Solo won’t play for Reign again this sea­son

The Daily Herald - - SPORTS - By Anne M. Peter­son

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.

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