US Soccer Ban Goalkeeper Hope Solo For Six Months For Calling Opponents ‘Bunch Of Cowards’

Chris Wright

25th, August 2016



US Soccer have handed a six-month suspension to goalkeeper Hope Solo after she referred to opponents Sweden as “a bunch of cowards” after they knocked the United States out of the Olympics.

After holding on for a 1-1 draw, the Swedes eventually sent the US packing at the quarter-final stage by beating them 5-4 on penalties.

Upset by the defensive tactics her side were forced to contend with, Solo concluded after the game: “We played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I strongly, firmly believe that.”

Sweden coach Pia Sundhage, who was formerly in charge of the US women’s side and knows Solo only too well, had the following terse response:

I think you should define what is a good team. Usually – especially with the Americans – a good team is when they’re winning.

They win all the time. They’re the best team in the world, but for once it didn’t go their way. We won. We defend well and at the end of the day we won the game and that’s what all counts.

It’s okay to be a coward if you win.

Solo’s comments were also quickly condemned by US Soccer president Sunil Gulati, who branded them “unacceptable” at the time.

Skip forward and Gulati’s organisation have seen fit to ban the 35-year-old, 200+ cap veteran – who has suffered from several lapses in professionalism during the course of her career – from appearing for the national side until February of 2017 for “conduct that is counter to the organisation’s principles”.

That said, the USWNT are currently only scheduled to play twice between now and then.

However, US Soccer have also terminated her contract, which the New York Times seem to reckon is a “strong signal” that Solo may have played her last game for her country.

After the judgement was finalised, Solo wrote a defiant statement on her Facebook page, saying:

I could not be the player I am without being the person I am, even when I haven’t made the best choices or said the right things.

My entire career, I have only wanted the best for this team, the players and the women’s game and I will continue to pursue these causes with the unrelenting passion with which I play the game.

We guess ‘unrelenting passion’ is one way of putting it, though we can definitely think of several others – ‘spoiled brattishness’ being one.

Posted in International football, Olympic Football

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  1. Kenny says:

    She’s horrible.
    That picture makes her look like Robert Z’Dar

  2. Trey says:

    Pretty biased take on this. Male players have made similar remarks about the other team/refs/tactics during interviews immediately after a very frustrating loss. She has been fired from her job over this and it is absolutely a sexist decision that would not have happened to a male player like Clint Dempsey. For women today international soccer is still the main stage for way for them to earn a living playing the game, a suspension of a few games for calling the team cowards would be sufficient. Ending her career is such an overreaction, the players association has already said they will be suing on her behalf.

    • squiggle says:

      Maybe it’s an accumulation of things, like with Joey Barton when people just think ‘you’ll never learn; just piss off’.

      And if you’re talking about sexist decisions, some thought she got off lightly for her domestic violence charges. From Wikipedia: Senator Richard Blumenthal (D – Conn.) sent out a sternly worded letter to U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati admonishing the organization for allowing Solo to remain on the World Cup roster following her arrest and accused them of inadequately addressing the charges of domestic violence.[148]

  3. Jacques says:

    To be fair to Solo this reaction from the authorities also has to be put in the context of the recent fight for equal pay for the Womens’ team, of which Solo was an integral part. it’s entirely possible that she’s being punished for far more than that comment.

  4. Jarren says:

    Refreshing to see her stand by her comments.

    So often you hear of players saying something touchy (usually on social media), followed by lame excuses or weak backtracking.

    I admire her attitude, as unapologetic as it is. Even the Swedish coach admitted they were “cowards” by defending with no intent to win in normal time!

    Nice to see that not all players have been transformed into xeroxed “The most important thing was getting the three points” androids.

  5. Straight Dave says:

    Has a vag like a badly packed beef sandwich

  6. squiggle says:

    If it’s discriminatory then of course it’s wrong but is it discriminatory? From their schedule the US women’s soccer team only has two friendlies left to play this year, don’t they? So that’s two matches, plus a couple of months in the new year. Is that very different from Samir Nasri’s three match ban from France for swearing at reporters?

    It does bother me that it might be discriminatory but I don’t know if it is. Of course the Guardian thinks is discriminatory but the Guardian is ridiculous when it comes to men and women (happy to run articles about how women are pre-judged because of their sex alongside articles about how women shouldn’t be sent to prison. Speaking as someone of generally left-wing views, the Guardian is a misandrist tabloid with pretentions which does great harm to combating genuine prejudice).

    I don’t know. I hope not, and as I said it doesn’t seem out of keeping with Nasri’s punishment, but anything more definite would require more interest than I’ve already taken. I’ve already taken too much. I mean, what am I doing with my life?

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