Controversial United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended for six months by the country’s governing body.
The 35-year-old, who has been capped over 200 times, made disparaging comments in the wake of the USWNT’s defeat to Sweden at the Olympic Games in Rio earlier this month.
The Swedes came through their quarter-final clash on penalties, despite Solo indulging in some gamesmanship by changing her gloves mid-shootout.
Afterwards, the shot stopper spoke about Sweden’s tactics and their unwillingness to get involved in an open game.
I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I strongly, firmly believe that.
Sweden dropped back. They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball around. They didn’t want to play great soccer, entertaining soccer.
Solo was previously suspended for 30 days by U.S. Soccer for an incident that took place in January 2015; she was a passenger in a car being driven by her husband, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, who was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol at the time.
The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players.
Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions.
Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we’ve had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a U.S. National Team member, U.S. Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action.
The USWNT Players Association has commented on the ban, stating that it is excessive and also that an appeal will be launched on Solo’s behalf.
A domestic violence incident from 2014 has lingered over Solo, despite her attempts to have the resulting charges thrown out since.
Off field issues aside, Solo has remained a stalwart of the USWNT, and has recently been heavily involved in the push for female players to be paid more relative to their male counterparts.
This is the letter informing Hope Solo her contract with the USWNT has been terminated. pic.twitter.com/MtYwV9S6ed
— Liz Mullen (@SBJLizMullen) August 25, 2016