Devastated Hope Solo calls it quits for 2016 season

Less than a week after being suspended from the U.S. national team for six months and having her contract terminated, Hope Solo announced she won't be playing again in 2016 for her NWSL team, the Seattle Reign, saying U.S. Soccer's decision was "devastating" and she wasn't in a frame of mind to play.

"Coming to terms with the fact I was fired from the U.S. women's national team after 17 years of service has been devastating," she said. "After careful consideration, I have decided to end my season with the Seattle Reign, an organization I love playing for. Mentally, I am not there yet. After watching the team's win against Portland this weekend and seeing Haley Kopmeyer playing so well in goal, I truly believe this decision is what's best for me and for the Reign organization."

Hope Solo in NWSL:
14/1.36 Seattle Reign (2013)
20/0.90 Seattle Reign (2014)
8/1.13 Seattle Reign (2015)
8/0.63 Seattle Reign (2016)

The Reign won the 2014 and 2015 NWSL regular-season titles but finds itself in a battle to make the four-team playoffs. Despite its 3-1 win over archrival Portland, the Reign sits in fifth place, four points of the playoffs with four games to play.

After Solo was informed of U.S. Soccer's decision to punish her for her remarks after the USA's shootout loss to Sweden at the Rio Olympics and before the Reign-Thorns games, Reign head coach and general manager Laura Harvey said she was willing to give her keeper some time to digest the news.

On Tuesday, Harvey issued a statement saying the Reign was disappointed with the decision but understood and respected it.

"Hope has always wanted what is best for our team," said Harvey. "She is a relentless trainer, a fierce competitor and demands from herself nothing less than excellence on the pitch."

Kopmeyer has been Solo's understudy since the Reign was formed in 2013, a fourth-round draft choice out of Michigan.

With Solo out for a good part of the 2015 season, Kopmeyer had a 1.00 goals-against average in 11 games to rank third among all NWSL keepers.

The Reign is Solo's eighth team in a pro career that has spanned, beginning in WUSA with the Philadelphia Charge. It's the only club at which she's played at least full seasons.

Solo started her WPS career with the Saint Louis Athletica, which folded in its second season. She later played for Atlanta Beat and magicJack  before WPS folded after the 2011 season. She played one season each in Sweden (Kopparbergs/Gothenburg) and France (Lyon).
31 comments about "Devastated Hope Solo calls it quits for 2016 season".
  1. Terry Lynch, August 31, 2016 at 7:15 a.m.

    They've destroyed her. Maybe they're happy. She's clearly flawed but this is no way to treat a person who's done so much for the program.

  2. John M Cote, August 31, 2016 at 7:22 a.m.

    Richard T. Lynch +1. Could not agree more. Hope's offense didn't justify what US Soccer did. Shame on them.

  3. C Stephans, August 31, 2016 at 7:35 a.m.

    This decision by US Soccer is shamefully self-destructive and pathetic. Not a way a hero of the program that the soccer nation appreciates and respects for her talent. Makes me sick.

  4. C Stephans replied, August 31, 2016 at 7:36 a.m.

    *Not a way to "treat a hero"

  5. Mark Buckley, August 31, 2016 at 7:53 a.m.

    She's been a great goalkeeper. A hero? Not so much.

  6. Dan Eckert, August 31, 2016 at 7:58 a.m.

    I get it she said something stupid and for as long as she has played - she should known better. I get that US Soccer needed to enforce some discipline. But Suarez was only suspended for 4 months - and he took a bite out of someone during a game. I'm not saying Solo shouldn't be spanked - but this is a bit of an over reaction. It would have been better if US Soccer just would have pulled her aside and let her know that she's done - and retire from international football and called it a day. On the other hand... She has gotten in trouble so often that they needed to make an example. Considering she is truly an historical figure in Woman's Soccer - this is great example how confused and sad US Soccer has become over the last few years.

  7. trebor gt replied, August 31, 2016 at 9:54 a.m.

    Hope ran her mouth, has had some prior offenses but I do not think the punishment fit the crime here. I was disappointed by what she said and the way she reacted tarnished the reputation of our women's team. I presume that the reason for the extreme response is that they waited to discipline her at all in the past and now feel obligated to do something significant. Wrong approach. The point about Suarez earlier is valid, he actually bit someone and only got a 4 game suspension. Hope's words and prior offenses (off the field to boot) are not worse than that.

  8. M Lamb, August 31, 2016 at 8:45 a.m.

    This wasn't a penalty for a single offense - this was a penalty for cumulative, selfish, petulant, and perhaps illegal behavior. This is a women who hasn't heard "no" very often in her life; hence her utter surprise upon hearing she would actually be held accountable for her actions and their impact on the team and the program. When you play on a team, your actions on and off the field affect your teammates. Most people get a clue about this well before their mid-thirties; apparently not Hope. I truly wish the best for her in her post-athletic life, but it seems she lacks important self-awareness skills - which does not bode well for a happy ending.

