On Wednesday, U.S. Soccer suspended women's goalkeeper Hope Solo from the national team for six months, following an outburst against Sweden during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
The Swedish team defeated the U.S. 4-3 on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals, and Solo, 35, said because they focused on defense rather than offense, they were "a bunch of cowards." U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said Solo's comments were "unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players. 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." In 2015, Solo was suspended for 30 days due to conduct issues. She won't be eligible for selection to the national team again until February.
Solo released a statement Wednesday evening saying she is "saddened" by U.S. Soccer's decision. "For 17 years, I dedicated my life to the U.S. Women's National Team and did the job of a pro athlete the only way I knew — with passion, tenacity, an unrelenting commitment to be the best goalkeeper in the world," she said, adding that even when she didn't make "the best choices" or say "the right things," she only wanted the best for the team. Catherine Garcia