Hope Solo Suspended for Calling Soccer Opponents ‘Cowards’ at Rio Olympics

Hope Solo Suspended from Team USA
Brad Smith/ISI/REX/Shutterstock

U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended for six months by the U.S. Soccer Federation for derisive comments she made during the Rio Olympics.

After an upset loss to Sweden in the Olympic quarterfinals, Solo called her opponents “a bunch of cowards.” She added, “the best team did not win today.”

“The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our national team players,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement Wednesday. “Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions.”

In addition to the suspension, U.S. Soccer terminated Solo’s contract with the national team.


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In a Facebook post, the three-time Olympian said she was “saddened” by the Federation’s decision to terminate her contact.

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

Solo was a member of the national team for 17 years, and part of the gold medal winning Olympic squads in 2008 and 2012. She was one of the most well recognized Olympians on Team USA.

National women’s team player representative Rich Nichols argued Solo was being held to a double standard. “She was fired for making comments that no man would have been fired for making,” Nicols told USA Today. “It’s a draconian penalty.” Nichols vowed to appeal the suspension.


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This is the second time Solo has been suspended by U.S. Soccer. She was previously suspended for 30 days in 2015 after police pulled her and husband Jerramy Stevens over. Stevens was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. As the passenger, Solo was not charged, but she reportedly acted belligerently.

Solo is still eligible to play in the National Women’s Soccer League. She is the goalkeeper for the Seattle Reign.

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  1. MPA2000 says:

    LOL@ Blaming men for her own actions. The organization did the right thing, getting rid of this low life.


  3. Horsefeathers says:

    Hope Solo is a great passionate player. I agree in part with
    her comments and would add that Sweden early on were fouling the U.S. players
    every time they got close to the goal area. I can understand if this became
    very frustrating for the team. On break aways Sweden was tripping players from
    behind. In retrospect if the U.S had tripped the one Swedish break away Sweden
    would not have scored at all.

    I think her suspension is excessive. I hope she sues the
    federation for everything they have !!!

    I would also like to add a brief observation. The best mid
    fielder was left off the team. Sam Mewis was by far the most skilled at her
    position pre Olympics even though she is just starting out. When viewed fairly it was
    obvious she could distribute the ball QUICKLY to the right player before the
    double team collapsed on her. Also she was able to move to an open spot on the
    field quickly to give her team mates a target to pass the ball to in the pinch.
    Is it Hope’s fault she was left off the team or the coach?

    Also it is very troubling for some news outlets to blame the
    one Swedish goal on Allie Long for ‘giving the ball away’. I would hardly call
    a deep pass to the top of the goal box giving the ball away. This is scape goat

    The loss was the result of four major events

    1 – Sweden played a very physical game and fouled the U.S.
    team excessively on several break aways in the first half and knocked the team
    off stride with their penalty ridden play

    2 – Sam Mewis was left off the team (she was an alternate) (very
    big mistake)

    3 – Many of the shots by the U.S. team sailed over the goal
    mouth and were not on target. Carly Lloyd missed one shot at point blank range

    4 – As much as I love Rapino she should not have taken the
    spot Sam Mewis would have filled and for that matter Horan should not have
    played ahead of the great mid fielder Sam Mewis

    The effortless play of Mewis and ball distribution was
    really missed by the team

    Are all of the above Hope Solos fault?

    No !!!!

  4. BillUSA says:

    The world will be a better place when the U.S.O.C. decides they’ve had enough of her antics and doesn’t invite her to represent the United States in any future competitions. Yes, I do not like Hope Solo. Not because of any other excuse someone may try to throw out there in her defense. I don’t like her simply because of her lousy personality.

    You choked, Hope. You failed to do your job. Even worse, you failed to accept the responsibility AND embarrassed your country by calling the victors a bunch of cowards. Just…..go away.

  5. Blue Silver says:

    Hope is such a sore loser.

  6. El Duderino says:

    How about the Tweet by the muslim fencer calling Israel terrorists and claiming they opened a dam to drown Palestinians?

  7. Lulu says:

    Hope is a bully. She was the goalkeeper and they scored on her. Shut up and block the ball and they wouldn’t have won. How about that Hope?!!

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