Asked about the shootout loss to Sweden after the USA finished with a 27-6 edge in shots, Solo
responded, "We played a creative game. We had many opportunities on goal. We showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down. I’m very proud of this team." But then she
added: "We played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I strongly, firmly believe that."
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati's statement:
"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."
U.S. Soccer suspended Solo for 30 days in early 2015 following the DUI arrest of her husband after they used a team van at training camp. She went on to lead the USA to the Women's World Cup title and finish the year with a 0.43 goals-against average, the lowest for any years in which she played 10 or more games.
Solo finishes 2016 with 12 shutouts in 17 games and just seven goals allowed for a goals-against average of 0.45.