The Hope Solo saga took another turn today with the goalkeeper’s announcement that she was ending her NWSL season with the Seattle Reign early; saying in a statement released on social media that she is still “coming to terms with the fact that I was fired from the national team after 17 years of service.”
Solo was seen reacting to that dismissal in a snippet of the upcoming documentary on the U.S. WNT, “Keeping Score,” also released today. In the clip, an emotional Solo is shown reacting to her suspension and the termination of her national team contract. Speaking to her husband, Jerramy Stevens, and looking at the camera, the beleaguered keeper jabs her finger into the wooden table and exclaims “17 #@*% years and it’s over!”
The video is compelling and is in line with her statement in which Solo says the U.S. Soccer action “has been devastating.” Solo added, “after careful consideration, I have decided to end my season with the Seattle Reign, an organization that I love playing for.” “I am not there yet,” Solo said, in relation to returning to action.
Left unanswered by both U.S. Soccer and Solo herself is the goalkeeper’s future. Once her six-month suspension has run its course Solo will be eligible for reinstatement and a new contract with the U.S. Soccer, although the organization’s action is more easily read as a bon voyage to the often difficult netminder.
And given that the NWSL is largely controlled by U.S. Soccer it is difficult at the moment to see Solo suiting up for Seattle or any NWSL club in the near future.
So, what next then for Solo? At 35 years old she could elect to step away from the game, although it is likely that the keeper would prefer to end her playing career on her own terms.
And even if Solo was less than her usual dominant self at the Olympics, no doubt a factor in U.S. Soccer’s decision to release the keeper, Solo remains a top caliber goalie and could return to play in Europe. It has been over a decade but Solo does have some experience in Europe, having played in Sweden for Goteborg and in France with Lyon.
However this plays out it is unlikely that this saga is over and even less likely that we have seen the last of Hope Solo.