Has the Time Come for the U.S. National Team to Part Ways with Hope Solo?

This week, U.S. Soccer suspended goalkeeper and Seattle Reign FC star Hope Solo 30 days. Solo’s husband, former Seattle Seahawks’ tight end Jerramy Stevens was cited for driving under the influence while operating a U.S. soccer van.

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Solo was in the passenger seat of the vehicle, but reports have stated she became belligerent towards officers and even played the “Don’t you know who we are?” card.

The U.S. Soccer Federation and women’s national team coach Jill Ellis thought it was in the best interest of all involved for Solo to take some time away from the team. Solo will miss upcoming matches against France and England during her suspension.

This latest incident comes only a few weeks after domestic assault charges against Solo were dismissed by a judge in Washington State after witnesses refused to testify against her in court despite having court orders.

The domestic assault charges dismissed were reportedly a disagreement between Solo and her sister and nephew. After police arrived, Solo’s sister and nephew had visible injuries and Solo appeared intoxicated.     solo1

Many people questioned why U.S. Soccer did not suspend Solo after the incident with her sister and nephew while it was being investigated. The NFL had just suspended Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Greg Hardy due to domestic charges by mid September while the cases were being investigated.

Nobody questions Solo’s ability. She is arguably the top keeper in the world and broke Brianna Scurry’s U.S. record for shutouts in September when she recorded her 72nd in a win over Mexico.

Yet, should U.S. Soccer have to deal with the distractions that come with the outspoken Solo as they prepare for this summer’s World Cup?

It is not as if these are the only controversy Solo has had while in the public eye.

Back in 2012, police investigated an altercation between Stevens and Solo where she appeared to be injured. Stevens was released the next day since police did not have enough evidence to hold him. The two were promptly married the same day.

Due to her popularity and good looks, Solo previously appeared on Dancing with the Stars where she made it to the semifinal round. However, she often feuded with judges and even her own professional dancing partner.

My earliest memory of Solo being someone who likes to stir the pot was during the 2007 World Cup. Solo was benched for the semifinal match against Brazil by then coach Greg Ryan in favor of Brianna Scurry. Ryan favored Scurry’s strong history of success against Brazil despite Solo posting two shutouts and only allowing two goals in four games at that point of the World Cup. solo3

Brazil defeated the U.S. 4-0 prompting Solo to openly question Ryan’s decision to bench her. Solo said it was a poor decision and even went so far as saying she would have made saves on all four goals.

In defense of Solo, she should have never been benched against Brazil. She had clearly surpassed Scurry as the number one keeper and should have been in the net against the Brazilians.

Yet, Scurry broke an unwritten rule in sports- you don’t openly criticize your coach and specific teammates to the public. Ryan and the remaining players voted to send Scurry home before the team played their third place match and Solo chose not to play on the World Cup Tour despite being invited.

At the end of her 30 day suspension, Solo will have to petition the U.S. Soccer Federation for reinstatement. They will have to decide if her talent far outweighs the possible problems she can bring to the team as they prepare for a crucial World Cup.

This will be the last World Cup for many U.S. stars who will give way to a younger generation of stars to carry the torch. Will Solo be with her longtime teammates for one last run?

Not if I was calling the shots!

And that’s as I see it.

Come check out my blog articles and others at http://thegamedayreport.com.

 

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