Hope Solo, the team USA goalkeeper has announced she won’t be playing for her club side in the NWSL this season. This comes after she was given a six-month ban after the team’s failure to win Olympic gold.
35 year old Solo confirmed the news in a brief statement that said she was just not mentally ready to return to football.
“After careful consideration, I have decided to end my season with the Seattle Reign, an organization I love playing for,” the statement read. “Mentally, I am not there yet.”
The six month suspension was handed after she made critical comments after the team’s defeat at the Olympics in Rio at the hands the Swedes. She was particularly critical of the Swedish strategy to play defensively during the game and taking it to a penalty shootout, where the USA ultimately lost. Solo called Sweden “a bunch of cowards”, words that went down very badly with US Soccer president Sunil Gulati.
Gulati said that even beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect and that he expected all of their representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions.
Solo, who has won two Olympic gold medals and one World Cup with the national team, said the decision had been “devastating” for her. Some of her teammates were also disappointed by her remarks. Solo has had a chequered history which US Soccer acknowledged counted against her. Once such incident was when she was arrested in 2014 on charges of assaulting two family members.