Hope Solo Is Suspended From The U.S. National Team, Which Is Becoming A Pattern

Ryan Lochte isn’t the only U.S. athlete who got in trouble in Rio. Hope Solo was suspended for six months for bashing Sweden after losing to the team at the Summer Olympics, and unfortunately it isn’t the first time she’s been told to take a break from the U.S. Women’s National Team. Because she’s been suspended before and apparently didn’t learn her lesson, her punishment was even worse this time around.

After Sweden beat the U.S. team in the quarterfinals of the Olympics, the 35-year-old goalkeeper was mad about the opposing team’s tactics and told reporters, “I’m very proud of this team. But I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I think you saw American heart.” She continued: “Sweden dropped off. They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer.”

U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday Solo was suspended for “conduct that is counter to the organization’s principles.” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement: “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. 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.”

South Africa v United States
CREDIT: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last year, Solo was suspended for just 30 days after her husband was arrested on DUI suspicions with Solo in the car. The soccer star wasn’t arrested, but U.S. Soccer claimed she “made a poor decision that has resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates.” During that suspension, she missed two friendlies against France and England, though the U.S. team had already qualified for the 2015 World Cup.

She was also involved in a lawsuit with her sister when she was arrested on two counts of domestic violence in 2014. It was alleged she beat up her half-sister and nephew, but Solo claimed she was the victim. The charges were initially dismissed for procedural reasons and city prosecutors appealed. Though no trial date has been set, a judge refused to throw the case out in June.

U.S. Soccer officials had the previous incidents in mind when determining how to handle the Swedish comments. “Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we’ve had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a U.S. National Team member, U.S. Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action,” Gulati said in the organization’s statement.

Obviously not happy with the longer suspension time, Solo said in a statement to Sports Illustrated, “I am saddened by the federation’s decision to terminate my contract.”