After calling the Swedish Olympic Soccer team “a bunch of cowards”, Hope Solo has found herself in a hopeless state after being handed a six-month suspension from international play.
Up until the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Olympics, the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team was shooting to compete in the finals to claim their fourth straight Gold Medal in the Summer Olympics. This time, however, there were much different circumstances. Pia Sundhage, the head coach who led the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team to their last two gold medals, resigned to instead coach Sweden’s Soccer Team. It just so happened that the quarter finals had an offense-driven Team USA go against a defense-centered Team Sweden. At the end of regulation, the game was tied 1-1 and after two scoreless periods of extra time, the quarterfinal match went to penalty kicks to decide a victor.
Team USA was then eliminated, losing in penalty kicks 3-4. This was something Hope Solo was vocal about in a post-game interview when she said, “They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer” (Huffington Post). She went on to say, “I think it was very cowardly, but they won. They’re moving on and we’re going home.”
On August 24th, U.S. Soccer formally announced the suspension of Solo. Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer President, said, “[Hope Solo’s comments] were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our national team players.” He further 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” (Sports Illustrated).
Solo’s teammates have also been critical of her statements, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan. On the other hand, the two also have mixed feelings whether Solo deserved a long six-month suspension, which rules out the world renowned goalkeeper from competing on the U.S. National team until February 2017.
Being arguably the best goalie the U.S. has ever had, the national team is taking a big hit in her absence. Solo is appealing the suspension and hopefully will be armed with determination and softer words.
Latest posts by Omar Rashad (see all)
- Why Serena and Venus Are Sister Goals - January 30, 2017
- Angry and Hopeless, Solo Gets Suspended - August 28, 2016
- Mayweather vs. McGregor: Audacity or a Real Fight? - May 28, 2016