U.S. soccer again has suspended goalkeeper Hope Solo from the women’s national team, but unlike last year, she won’t be back in 30 days. Citing Solo’s accusation of cowardice among Sweden’s players after the team beat the U.S. in the Olympic quarterfinals in Rio de Janeiro, U.S. officials booted Solo for six months.
In a statement, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said the comments “were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players.”
In a statement sent to Sports Illustrated, Solo said she was saddened by the decision, and that “I could not be the player I am without being the person I am, even when I haven’t made the best choices or said the right things.”
Solo, 35, has been goalkeeping for the national team since 2000, playing in 202 matches. The United States has won a World Cup and two Olympic gold medals in that span.
Gulati said the punishment took into account past incidents involving Solo. Her previous suspension in 2015 followed an incident during the national team’s training camp in which she was riding in a car with her husband, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, when he was stopped and charged with DUI.
The Associated Press notes Solo also has ongoing legal issues to contend with:
“She has also been trying to avoid trial on misdemeanor domestic violence charges after a 2014 incident at her sister’s home, when the goalkeeper was accused of being intoxicated and assaulting her sister and 17-year-old nephew. Solo said she was a victim in the altercation. Earlier this year, an appeals court in Washington state rejected Solo’s request to avoid trial.”