Hope Solo handed six-month national team suspension

U.S. Soccer suspended goalkeeper Hope Solofrom the U.S. women's national team for six months for her comments after the quarterfinal loss to Sweden it deemed "counter to the organization's principles." Solo won't be eligible for selection until February 2017.

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.

21 comments about "Hope Solo handed six-month national team suspension".
  1. Adrian Gonzalez, August 24, 2016 at 8:39 p.m.

    WOW ! 6 months for an emotional response that contained no expletives, racial slurs, personal attacks and was not derogatory. It was an opinion that should not have been voiced at that time, probably not later either. She was frustrated, can you blame her ? So many other athletes have made worse comments or committed atrocious acts and they get fined and short suspensions. BOOO on the National Team Program. Some respect lost here.

  2. Glenn Manning, August 24, 2016 at 8:49 p.m.

    Really?? She has had her time on this team. She has always been a problem. I for one would be glad to see her go. Bring on her replacement!!

  3. cisco martinez, August 24, 2016 at 10:10 p.m.

    Absurd Gulati! We are supposed to be Americans where we say to all the other countries in the world that freedom of speech is a right not a privilege. Solo was and is a competitor and in many instances, she should be respected for not wanting to lose, some people see her comments as disrespectful, I would say it's gamesmanship, Sweden played smarter and was more tactical than we were, if Solo calls that "cowardly" who cares?

  4. stewart hayes, August 24, 2016 at 11:42 p.m.

    That kind of punishment is way out of line. I think the intention is to kick her off the national team but he cannot do that so he is doing it in an underhanded way.

  5. Allan Lindh, August 25, 2016 at 12:12 a.m.

    She can use a little time off, and this was not her first "incident." Besides do they have a meaningful game in next 6 months? She can play NWSL, and if she's willing to come back in spring in shape and ready to rock, they'll be happy to have her. However she had two bad games in this tournament, and time to give some younger goalies some playing time.

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, August 25, 2016 at 1:57 a.m.

    Will USSF let her play in the NWSL?

  7. R2 Dad, August 25, 2016 at 12:23 a.m.

    This is a form of sensorship, imho. Six months suspension for this, yes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrifARyfnXM
    Can you imagine men getting this treatment? If so, I want to see this coming out of Ellis' mouth, not just Sunil's. The USWNT is NOT a sorority!

  8. John Soares, August 25, 2016 at 12:30 a.m.

    ......and now two wrongs make a right!?
    Solo's comments were wrong, offensive, un-sportsman like, embarrassing..... The penalty is similar. Way over the top. Unless (?) she was as the "private conversations" comment implies in essence on probation. In which case it should have been clarified, in order to be justified.

  9. Ginger Peeler, August 25, 2016 at 12:38 a.m.

    One of the most pleasant aspects of the Olympics is that the athletes win graciously and lose gracefully. For the most part, they don't whine and THEY DONT MAKE EXCUSES. I'm sure all of the US athletes were aware of our expectations of their behaviors. We're one of the richest countries in the world. Do you really want to be represented by someone acting like a 5 yr old? All Solo had to do was stamp her foot, clench her fists and stick her lower lip out and you'd see how infantile her behavior was in calling the Swedes cowards. I supported her during the games when the crowd yelled "Zika" every time she touched the ball. Yes! She carried herself like a champion throughout...most admirable. And then she blew it all by disparaging the Swedish team. Some of you think it's okay because she was upset and stressed after losing, so she shouldn't be blamed. No, she had no self control. And neither do those other athletes who pop off and say whatever they think. By the way, Brazil lost to Sweden, too...it was a devestating loss. But they made no excuses and didn't whine about their loss. Solo's behavior is an embarrassment to the USA. It would probably be even worse for her if Lochte hadnt taken attention completely away from her. He engaged in criminal activity. Last I heard, he still was unable to admit he lied and he has lost 4 or 5 sponsors. I'm wondering if the Olympics committee or US Swimming powers-that-be will take away any of his medals. Lastly, Hope Solo has been out of line on several of occasions during the last couple of years and has received minor punishments. I'm sure she's also received warnings. Free speech may be welcome in the US, but she made her statement while in Brazil. And just as we have the right to free speech, so do consequences follow for what we have said. As athletes representing the United States, we must be held responsible for what we say and do.

