Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hope Solo suspended from USWNT for 'cowards' remark towards Swedish team

Hope Solo will have plenty of time to think about choosing her words more carefully after U.S. Soccer announced it has suspended the rabble-rousing goaltender from the U.S. Women’s National Team for six months citing conduct that is contrary to the organization’s principles.

The suspension comes after Solo called Sweden cowards following the Americans’ elimination from the Olympics in the quarterfinal round. The Aug. 12 loss to Sweden on penalty kicks ended the U.S.’s run of three consecutive gold medal wins.

“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,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said. “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.”

Hope Solo responded to the suspension:
Sweden, coached by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, eliminated the U.S. on penalty kicks after the teams remained tied 1-1 after 120 minutes. Solo took exception to Sweden playing conservatively, which forced the U.S. to be in the rare position of chasing, not controlling, the pace of play.

“I think we played a bunch of cowards,” Solo said. “Sweden dropped off. They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer. It was a combative game, a physical game. Exactly what they wanted and exactly what their game plan was.”

Solo sort of apologized for using that particular c-word but her post game comments were not supported by teammates, who roundly criticized the outspoken goalie.

And this isn’t the first time Solo has stirred up controversy.

Solo was arrested and charged with two counts of domestic violence in 2014 when an alleged drunken incident which involved her half-sister and nephew went public. The charges were dismissed in 2015 but subsequently reinstated.

The trouble-making goal keep was also suspended for 30 days last summer after taking a joy ride in the team van with her husband, former NFL tight end Jeramy Stevens — who pleaded no contest to driving the van while intoxicated.

Conveniently, that benching was over before the USNWT started play in the  World Cup. 

As a result of her most recent suspension, Solo will not be eligible for national team selection until February.

Just guessing there aren’t any important tournaments for Solo to miss during that six-month time-out.

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