Hope Solo suspended from U.S. women's team for 6 months for trashing Sweden

Written By Ron Clements
Hope-Solo-082416-USNews-Getty-FTR
(Getty Images)

U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday night it had suspended women's goalkeeper Hope Solo for six months for her comments after the team's loss to Sweden in the Rio Olympics. The suspension will begin immediately.

Solo said Sweden played like "a bunch of cowards" with an extremely defensive style that kept the U.S. at bay until the deciding penalty kicks. Sweden's quarterfinal victory eliminated the U.S. from the tournament.

MORE: Hope Solo's career in photos

Solo, in a statement to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, did not express remorse for her comments. She also said she was "saddened" by U.S. Soccer's decision to "terminate" her contract. 

Rich Nichols, executive director of the women's team's players association, told Wahl his group will appeal the suspension, which Nichols termed "excessive, unprecedented, disproportionate and a violation of Ms. Solo's First Amendment Rights."

U.S. Soccer said in its statement that Solo was suspended for "conduct that is counter to the organization's principles."

"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," president Sunil Gulati said. "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."

The USWNT noted that Solo was also suspended for 30 days in 2015 for misconduct. 

Solo is not eligible for selection to the national team until February 2017.

This article has been updated.

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