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U.S. Women's National Team

Hope Solo hopeful of return to field, 'unlikely' USWNT return

Though her time with the U.S. Women’s National Team is likely through, Hope Solo does not believe her playing career is over.

After being suspended and eventually having her contract terminated by U.S. Soccer last year following the Rio Olympics, Solo is eyeing a potential return to the field, according to the New York Post. The 36-year-old former-USWNT keeper hasn’t played since the tournament, as she’s been recovering from a shoulder replacement surgery. But nonetheless, Solo states her intent is to play once more.

“Let’s be clear, a goalkeeper peaks a little bit later in their career, so I feel like I have many years ahead of me if that opportunity arises,” Solo said in an interview Monday. “I’m very happy with my career should I walk away from the game today, but I’m not one to retire. I have not retired.”

Solo was suspended due to controversial comments when she called the Swedish Women’s Team cowards after the team employed a defensive style to hand the USWNT an uncharacteristically early exit from the tournament. While certainly not the first time Solo has been at odds with U.S. Soccer leadership, she believes this occurrence was exacerbated by her part in the fight for equal pay between the Men’s and Women’s teams.

“My contract got terminated because of my fight for equal pay with the United States Soccer Federation,” Solo said. “I’m not sure until the lawsuit is over, that anything will change that. In the meantime I’ve had great opportunities and great contract offers to go back overseas and play. Possibly you’ll see me overseas next year.”

While acknowledging that her time with the national team is probably done, Solo did say that it doesn’t stop her from hoping.

“I’ve always wanted to play in the 2019 World Cup,” Solo said. “I’m in the best shape of my life in terms of my shoulder. I feel great. Should (the U.S.) welcome me back then I will be in the goal competing and hopefully bringing back another World Cup trophy, but it’s highly unlikely they are going to ask for me to come back. But I’m here guys.”

10 comments
  • TheFrenchOne

    While there’s no disputing that her private life has been a distraction and criminal charges warranted a suspension (until it was cleared up), it’s total bunk that her contract was terminated presumably because of her comments after the Sweden game. Banned for calling an opponent “coward”?! Get real…

    I tend to agree with her that her involvement in the equal pay fight was the main reason for her termination, and I don’t even agree with what the Women’s team is arguing. But legal fights should be resolved in court, not by firing the most outspoken player on the issue as a way to keep her out of the discussion.

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    • Bryan

      She is out because she is a shady person and has proven that over and over again. The coward comments and equal pay stuff were just minor pieces here. She is scum and isn’t worth putting up with anymore now that she is 36 instead of 26. Its really pretty simple.

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      • TheFrenchOne

        I would never claim she is as pure as driven snow. But if we’re going to call her “shady”, then we have to also call out Abby Wambach. Her last DUI may have been right after she retired, but she admitted she was an alcoholic and addict for years, and there’s no way the national team didn’t know about it, which means they were giving her a pass and/or helping her cover it up. You want to argue that substance abuse is a disease, fine. I’m willing to wager that Solo is struggling with some mental issues. At least a decade ago, she talked about how her father was basically homeless and had mental illnesses. All I’m saying is that if the sum total of her sins was punching her nephew and borrowing a team van, the punishment needs to fit the crime.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SilverRey

        Shady people can still be good goal keepers, and don’t let 36 be a factor. She will be 38 for the next WC. Tim Howard will be 39. This is a good range for keepers, sure reflexes may not be at the top of their career but experience/positioning more than makes up for it.

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      • AzTeXan

        @FrenchOne Hope and Abby are both shady, not least because their names literally translate to “Better start praying if you see me in a dark alley” and “luxury car crashed into a church” respectively.

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      • quozzel

        “Scum” is a pretty strong word.

        I would say she doesn’t have much of a filter or a ground wire, but considering her dad was literally a homeless alcoholic it’s hard to really blame her for being crazy.

        Does that excuse some of her behavior? Nope. We all got freight, and it’s on all of us to deal with it, but that combo of relentless-drive-to-excel and complete-sense-of-alienation she’s got going are part and parcel of the same programming. She’s so exceptional precisely because she’s crazy, and unless her injuries limit her more than expected she’s still going to be the best keeper in the pool for the foreseeable future unless somebody truly special pops up.

        Keepers can be solid until they’re 40 or even older, and 36 or not, Solo has still got those snakelike reflexes and utter willingness to lay out and thus can get to stuff nobody else can….

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    • Old School

      it’s total bunk that her contract was terminated presumably because of her comments after the Sweden game.

      Fairly sure that’s completely inaccurate. I seem to remember the official press release highlighted a totality of misconduct. Whether that was the straw the broke the camels back or, not, it certainly wasn’t the reason she was terminated from her employer for being an absolute embarrassment and stain on the program.

      Also, I distinctly recall her coach, and several fellow teammates referencing her behavior (or lack thereof) led to an unsurprising divorce from her responsibilities. That told me about a larger perception within the actual lockerroom.

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      • TheFrenchOne

        OS:
        Oh, I don’t doubt it was a totality of circumstances. Maybe she’s not fun to have around, maybe her teammates despise her, maybe they’re jealous she’s appeared in the ESPN the Mag Body issue. Granted, I only know what’s been reported, but all I recall in the press release and surrounding reports was (1) hitting her nephew (who was like 17-18) and charges were dropped, (2) the deal with her husband and the van, and (3) the Coward comment. Based on those three things, she should be given another shot.

        Liked by 1 person

  • DB

    Saying it’s all over the equal pay fight is being way too generous to her. She’s not the only one doing that, btw. The timing gives her leeway to blame that, but the reality is it was a bit more than just that.

    The actions of USSF were justified, it just came a year or so after it should have happened.

    As far as a her soccer career, I hadn’t realized she had an actual replacement done…not many athletes have ever played with artificial joints, I’d imagine.

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  • DB

    As far as a USWNT return? That depends on form…and more likely, who the head coach is by the ’19 WC. If it’s still Ellis, forget it.

    Like

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