A Troubled Star's Softer Side: At Home with Hope Solo

"I feel safe here," the embattled soccer sensation tells PEOPLE of her Seattle retreat

Photo: Jose Mandojana

Out by the driveway of Hope Solo‘s Seattle home there’s a little sign that warns visitors, “We Don’t Dial 911,” complete with an ominous drawing of a Doberman pinscher. Not far away, above her front door, there’s another less-threatening notice that reads: “Follow Your Heart.”

“We get a lot of uninvited guests,” says Solo, standing in her doorway, pointing out toward the sign by the driveway and smiling.

It’s here in this three-bedroom house – that Solo shares with her husband, retired NFL player Jerramy Stevens – where the woman regarded as the planet’s greatest female goalkeeper retreated when her world began crumbling following her arrest for assaulting her half-sister and nephew in June 2014 and Stevens’ arrest for driving drunk in a U.S. Soccer team van with Hope in the passenger seat. And it’s also here where Solo, 33, who is currently competing in the Women’s World Cup in Canada, regrouped after being suspended in January 2015 from the U.S. National Team one week after a Kirkland, Wash., judge dismissed the case against her, which she recently told PEOPLE was “traumatic and embarrassing.”

“I know people probably think we party all the time,” Solo says, “but we don’t really go out that much. And when we do, we end up going to the movies. We’re pretty boring people.”

Perched on a hillside and surrounded by fir trees, the couple’s airy two-story home, which features a massive wrap-around deck surrounding a swimming pool, overlooks the waters of Lake Washington. Photos of family and friends line the walls.

While giving a tour of the property, her two Dobermans – Sasha and Onyx – trail close behind her. “Jerramy always says, ‘Dobermans remind me of you. They’re loyal, regal and people are scared of them,’ ” Solo says, while walking through their garage, filled with weights and various pieces of exercise equipment. “But they wouldn’t hurt a fly and Sasha is pretty much scared of everything.”

On one wall hangs a massive poster of Solo. She glances at it, rolls her eyes and moans. “That’s so gross,” she laughs. “I really want to tear that down. Jerramy hung that up to be funny.”

Behind the garage sits a chicken coop, where the couple’s laying hens – French Fry, Penny and Cruella – strut about while picking and scratching at the dirt. “We love our fresh eggs each morning,” she says.

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Solo eventually makes her way up to the deck surrounding her pool, sits down on a step and stares off over the treetops to water below. Sasha and Onyx plop down at her sandal-clad feet and promptly go to sleep. “I feel safe here,” she says, “just hanging out with my dogs, my chickens and my husband.”

For more on Hope Solo, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

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