Hope Solo Gains Clarity During Suspension

On January 21, 2015, 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.

solo2

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 missed a 2-0 loss to France and a win over England during her suspension. The U.S. loss against France was their first against them in seventeen career head to head matches.

The DUI incident came 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 has ever questioned 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.

During her suspension, Solo gave an interview to Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. Solo called herself the victim of domestic abuse by her 6’9″, 280 lb. nephew, but that is being disputed by her nephew and his mother who is Solo’s half-sister. Regardless of who was at fault, Solo opened up to Roberts and admitted she needs to make good decisions. This is a change from her past behavior where Solo has not been willing to acknowledge any wrongdoing.

Part of Solo’s interview with Roberts is below.

“What in the world were you thinking?” Robin Roberts asked.

“Well, clearly, I wasn’t thinking. I mean, it was a horrible choice. I think I just wasn’t in a good place, emotionally, to, to even make good decisions. I mean, it’s not an excuse but I just. It was stupid. Should’ve called a taxi,” Hope Solo said.

Solo said her year has been traumatic, but she has learned the benefits of talking about everything that happened.

“I can cry it out. I can try to understand it. It’s been healthy for me to just talk it out and to deal with my emotions instead of just tucking them away.”

When asked how she hopes her fans will respond, Solo asked for forgiveness and said she continues to learn from mistakes.

“I’m a work-in-progress,” she said, “and I will continue to be a work-in-progress until the end of my days.”

After the suspension, I questioned whether U.S. Soccer should have to deal with the distractions that come with the outspoken Solo as they prepared 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 petitioned the U.S. Soccer Federation for reinstatement and the suspension was lifted after a formal review. They decided her talent far outweighs the possible problems she can bring to the team as they prepare for a crucial World Cup which could be the last for Solo, defender Christie Rampone, midfielders Shannon Boxx and Carli Lloyd, and forward Abby Wambach.

If the recent Algarve Cup in Portugal has any indication of Solo’s impact on the team, it looks like she is in the right mindset. Solo gave up only one goal in four games and stopped a penalty kick in the final as the U.S. exacted revenge on France with a 2-0 victory.

The U.S. Women’s National Team needs the new and improved Hope Solo to show up from here on out. If Solo’s words during her interview were sincere, then she must do whatever is needed and make good choices in her life.

This is Solo’s last chance. Any further issues with Solo and her time with the national team should come to an end.

And that’s…as I see it.

Follow my blog As I See It at http://Scottdm71.com

Twitter handle: @Scott_asiseeit

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Internal pictures from rolereboot.org, nypost.com, and usatoday.com

 

 

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