Hope Solo suspended for 'cowards' remark

U.S. Soccer Wednesday banned goalkeeper Hope Solo, a member of the Seattle Reign, former University of Washington star and long-time Kirkland resident, for six months from the national women's team for what the organization described as " conduct that is counter to the organization's principles". We expect all of our representatives to honor those principals with no exceptions.

As a result, Hope will not be eligible for the team until February of 2017. US Soccer president Sunil Gulati labelled her comments as "unacceptable".

Solo previously received a one-month suspension by U.S. Soccer in January 2015, for an unspecified reason but following an incident which resulted in a DUI charge for her husband, ex-NFL player Jerramy Stevens, while she was a passenger.

She was forced to apologize, but the squad said she wasn't honest enough and refused to allow her to play in the third-place game. She said she was upset by their strategy during the game. "They played more attacking football than we did".

Solo later confirmed on her Facebook page that her contract with the national team had been terminated.

Hope Solo had called Sweden's players "cowards" in USA's loss at the Olympics. "We feel at this time it is best for her to step away from the team".

Solo called Sweden a "bunch of cowards" after the Swedes beat the USA 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the quarter-finals of the 2016 Olympic tournament in Rio de Janeiro.

Solo said in a short statement that she was "saddened" by US Soccer's decision to ban her. "And I will continue to pursue these causes with the same unrelenting passion with which I play the game".

But Rich Nichols, from the general counsel of the women's national team's players' association, said the suspension was "excessive, unprecedented, disproportionate and a violation of Ms Solo's First Amendment Rights".

Solo won her second straight Golden Glove Award for the best goalkeeper at the FIFA Women's World Cup a year ago.

"She was sacked for making comments that a man never would have been fired for", Nichols said. "The best team did not win today, " Solo continued after the match.

The Swedes came through their quarter-final clash on penalties, despite Solo indulging in some gamesmanship by changing her gloves mid-shootout.

  • Julie Sanders