U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday it has suspended goalkeeper Hope Solo from the U.S. Women’s National Team for six months for conduct that is counter to the organization’s principles.
Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl is also reporting that Solo’s contract has been terminated.
After the U.S. was eliminated by Sweden at the Rio Olympics earlier this month, Solo called the Swedish national team “a bunch of cowards.”
“I thought that we played a courageous game,” Solo said. “I thought that we had many opportunities on goal. I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down; I’m very proud of this team.”
“I also think we played a bunch of cowards. But, you know, the best team did not win today; I strongly, firmly believe that. I think you saw America’s heart. You saw us give everything that we had today. Unfortunately the better team didn’t win.”
Solo, 35, has been goalkeeping for the United States women’s national soccer team since 2000, and she is regarded as one of the top female goalkeepers in the world.
“The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “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.
“Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we’ve had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a U.S. National Team member, U.S. Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action.”
Solo responded to her suspension, via Wahl:
Hope Solo’s response to SI on her suspension. pic.twitter.com/Y5E5KcrECo
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) August 25, 2016
Solo, who was previously suspended 30 days early in 2015 for conduct related to an incident at the team’s training camp, is not eligible for selection to the U.S. Women’s National Team until February of 2017.