Hope Solo has settled a grievance with U.S. Soccer over her suspension from the women’s national team following comments she made at last summer’s Rio Olympics.
The settlement was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. The 35-year-old goalkeeper was suspended six months and her contract with the federation was terminated after she called the Swedish team “a bunch of cowards” following the U.S. team’s quarter-final loss.
Details about the settlement, reached last month, were not released. The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Players Association filed the grievance on Solo’s behalf.
‘I used a choice of words that was both offensive and not at all what I had intended to convey.’— U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo on calling Swedish players cowards after 2016 Olympic loss
In a statement provided Friday to The Associated Press, Solo reiterated her regret over the comments.
“As I expressed in my apology to the Swedish captain immediately following the match, I have tremendous respect for the Swedish team, and in describing the style of play, I used a choice of words that was both offensive and not at all what I had intended to convey,” she said.
“We have amicably resolved the matter and are moving forward in a positive way,” she added.
U.S. Soccer also put out a statement. “Hope Solo has been a fierce competitor for the Women’s National Team. She has set new standards for goalkeeping in the U.S. and around the world, and helped the U.S. Women’s National Team achieve its historic on field success. We have amicably resolved the matter and are moving forward in a positive way,” the statement said.
The Women’s Soccer Team Players Association declined to comment.
Solo anchored the team in goal for the 2015 Women’s World Cup victory, allowing just three goals in seven games with five shutouts during the tournament, earning her a second straight Golden Glove Award.
For her career, Solo has made 202 total appearances with the national team, with 153 wins and an international-record 102 shutouts.
The defending champion U.S. women were ousted from the Olympics last summer when Sweden advanced 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw.
Solo’s “cowards” quote came immediately following the loss. Sweden went on to play in the gold-medal match against Germany.
Solo told the AP in an interview late last year that she spoke to coach Jill Ellis and U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati following the loss, and felt that the issue was put to rest. After returning to the United States, Solo said she was blindsided by the announcement about her suspension.
She said she believes U.S. Soccer wanted her off negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. Solo has been an outspoken advocate for equal pay and was among the players who filed a complaint against the federation with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging wage discrimination.
“Let’s call it what is, which is a firing,” Solo told AP then. “It was a termination of my contract effective immediately with severance. That is a firing. It wasn’t a suspension, that’s what they told the media because it looked better. But I got fired. I got fired for what they say was using the word ‘cowards’ but in reality they got rid of an adversary in the fight for equal pay.”
U.S. Soccer said at the time that Solo was suspended following a culmination of actions, and separately her contract was also terminated with the team.
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