Hope Solo, the USWNT keeper of the 2016 Rio Olympics, made the following comment after the loss to Sweden that eliminated the team further into medal qualifying games:
"We played a creative game. We had many opportunities on goal. We showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down. I’m very proud of this team."
“We played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I strongly, firmly believe that.”
"Sweden dropped back. They didn't want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball around. They didn’t want to play great soccer, entertaining soccer. It was a combative game. A physical game. Exactly what they wanted. Exactly what their game plan was. We had that style of play when Pia was our coach. I think it was very cowardly. But they won, they’re moving on. And we’re going home,"
Since such time, there's been a veritable backlash from all sides. While there are many athletes that agree that the game was designed in such a way to simply get passed the US, much of the press sees her comments as unsportsmanlike.
Fast forward to last night when the hammer dropped. Hope Solo has been terminated from the USWNT, presumably for 'conduct unbecoming' but that remains to be seen. Let's also keep in mind however that she could be resigned in 2017, after her six-month suspension has been concluded.
We're left with ample questions that have now come from the actions of U.S. Soccer?
- The termination comes as a result of her 6-month suspension and the end of the year, but will it be permanent?
- If indefinitely terminated, who replaces Solo? Will it be Ashlyn Harris?
- If Harris, what pressures does that apply to the Orlando Pride?
- Is this situation more "freedom of speech" or should professional athletes be held to a higher standard? A code of professional conduct; that said, should this situation have fallen inside or outside.
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