  9. Mark Wallis replied, August 31, 2016 at 3:16 p.m.

    Well said. Athletes need to realize that there are consequences to their actions, both negative actions and positive ones. The quality of their athletic performance is immaterial.

  10. charles davenport, August 31, 2016 at 9:23 a.m.

    spoke her mind on a few occasions; for a male player, a non-issue-here's your fine, we'll see you next game. An MLS club hired a Dutchman known for brutality;how long was Eric Catona tolerated for? (he ended up doing NIKE commericials)

  11. Mike Calcaterra, August 31, 2016 at 9:58 a.m.

    Hope has been a star of US Soccer on a par with Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm. As such, she has been part of a team which has poured many millions into the coffers of US Soccer. While what she said was ill advised and it has been blown all out of proportion. She will remain one of the worlds best goalkeepers, male or female. One does not achieve that without a great work ethic, ego and passion. It was my privilege to work for several years with one of the all time best goalkeepers in the Bundesliga. Hope personified what he sought in goalkeepers, including the dose of crazy. If Gulati were doing his job as well as Solo did her's, we would be hosting a World Cup and our men would be as competitive as our women. The overreaction of Gulati has been a greater embarrassment that Hope's emotional verbal rebuke of Sweden.

  12. Gordon Holt, August 31, 2016 at 10:03 a.m.

    Apparently, this is how US Soccer promotes the game. More local headlines about this minor dust-up than about regular-season games, men/women combined.

  13. Jim Ngo, August 31, 2016 at 10:48 a.m.

    Don't annoint athletes as heroes. They're just people who happen to play a game really, really well. Sports are full of emotion. Fear, anger, elation are all part of why we love being part of it. I blame US Soccer's marketers, executives and bean counters for creating unrealistic expectations in an attempt to promote the sport. It's a disservice to the athletes.

  14. Greg Clader replied, August 31, 2016 at 11:57 a.m.

    Everyone is of course flawed. As a professional athlete you are also a role model for millions of young people. Hope is maybe the best GK on the planet. With that status as an athlete comes the responsibility as a person to demonstrate values such as respect for others. And of course Hope knew that by quitting her pro team she would be enlisting the help of her supporters who overlook her poor character traits. She knew that some would be enflamed to say, "NOW LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO HER!" She is trying to punish/pressure US soccer through the fan base. Comments here indicate it is working to some degree. Smart lady.

  15. Nalin Carney, August 31, 2016 at 11:13 a.m.


  16. Gus Keri, August 31, 2016 at 2:36 p.m.

    For some strange reason I feel sorry for her. US Soccer treated her like those slave-owners who used to beef up their slaves and make them fight each other until one of them is dead and they called this a sportsmanship.

  17. David Huff, August 31, 2016 at 4:25 p.m.

    It will be good to move forward and see the fresh crop of GKs that will play for the USWNT, let this be a cautionary lesson that a personal life in turmoil that is allowed to fester over a lengthy period will ultimately catch up with you.

  18. cisco martinez, August 31, 2016 at 6:59 p.m.

    Hope Solo was terminated for censorship nothing more nothing less. People don't understand whether it is Kapernick, Ali or Solo our players should have freedom of speech.

  19. uffe gustafsson, August 31, 2016 at 7:24 p.m.

    Cisco hope your employer let you say whatever comes to your mind and don't mind what those words are, the truth is free speech comes with certain responsibilities on your part.
    But at some point even the best employer had enough. It's not just the latest episode but an ongoing issue that I don't think we all know about.
    I don't think we seen the last chapter of solo, maybe she need some soul searching and get her head straight. Seem like that to me.

  20. Chance Hall, August 31, 2016 at 8:17 p.m.

    Sad state of affairs. One of the best goalkeepers in the world - male or female! Can't believe I'm saying this, but if she was a man she would have gotten a fine and a slap on the wrist. Maybe a couple of game suspensions. Well, all the haters must be happy. They finally got their wish. Man, is the US Women's team going to miss her!!! Sure they have other keepers in the wings, but there won't be another that plays at her level...

  21. Terry Lynch, August 31, 2016 at 8:59 p.m.

    Many good comments here, but the key is that they not only simply removed her from the national team, where it probably was time, but they destroyed her mentally and professionally in the process. I have done very much reading on male/female gender differences and one of the female patterns is, more than men, if a women in a group steps out of line, as in this case, she becomes like a nail pop the other women hammer her down. I think this was a case of this, although we will never know whether it was the male or female leadership who made this decision. Either way, shame. I have coached many, many women's teams of all ages over 35 years and I would never ever have done this to one of my players. I wonder what Anson Dorrance, one of the best female coaches of all time, is thinking.

  22. cisco martinez, August 31, 2016 at 11:36 p.m.

    Uffe, if US soccer receives tax payer money, US soccer players should have freedom of speech unlike your example in the private sector which US soccer is not. Anyone that supports censorship, termination, and limiting freedom of speech loses credibility as an American and the founding values of our country which Thomas Jefferson said, "dissent is the greatest form of patriotism."

