Solo won’t play for Reign again this season
Goalkeeper Hope Solo has decided to end her season with the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League.
The beleaguered goalkeeper, who was handed a six-month suspension and saw her contract with U.S. Soccer terminated last week, announced her departure from her professional club team in a statement Tuesday.
U.S. Soccer suspended Solo following disparaging comments she made about Sweden during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, calling her opponents a “bunch of cowards” for their defensive style of play during the quarterfinals. She won’t be eligible for selection to the national team again until February.
Before a match last weekend against the Portland Thorns, the Reign announced Solo was granted an indefinite personal leave. Haley Kopmeyer took over for Solo in goal and the Reign won 3-1.
“Coming to terms with the fact I was fired from the U.S. Women’s National Team after 17 years of service has been devastating. After careful consideration, I have decided to end my season with the Seattle Reign, an organization I love playing for,” Solo said Tuesday. “Mentally, I am not there yet. After watching the team’s win against Portland this weekend and seeing Haley Kopmeyer playing so well in goal, I truly believe this decision is what’s best for me and for the Reign organization.”
Reign head coach and general manager Laura Harvey issued a statement saying that while the team was disappointed in Solo’s decision, it was understood and respected.
“Hope has always wanted what is best for our team — she is a relentless trainer, a fierce competitor and demands from herself nothing less than excellence on the pitch,” Harvey said.
The three-time defending champion U.S. women were handed their earliest-ever exit from the Olympics earlier this month when Sweden advanced 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw on Aug. 12.
Sweden’s coach, Pia Sundhage, who led the U.S. team to gold medals in Beijing and London, replied to Solo’s postgame “cowards” comment by stating: “It’s OK to be a coward if you win.” Sweden went on to play in the goldmedal match against Germany.