U.S. Soccer team suspends star goalkeeper Hope Solo for 30 days
Solo apologizes on Facebook page and says, "I think it's best for me to take a break"
Hope Solo, the soccer star who makes headlines whether she’s winning Olympic gold or having domestic violence accusations dropped against her, did it again Wednesday when she was suspended from the U.S. Women’s National Team for 30 days.
The team said the suspension stemmed from “an incident that occurred during the current WNT training camp being held in Carson, California.”
Solo’s husband, former pro football player Jerramy Stevens, was charged with driving under the influence during the early morning hours Monday in Manhattan Beach, California, about 12 miles from Carson. The Los Angeles Times reported that Solo was in the passenger seat.
“I accept and respect the Federation’s decision, and more importantly, I apologize for disappointing my teammates, coaches and the Federation who have always supported me,” Solo said in a statement posted on her Facebook page. “I think it’s best for me to take a break, decompress from the stress of the last several months, and come back mentally and physically ready to positively contribute to the team.”
The suspension means Solo, a goalkeeper, will miss the U.S. team’s matches in France and England in February. She can apply for reinstatement when the suspension ends.
“During our current National Team camp, Hope made a poor decision that has resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis said in a statement. “We feel at this time it is best for her to step away from the team.”
Solo is perhaps the United States’ best-known female soccer player, winning Olympic gold medals twice and playing on World Cup teams in 2007 and 2011.
Sometimes she draws attention for off-the-field activities.
Earlier this month, domestic assault charges against Solo were dismissed by a judge in Washington state. CNN affiliate KOMO reported that attorney Todd Maybrown successfully argued in court that he couldn’t depose witnesses for the prosecution because they refused to be questioned despite a court order.
Police had said Solo, 33, assaulted two relatives in June at a home in the Seattle area. Officers responded to a 911 call in which a man reported that a woman would not stop “hitting people” or leave the house, a police statement said.
At the home, officers heard a disturbance. Inside, Solo appeared “intoxicated and upset,” according to police.
Police said Solo’s nephew and sister had visible injuries. Police believed that Solo was the “primary aggressor and had instigated the assault,” the statement said.
She appeared on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” in 2011. She was eliminated from the show following a run on the show marred by frequent disputes with pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy and the judging panel.
In 2012, Solo sent out a harsh tweet criticizing Olympic soccer commentator Brandi Chastain for her negative commentary during the 2012 London games.
During the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Solo openly criticized U.S. women’s soccer coach Greg Ryan after she was benched and the U.S. lost its next match by four goals.
In an interview with CNN two years ago, Solo spoke about her public image.
“I have a bad rap,” she said. “People look at me as selfish, outspoken. But I know who I am.”
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in 2012 publicly warned Solo after she tested positive for a banned diuretic – a substance she claimed she didn’t know was in premenstrual medication prescribed by her physician. The agency accepted Solo’s explanation, and she competed in the 2012 Olympics.
“I don’t expect any of the media to be positive,” Solo told CNN in 2012. “But I know that I’m doing wonderful things for the sport of soccer, and I know I’m doing amazing things for female athletes. So I can take it.”