  23. Ric Fonseca replied, September 5, 2016 at 2:46 p.m.

    Uffe and Cisco: Don't know who taught you about the Constitution, but a group does not have to receive govt funds, or whatever, simply and because Freedom of Speech is a right, no matter where you say whatever brilliant or stupid remark one utters, mumbles, or yells! Ms. Hope just happened to speak her mind and answered a question after a painful and hard fought game. Gee, would you guys say the same to about Mourihno???

  24. Bobby Bribiesca, September 1, 2016 at 8:29 a.m.

    It looks US Soccer over reacted with this cowardly stuff! Hope Solo should prof everybody wrong by coming back to play. In time all will be forgotten and Hope could perhaps someday play again for our National Team! Hope Solo is a Winner!

  25. Steven Hulland, September 1, 2016 at 8:59 a.m.

    Cisco, of course we do not want to censor our public but she is employed by the USA and therefore is a repetitive at the very least of the sport of soccer in the USA and more importantly a role model for our children and our country during events and games related to US Soccer, an ambassador of the sport.

    This punishment is not only for this comment but many others, her court case (s) and attitude. The team leadership had input as well as the staff. Her fans got her this far and carried her through many issue because US Soccer did not want to lose that support($). She played despite her attitude and actions because the U.S. fans demanded it. In addition, when your team (the other 10 players) are THAT skilled, you are not required to perform as often as if on a lesser team.

    The Country, Staff and players were/are done with her childish non-team (and poor role model) attitude and actions.

    My daughter stopped listing Hope as a hero 3 years ago when as a 10 year old, she noticed Hope was not someone to look up to and to strive to emulate. When we noticed that more skilled GKers were being over-looked because the average US Fan wanted strife and drama...US Soccer saw $ as well, they player her to keep the fans coming in to watch what Hope may do or say....drama.

    Nope, the time had come long ago, finally the long overdue actions were taken. Finally held accountable and not rewarded for poor comments, actions and choices.

  26. Steven Hulland replied, September 1, 2016 at 9:07 a.m.

    Sorry, posting with a screen keyboard..."REPRESENTATIVE", "issues" AND "played her"

  27. Bob Ashpole, September 1, 2016 at 7:35 p.m.

    This controversey is not about Solo's freedom of speech. She certainly has the freedom to speak her mind as a private individual, but in this instance she was speaking as a USSF WNT member. She said something to the press after the match that USSF didn't like. The logical management alternative would be to not use her for press conferences and manage what she says to the press through prepared statements and written interviews. Especially immediately after a traumatic shootout loss. It doesn't take 20 20 hindsight to see this problem happening.

  28. Chance Hall, September 4, 2016 at 9:49 a.m.

    Hoping this will be my last comment on this issue. Already addressed the difference in gender treatment. I am surprised that people think that pro athletes are angels and should be put on pedestals and anointed as heroes and role models. They are not any of those things - they are, at the end of the day, people and pro athletes! Some of them are going to make bad decisions and or inappropriate comments without thinking them through.
    I'm hoping that young people and young athletes are choosing role models that do however emulate their idea of what "their" role models "should" be. Don't let the media select your role models for you, based on how much their contracts are for! I'm curious that no one has gone after the media about the timing of the comments. As usual, they were right there hoping for any comments that they could make into a "headline". Can't imagine what thoughts are going through your head after losing on PKs in the Olympics. Probably not the best time to let the media goad you into sharing how you feel at that moment.
    However you feel about Hope, even if you are a hater, you have to admit (if you're being honest) she is the Best goalkeeper the US has ever had. One of the best in the world - men or women!

  29. Ric Fonseca replied, September 5, 2016 at 2:55 p.m.

    Well put Sidney Hall!!! I wonder just how many of you out there, those who signed in and commented, ever have had the experience of facing a press conference after a game? I take my hat to the athletes that do, including coaches and team personnel, because even as an interpreter and translator, the pressure is horrendous, and yet to face off against reporters that really ask the most simplistic to most antagonistic questions/statements, the forests of mikes, cell phones, broadcast equipment, well folks it can be and is intimidating. So anyone out there ever have this type of experience? I do not condone the manner she answered, could've done better, but under the circumstances.... As for US Soccer, all I can say is that they really had a knee jerk reaction to all of this, and then to have the temerity to bring up her past transgressions...

  30. Chance Hall, September 4, 2016 at 9:53 a.m.

    should read "BEST goalkeeper"

  31. Ric Fonseca, September 5, 2016 at 2:59 p.m.

    Meant to add that even in a court of law, when someone is on trial, as my previous jury duties have taught me, the culprit is tried only for the crime he/she is on trial for and previous incidents do not enter into the picture. Ms. Solo's post-game comment was ill thought out, and perhaps so because she played extensively for Pia, knew her very well and that she'd get her goat, sadly it backfired on her!

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