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NWSL Ticker: Gulati talks Solo’s status after arrest; Waldrum takes national team job; and more

Hope Solo Reign ISI


U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati has spoken with Hope Solo about her arrest and hinted her behavior could put her U.S. Women’s National Team standing in jeopardy.

“I spoke with Hope last week,” Gulati said during a press scrum Thursday in Brazil. “I think her comments, which she put on her Facebook page and other places, reflect how she feels about the whole situation. I think her apology was appropriate and appreciated certainly by us. I think the rest, we’ll have to wait and see what happens with the legal process.”

Solo had issued a public apology after she was arrested for fourth-degree domestic violence assault for allegedly striking two family members. The incident forced her to miss a game with the Seattle Reign and the club suspended her for one game as a result.

Solo plead not guilty and has a pretrial hearing scheduled for Aug. 11 with judge’s orders to refrain from drinking alcohol or contacting the alleged victims in the case.

The Reign issued a statement the same day as Solo’s apology implying her status with the club could be on the line if she is determined to have committed a crime. U.S. Soccer had previously declined comment, but Gulati hinted Thursday that their conversation covered the possibility of what might affect Solo’s standing with the national team.

“Hope certainly understands that it’s not a right to play for the national team, it’s a privilege, and certain responsibilities come with that,” Gulati said. “And we would much prefer to have her in the news for great goalkeeping performances than anything else. We had a good conversation.”

Here are some more news items from around the National Women’s Soccer League:


Houston Dash coach Randy Waldrum has a new job.

Waldrum was named the head coach of the Trinidad & Tabago women’s national team, according to reports out of Trinidad late Thursday. The team’s previous coach Marlon Charles had been ousted and replaced with Waldrum in a move aimed at securing a spot in the Women’s World Cup next year in Canada.

In August, Trindad & Tobago is planned to train in Houston, where Waldrum also coaches the NWSL’s Dash, a sister club of the Houston Dynamo. There, Trinidad & Tobago will play two friendlies against Mexico as preparation for their World Cup qualifying tournament, the Women’s Caribbean Cup held later in August.

Asked if Waldrum would be pulling double-duty with the Dash and the national team, Waldrum and Dash spokesmen did not return requests from SBI late Thursday seeking comment. Waldrum had told SBI he would email a statement Friday, but did not.

Waldrum will have his work cut out. The Trinidad & Tobago women’s national team isn’t officially ranked by FIFA because they’ve been deemed inactive for at least 18 months. The team, nicknamed the Soca Princesses, has never qualified for a World Cup.

Waldrum coached the Trinidad & Tobago U-17 women’s team previously.


Update, 6:21 pm ET: A league spokesman confirmed to SBI Friday evening that Ashlyn Harris will not face any disciplinary action over the incident.

“In reviewing the play, the referee comes in between Washington’s Harris and Boston’s Reeves to manage a confrontation and prevent Harris from continuing her progress towards Reeves,” NWSL’s spokeman said in an email to SBI. “As the referee turns away from Harris to manage the approach of Washington’s Krieger towards Reeves, Harris extends her arms to separate herself from the referee. Minimal contact with the referee is apparent from the video evidence available. Therefore, we do not feel any further action against Harris is warranted.”

Original report below:

In the Boston Breakers 3-3 draw at the Washington Spirit on Wednesday, tensions were running high — perhaps too high.

The league has asked for a formal review of a situation involving Washington Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and referee Dimitar N. Chavdarov late in the team’s 3-3 draw to the Boston Breakers on Wednesday.

In the 87th minute, Chavdarov was breaking up an argument between players when Harris attempted to shove him out of the way. Chavdarov had stepped back at that moment and Harris did not appear to make contact.

A league spokesman told SBI that, as of early Friday afternoon, no decision had been made regarding the incident.

“I think it was one of those games where everyone was just kind of losing control,” Harris said after the match. “I think the [referee] kind of let things get out of hand and everyone was boiling at that point. We can’t place the blame on referees, these things happen and it’s part of our sport.”

The spokesman also confirmed that a 70th-minute red card given to Maddy Evans was also under review by the Professional Referee Organization at the league’s request. Evans had attempted a late tackle on Lori Lindsey, but replays show no contact was actually made.

Both coaches, Breakers’ Tom Durkin and Spirit’s Mark Parsons, seemed unhappy with the calls by the ref. But Durkin was much more direct, even saying the league could fine him for his comments.

The league did just that when a spokesman announced Friday morning that the Breakers had been fined an undisclosed amount for comments made by general manager Lee Billiard and Durkin. Billiard had tweeted after the match that it was an “absolutely shocking performance” from the referee.


What do you think of this news? Do you think USWNT could get by without their starting goalkeeper? Can Waldrum successfully split time between the Dash and Trinidad & Tobago? And what should be done about the incidents stemming from the Spirit-Breakers match?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Yea what she does on her own time is her perogitive. Domestic violence is serious but if we banned athletes for that there wouldn’t be enough players to field a NFL team. She may be trashy and make dubious choices but hardly enough to punish her on the field. There are athletes who have done way worse things and have gone on to be honored as role models the rest of their careers.

    She doesn’t have Howard’s off the field class but as far as goalies go they are in the same class (relative to gender of course)

    • LOL re the NFL barb… this chick needs futbol. Believe me, as an ex athlete, I’m sure it provides her with so much structure and meaning – that keeps her nose clean.

  2. I’m perplexed by the middle-class socio-cultural mindset that runs through our country… why would Solo’s career with the “U.S. Women’s National Team standing [be] in jeopardy” over something like this? I could certainly understand if she murdered or raped someone, but for this? Really?

    I hope (no pun intended) Solo is given a genuinely fair shake by the USSF powers that be. Everyone is entitled to be human, make mistakes, and to get a shot at redemption. The repressive, protestant middl-e and upper-class ideology has become so punitive and draconian. FIFA’s punishment of Suarez is a grotesque example of this.

    Solo’s fire is something every middle-class kid in the country could use a little of. In the men’s game, there will be no W.C. hardware on the horizon without it.

    • I think his comments (it’s a privilege not a right to play for the NT) is just him showing they are taking it seriously and she is not invincible. I think he just saying there are consequences for players actions and any players standing can be in jeopardy.

      I would be shocked if Hope faces any serious action even if she is found guilty. Maybe they will suspend her for a couple games or force her to go through some sort of substance abuse program for alcohol or something. She is the best goalkeeper in the world and the even qualifiers won’t matter because all the teams we’ll be playing are awful.

      Unfortunately it sounds like this was a private incident that got made public when she got arrested so I think Hope will be fine. Gulati just isn’t a position to say the incident doesn’t matter to him.

      • Hopefully she gets some help soon. It’s such a waste to screw up a life and a great career due to alcohol abuse. This is not the first time Solo has had problems, that stemmed from booze.

  3. the things this league chooses to review or punish vs. not review or not punish makes no sense to me at all. for the record what Durkin said was true. it’s not as if he said the ref was engaging in match fixing.


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