Hope Solo suspended for DUI incident – World Cup spot in jeopardy
Hope Solo suspended for DUI incident – World Cup spot in jeopardy avatar

U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended for one month by U.S. Soccer, following the recent arrest of her husband Jerramy Stevens for DUI.

Solo made an awful error in the second half and was fortunate not to concede. (Getty Images)

Solo has been involved in several incidences that have embarrassed US Soccer in recent months.  (Getty Images)

Solo was participating in U.S. WNT camp in Carson, California and was a passenger in the car early Monday morning when her husband was charged.

This incident comes just six days after domestic violence charges against Solo were dismissed, stemming from a fight between Solo and her sister and nephew. U.S. Soccer had taken heat from various quarters for allowing Solo to continue to play for the national team while those charges were pending. This latest incident was apparently too much for U.S. Soccer to overlook, leading to the suspension.

U.S. Women’s National Team coach Jill Ellis released this statement. “During our current National Team camp, Hope made a poor decision that has resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates.” “We feel at this time it is best for her to step away from the team.”

In a statement on her Facebook page, the often combative Solo took responsibility saying, “I accept and respect the Federation’s decision, and more importantly, I apologize for disappointing my teammates, coaches and the Federation who have always supported me.”  “I think it’s best for me to take a break, decompress from the stress of the last several months, and come back mentally and physically ready to positively contribute to the team.”

The suspension throws off U.S. World Cup preparation, forcing the team’s undisputed number one goalkeeper to miss the team’s European trip featuring games versus France (February 8), and England (February 13).

This is all an unwanted distraction for Ellis and a team that has struggled since coach Pia Sundhage stepped down after leading the U.S. to Olympic Gold in 2012.

Tom Sermanni was tapped to replace the popular Sundhage, but the former Australia coach was fired by U.S. Soccer last April. Since taking over Ellis has compiled an impressive-sounding 16-1-4 record, but the team’s performance was far from commanding in a year end tournament in Brazil.

The Americans lost to Brazil and drew with China, ending the event with a 0-0 final against Brazil. Solo wasn’t entirely blameless in the 3-2 loss to Brazil, a loss that saw the Americans blow a 2-0 lead as Marta scored a hat trick.

During the tournament in Brazil FIFA released its final rankings for the year, and for the first time since 2008 the U.S. were not number one. The Americans had fallen to second behind Germany, and no one who had been paying attention could have been surprised.

The rankings came out after the U.S. defeated Argentina 7-0 for its lone win in Brasilia. Coincidentally goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made her full national team debut in that match.

Naeher had little to do versus Argentina, but it will be interesting to see who dons the gloves for the U.S. WNT next month in Europe. Would a good performance from the 26 year old Boston Breakers Naeher, or another keeper cause Ellis and U.S. Soccer to consider turning the page on troublesome Solo?

It is hard to deny Solo’s talent, and based strictly on that the 33 year old will be between the posts when the U.S. open World Cup play June 8 against Australia, in Winnipeg.

But as we have seen over the years with Solo, talent is only part of the equation.

 

About Peter Nolan

Peter Nolan is a staff writer for the GotSoccer Magazine, covering MLS and other US leagues, He's GotSoccer's chief National Team Correspondent.
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12 Responses to Hope Solo suspended for DUI incident – World Cup spot in jeopardy
Hope Solo suspended for DUI incident – World Cup spot in jeopardy avatar

  1. Luz E Virgen says:

    I understand that being part of a national team is an honor/privelage and with it comes responsibilites. However, Lets not be too quick to judge & impose sanctions on Solo. The Team did take a lot of heat about the previous domestic violence charge, which turned out to be in favor of Solo, as she was only defending herself. In this case,her husband was the one that was charged with a DUI, not her. Maybe a fine or other sanctions would have been more appropriate than suspension.

  2. Tim says:

    I guess I don’t have the whole story. If she was drunk, didn’t she make the right choice of not driving? I realizes there is a higher standard impose on her, because she is a Role Model, but shouldn’t we applaud her for being smart enough not to get behind the wheel?

    • Guest says:

      She still got in a car with a drunk driver. The only reason she should ever be applauded is if she forced them to get into a cab. She didn’t do anything to prevent the possibility of someone dying in an accident.

      Uber takes 5 minutes to arrive and doesn’t cost much to an regular individual, let alone a professional athlete.

      • Tim says:

        Let’s face it. When you are drunk, your decision making is impaired. At the time, you think it is a great idea. The next day, you reflect back what you did and your mortify. If I was drunk and I ask my wife if she is OK to drive and she told me Yes, then I would get into the car without questioning her. I’m not saying that is what happen. I think this punishment for being in a car with a drunk driver is absurd.

        I guess if she gotten into a taxi and the driver was on drugs, it would be her fault too.

  3. frank says:

    i dont understand the suspension. she didnt do anything; or break a law. at worse, she is probably guilt of her choice of significant people to her. maybe US Soccer can counsel her. to make better choices. i have confidence she will earn her spot back. she’s pretty good.

  4. Ray H. Noblit says:

    Hope Solo has a target on her back because of the NFL domestic violence issue and a bogus charge as it turns out against her. Her husband is arrested for DUI and because the U.S. Soccer Federation hasn’t a backbone they suspend Hope. U.S. Soccer should have the courage to stand up to idiots in the media and say you are wrong. Hope has done nothing wrong, is not charged and we are standing behind her. Instead they take the easy road and do damage to the National Team’s preparation for the World Cup.

  5. Mottman says:

    To those of us here in the Northwest, the suspension makes good sense. US Soccer is trying to help Hope get her personal life back on track. She has had several “brushes” with the law and her marriage to Jerramy Stevens has been a roller-coaster ride at best. Stevens has had several DUI’s and it’s time for both of them to grow up and take responsibility before they end up seriously hurting either themselves or someone else with their issues with alcohol. Hopefully this is a wake-up call and someone at US Soccer will take her under their wing and get her the help she needs.

  6. Peter Nolan says:

    It has been reported by various sources that Jerramy Stevens was driving a U.S. Soccer van when he was pulled over. Obviously being married to Solo would explain how Stevens had access to the van.

    If the reports are true, U.S. Soccer would of course be dismayed that one of its vehicles was used by a person who received a DUI, and this would reflect poorly on the USWNT goalkeeper.

    • Ray H. Noblit says:

      Poor judgement yes. If the domestic violence scandal with the NFL hadn’t been so hot and Solo had what appears to be bogus charges made against her, would anyone have been making this big of a deal over her husband’s DUI arrest? I doubt it. It would have been a one day story period.

  7. Bob says:

    What would you expect from an organization that would hire Jill Ellis as its coach?

  8. ken long says:

    Nichole Barnhart in goal
    put amy rodriguez up top where she belongs with Holiday in the attacking midfield role. Watch the NWSL playoffs and championship game; the FCKC style > WNT style. Vladtko Andonovski should be coaching the WNT

    • Ray H. Noblit says:

      Rodriguez, your kidding right? Yea, she’s been playing some better, but chokes in front of goal way too often.

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