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 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.