  10. Bob Ashpole, August 25, 2016 at 1:45 a.m.

    US Soccer didn't just suspend her from national team play for six months, but also cancelled her professional player contract, i.e., fired her.

  11. Kevin Leahy, August 25, 2016 at 5:59 a.m.

    Speaking your mind, even if it is wrong is, as American as apple pie. The federation should be honest about their agenda. The use the strength of these atheletes to further their cause. Her comments should have not been more than a blip on the radar.

  12. Michael Albers replied, August 27, 2016 at 10:55 a.m.

    I agree with Kevin Leahy. Speaking your mind, even if you are a bit offensive, is as American as American pie. I say shame of Gulati and the Soccer Federation for a poor decision.

  13. Aldo Baietti, August 25, 2016 at 7:28 a.m.

    A bit harsh!

  14. Pasco Struhs, August 25, 2016 at 8:26 a.m.

    Some of you seem to have glossed over the fact that Gulati's decision was also based on "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." My guess is that when called in on it, when she was not in the heat of the emotional moment, she reacted defensively, consistent with her seeming rebel attitude.

    Remember, like most of these incidents, the punishment has three purposes (1) to announce to the world that that is not what we stand for and we will not tolerate that type of poor sportsmanship, (2) to reprimand the player for her actions and (3) to send a message to other players that such behavior will not be tolerated. I have no issue with the length of the punishment. There is nothing really happening in the next 6 months for the women. If they wanted to impose a meaningful punishment, they should bench her for the next two or three real (not friendly) games. That's what FIFA imposed on Suarez for his biting incidents and the NFL imposed on Brady for inflategate.

    For those of you waving the american flag about free speech, I have the following thoughts. She's not being punished for her speech, she's being punished for the sentiment that her speech reflects - poor sportsmanship. Just because we have the right to speak our mind, that doesn't exonerate us for the meaning of that speech. Its a privilege to represent our country on the national team and with that privilege comes a responsibility to conduct yourself in a manner consistent with our principles. Just the idea that you can call the other team names based on free speech flys in the face of what good sportsmanship is all about. Just imagine if you were a youth coach and one of your players yelled "coward" across the field after a similar loss. Would you let that go as free speech? I certainly wouldn't.

  15. Rich V replied, August 25, 2016 at 9:26 a.m.

    Exactly Pasco, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences of that speech. It just means that the government can't lock you up for it (with exceptions). US Soccer is under no obligation to provide anyone a forum for their speech. If she didn't have a spotted history, this wouldn't have been much of an issue. I think that what she said is minor compared to her prior incidents so this is a bit harsh for the specific comment, but given her prior issues I'm ok with the punishment.

  16. Ginger Peeler replied, August 25, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.

    Pasco, you nailed it!! Some people reading these columns seem a bit reading-comprehensively challenged. It's as if they pick out and find fault with one facet of an article without bothering to read the whole thing. So then you get this "don't confuse me with the facts" reaction. Thank you for putting it in simple, understandable terms.

  17. cisco martinez, August 25, 2016 at 10:59 a.m.

    Pasco, I am positive US Soccer receives money from tax payers and from our gov't, in that sense freedom of speech should be protected, if Gulati wanted to punish her for her "sentiments" that's non-sense because he should have done so before the Olympics and we all know he didn't because of money. Poor sportsmanship, calling an opposing coaches tactics "coward" and follow "our principles," what is more American than dissent. As a former assistant coach at a top D1 school and collegiate player, I wouldn't care if a youth player yelled coward to another player, however a youth has not protection of freedom of speech.

  18. Rich V replied, August 25, 2016 at 2:09 p.m.

    Not that it matters for free speech, but you are 'positive' that they receive gov't funding? Care to cite a source for that, because I'm pretty sure that is not at all correct.

  19. C Tyson, August 25, 2016 at 2:46 p.m.

    Although we are not told by the powers that be what other indiscretions she is being charged with, I believe like most others, that this was too harsh a punishment. We all wish at times we could have phrased our comments more discreetly, but there are those times when we are a little too honest. As a former Soccer America ASL all-star in he late 70s and early 80s, I understand how an interview may not go exactly like you want it. However, to me, this punishment does not fit the crime.

  20. Ginger Peeler, August 25, 2016 at 6:24 p.m.

    That is all according to Grant Wahl.

  21. Ginger Peeler, August 25, 2016 at 6:25 p.m.

    Woops! Wrong place!

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications