Hope Solo suspended from US National Team for 30 days
(Associated Press) NEW YORK – Goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended from the U.S. women’s national team for 30 days and won’t participate in matches next month in Europe.
U.S. Soccer did not specify the reason for the suspension, announced Wednesday night. It comes after the arrest of her husband, former Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens, earlier this week on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Solo was in the car when Stevens was pulled over in Manhattan Beach, California, about 1:30 am. Monday for driving without headlights. Solo was not arrested or detained.
It is the latest off-field trouble for Solo. Earlier this month, a judge dismissed two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence against her.
The 33-year-old goalkeeper was in Southern California for training camp with the U.S. national team, which is preparing to play in the World Cup starting in June.
“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,” coach Jill Ellis said in a statement. “We feel at this time it is best for her to step away from the team.”
Solo, who has won two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. team, was released from camp.
“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,” Solo said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Wednesday night. “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 domestic violence charges stemmed from an altercation with her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew at a party in Washington last June.
Solo had pleaded not guilty in that case, and she continued to play for the U.S. team and with her National Women’s Soccer League team, the Seattle Reign, while awaiting trial.
Solo married Stevens in 2012. He was arrested just before their wedding for investigation of assault after a disturbance involving Solo, but he was not charged.
Her last appearance with the national team was in December, when she started in a scoreless draw against Brazil in the championship game of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia.
Last September in an exhibition victory over Mexico, Solo logged her 72nd shutout, passing Briana Scurry (1994-2008) on national team’s career list.
The suspension comes at a critical time for the U.S. team.
Following the exhibition matches in February, the U.S. team will play in the Algarve Cup in March. The team will open World Cup play on June 8 against Australia in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
An expanded field of 24 teams will compete in the World Cup, which will be played in six Canadian cities. The United States is in Group D, which also includes Sweden and Nigeria.
The U.S. women, currently ranked No. 2 in the world behind Germany, are seeking their third World Cup title but first since 1991.
Solo will be eligible for reinstatement after the suspension, pending review and approval by U.S. Soccer and Ellis, U.S. Soccer said.