In her first comments since U.S. Soccer terminated the contract of goalkeeper Hope Solo
and suspended her for six months, U.S. women's national team coach Jill Ellis
said the decision
wasn't "simply a decision made about comments, it was based on the sum total of actions that have unfortunately shone a negative light on our program."
Ellis' comments came in an interview with USSoccer.com
there’s been off-the-field distractions for which the federation has taken action," Ellis is when asked what went into the decision. "Each time an action has been taken there’s been made
clear an expectation that this would be the last time such a step would be necessary. Sadly, how Hope handled her post-Olympic comments forced us to make a significant decision. It’s not simply
a decision made about comments, it was based on the sum total of actions that have unfortunately shone a negative light on our program."
Ellis wouldn't say if Solo might come back after
her suspension ends in February, but she did say the plan was to get playing time for other keepers.
"After the Olympics," Ellis said. "the plan was always to prepare for 2019 and that
means investing in the other goalkeepers and getting them playing time. That’s still the process and it’s the same for every position. Everything right now is building towards 2019 and our
With time to reflect, Ellis talked about the USA's quarterfinal exit in a shootout to Sweden at the Rio Olympics.
She said big strides had been made in how the USA
plays and attacks organized opponents but "conversion rate" needed to be improved.
With a veteran team -- 13 of the 18 players on the Olympic roster will be 30 in 2019 -- Ellis said one
of the goals of the Olympics was to invest "in players that we think will be on that stage in 2019," in reference to the next Women's World Cup in France.
She said the September
friendlies will feature players from the Olympic roster. After that, everything will be done with 2019 in mind.
The USA's next official competition won't be until 2018 when Concacaf
qualifying will be held.