Top Stories

Hope Solo’s World Cup status in jeopardy following recent suspension

Hope Solo-USatoday

Photo by Rob Kinnan/ USA Today Sports


Following Hope Solo’s latest transgressions, those involved with the U.S. Women’s National Team have admittedly begun envisioning a World Cup without the controversial goalkeeper.

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati admitted as much Monday on a conference call with reporters when asked about Solo’s status for the upcoming World Cup. Currently serving a 30-day suspension, Solo will be held to a certain set of standards by Gulati, head coach Jill Ellis and Development Director April Heinrichs.

U.S. Soccer expects Solo to meet certain requirements during her month-long suspension, but would not confirm whether those requirements include alcohol  counseling. If Solo meets expectations, those involved will welcome the goalkeeper back with open arms. If not, Gulati said, the USWNT is prepared to move forward without her.

“Sure,” Gulati said when asked if it’s possible that Solo misses out on this summer’s tournament.  “As I’ve said and as Jill has said, we’ve asked her to do a number of things and she’s going to have to do a number of those things and make progress in those areas.

“That’s the most obvious area and obviously there’s always injuries and so on, but that’s possible. We hope that’s not the case. We hope she’s making progress and joins the team. That’s certainly the goal, hers and ours. ”

If Solo does miss the tournament, Ellis will turn to a trio of goalkeepers that has earned roughly one-third as many international caps as the incumbent Solo.

Nicole Barnhart, Ashlyn Harris or Alyssa Naeher would replace Solo if the issue were to arise, and Ellis says that she has plenty of faith in all three to step in and succeed should Solo miss out.

“Ashlyn, she had a broken hand on the trip to Brazil, so she’s had surgery,” Ellis said. “Alyssa got her first cap in Brazil. Both of them, they have a big upside. I think what we’re going to evaluate, and what we did the last three weeks, is really performance and also the physical component as well with where they are in fitness concerns.”

A U.S. Soccer spokesman later clarified that Harris broke her pinky finger, not her full hand, and is recovered. Harris fully participated in the team’s three-week training that wrapped up over the weekend, he said.

“Ashlyn is a bit more behind at this point because she’s been out, been injured,” Ellis continued, “but Alyssa and Nicole Barnhart and Ashlyn have all done well, so at this point it will be based on performance coming out of this camp. In truth, I feel comfortable with either of them.”

Heinrichs and Ellis didn’t to go into specifics with what they expect of Solo, who has made 159 appearances for the USWNT. Ellis did admit that while she expects improvement from her goalkeeper, she believes everything being asked of Solo is entirely attainable.

“Without talking about specifics,” Ellis said, “I think there are things that we think are important for her to continue with our program. I think they’re certainly achievable. I don’t really want to speculate to you guys as to what they are, but we think that they’re going to help the situation.

“I think as far as the specifics, we won’t get into it,” Ellis said, “but Hope and I had some very good conversations and I’m optimistic about moving forward.”


  1. Jill Ellis needs to start phasing Solo out. She is more trouble than she’s worth and is bringing negative press to the whole team. Cut ties with her now


Leave a Comment