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Profiles of Strong and Independent Women: Part 12 - Hope Solo
Two Years After Her Suspension, What’s Hope Solo Been Up To?
However, storm clouds were brought on that already dark day in the form of comments made by the USWNT’s Hope Solo. In an interview after the game, the goalkeeper called the Swedes “cowards” for their game management and highly defensive tactics. Two weeks later, Solo was handed a six-month suspension from the national team and her contract was terminated by the U.S. Soccer Federation. She has not appeared for the side since that day in Brasilia. The Sweden “incident” was certainly not the first time Solo has stirred things up, causing problems.
Her desire and quickness to speak her mind became part of her reputation early on, gaining her perhaps more critics than fans along the way. Throughout her short stint in Rio, for example, she was booed by much of the crowd each time she touched the ball, a response to inflammatory tweets made prior to the tournament about her fear of contracting the Zika virus while in South America. Long before that, in 2007, Solo was benched in the third place game of the World Cup after telling the media that coach Greg Ryan’s decision to start fellow U.S. goalie Brianna Scurry in their 4-0 semi final loss to Brazil was a mistake. Off the field, she made national headlines in 2014 after her arrest for reportedly assaulting her husband and nephew. She was suspended one game with her club team and there were calls for her to be dismissed from the 2015 World Cup roster for her actions.
While many things have changed for the 37-year-old since her departure from the U.S. squad, one thing that has certainly remained a constant is her voice. This past year, she ran for president of U.S. Soccer on a platform that focused on improving access and equality in all youth levels, financial transparency throughout the federation and creating a “winning” culture in American soccer. Though her campaign was unsuccessful, Solo has continued to fight for the issues about which she’s most passionate. Last month, she caused a collective gasp in the American soccer community when she said that the U.S. should not host the 2026 World Cup and rather the tournament should be awarded to a more “deserving” country without the structural, economic and development problems that the sport has here.
When FIFA released their list of judges for the Best Goalkeeper award, Solo called them out on Instagram for not including any women on the panel. She found herself in soccer news yet again just a few weeks ago when the U.S. Olympic committee dismissed a complaint she had made in which she accused the USSF of illegally favoring Major League Soccer. You can be that, if there’s injustice happening in the sport in any form, Solo is going be around to say something and won’t mince words. Throughout her 16 years with the USWNT, Solo was loud, consistent, and showed up in the important moments. Though she will likely never put on a national team jersey again, those words continue to define her, and, though critics abound, it’s hard to say that that’s a bad thing.
Females idolize failures like Solo, because it gives them a feeling that being an immature and irresponsible person is an okay thing. She is just your common, run of the mill, loud mouthed female, yet they think her special, and that is the funniest thing of all.
"Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did."
Groucho Marx: Duck Soup (1933)
Another example of a female athlete that had no plan B after their relevance to their respective sport faded. Added to that her continual abrasive personality and unwillingness to take personal responsibility ensures that she remains on the outside looking in at everyone else. The last information is in the context of her 2016 suspension; her lawyer states the the US Soccer's actions are "excessive, unprecedented, disproportionate, and a violation of Ms. Solo’s First Amendment rights."
She seems to be thriving right where she is ... which is right where she belongs.
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." - Clarence Buddinton Kelland