Hope Solo has plenty of time to think about her controversial actions down in Rio after being handed a lengthy timeout.
U.S. Soccer has suspended the Olympic goalkeeper from the U.S. Women’s National Team for six months for “conduct that is counter to the organization’s principles,” according to a statement Wednesday.
The suspension is in response to Solo’s bitter rant against Sweden’s team after it eliminated the American squad from medals contention during the 2016 Rio Games earlier this month.
In the quarterfinal match, the two teams played to a 1-1 stalemate over 120 minutes, but Sweden edged the U.S. 4-3 in a shootout — and Solo did not take it well.
“I thought that we played a courageous game … I also think we played a bunch of cowards. But, you know, the best team did not win today,” Solo said after the match.
Her comments did not sit well with fans, sports media — or American soccer’s governing body.
“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 the statement. “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.
“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 continued.
The 35-year-old had previously been suspended in 2015 for 30 days.
She was also arrested for domestic violence in June 2014 after she allegedly assaulted her sister and nephew. However, her suspension was sparked by the DUI arrest of her husband, Jerramy Stevens, while he was driving the team van and Solo was a passenger.
As a result of her latest suspension, Solo will not be eligible for selection to the U.S. Women’s National Team until February of 2017. Her latest punishment is effective immediately.