Hope Solo announced Tuesday that she will not play for her professional team, the Seattle Reign, again this year. After being suspended for six months and having her contract terminated by U.S. Soccer, Solo decided she needed to step away from the game altogether until she has a chance to process everything that’s happened.
— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) August 30, 2016
Hope Solo’s whole world has come crashing down around her based on a single crass comment said in the heat of the moment, but if we’re being honest, she’s been playing Life Jenga for awhile.
Hope’s hiatus comes as the Seattle Reign are making a playoff push, sitting one spot out of a playoff berth with four games remaining in the season.
Given the 9.0 earthquake that’s sent destructive tidal waves through the Cape of Good Hope, the Reign put out a very PC tweet acknowledging Solo’s decision to step away:
From Laura Harvey: “While disappointed that Hope will not return to Reign FC this season, we understand and respect her decision.”
— Seattle Reign FC (@SeattleReignFC) August 30, 2016
However, as with all things in life, there is nuance to Hope’s process.
First of all, she’s rightfully pissed off that a lifetime of service counts for jack shit:
Second, the National Women’s Soccer League that Solo’s Seattle Reign play in is a subsidiary of U.S. Soccer, unlike MLS, which is its own entity. How could she, in good conscience, continue playing in a league owned and operated by people who want nothing to do with her?
She couldn’t. Those two things are incompatible.
And truthfully, U.S. Soccer owns some of the blame for this whole fiasco. I don’t want to say Hope Solo is a loose cannon, but she’s certainly prone to…episodes. So why on earth would they let her talk to the media moments after getting knocked out of the Olympics in penalty kicks?
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That’s an emotional time for anyone, especially the most volatile player on your team. Like fentanyl, or a baby, Hope Solo must be treated carefully. Failure to do so can have drastic consequences.
So here we find ourselves, voyeurs once again, watching a play-by-play of Hope Solo’s progressive meltdown with the same morbid curiosity that causes traffic to slow at the scene of an accident that doesn’t block any lanes.
Hope Solo, above all else, has helped raise the profile of women’s soccer in the United States. For every executive and sponsor she disappointed over the years, there are a thousand little girls who look(ed) up to her. Let’s not forget that.