeeping, Chuck and Gary have brought in astrophysicist and soccer fan Charles Liu and athletic trainer Christine Friel. Explore the physics of a penalty kick, from the average speed of the ball to the infinitesimal time a goalkeeper has to react and get to the ball. Discover one of the secrets to “bending the ball” – and the role the ball’s inflation valve has on unpredictability and flight. Hope shares her conspiracy theory on ball evolution, and the role of science vs. will in creating great soccer players. Also up for discussion: how ball structure influences the transmission of force from the kicker’s foot to the ball, and comparisons between the physics of footballs, baseballs and soccer balls in terms of ball inflation, weight, shape, seams, structure, and laminar flow. Finally, you’ll learn how cutting edge science impacts everything from training and nutrition to sports psychology and rehab – including how doctors are regrowing cartilage in the lab and putting it back into injured players’ knees.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Soccer: The Art of Goalkeeping, with Hope Solo.

In This Episode

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