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Hope Solo wasn’t just going to go away quietly.
She has accused U.S. Soccer of ostracizing her from its women’s national team by way of a six-month suspension and a canceled contract because of her role in ongoing collective bargaining negotiations and a gender discrimination suit filed against the federation by her and four other leading players. Solo leveled the accusations in the full episode of “Keeping Score,” which aired on the Fullscreen streaming service on Friday, per FOX Soccer.
“Seventeen years on this team and then to be treated this way in the end is not surprising from U.S. Soccer, to be honest,” she told the cameras, according to FOX Soccer. “I feel like I’m being pushed out because it can’t be based off performance, my health. It can’t be based off anything but they don’t like me, because they know I’ve been fighting so hard for equal pay.”
In a teaser for the episode, Solo was seen reacting emotionally and angrily to her suspension.
U.S. Soccer has claimed that the 35-year-old, who has won two Olympic gold medals and the 2015 Women’s World Cup and was widely regarded as the world’s best goalkeeper, was suspended for an accumulation of incidents after she called Sweden “a bunch of cowards” following the USA’s elimination at the Rio Olympics — a tournament in which Solo gave mixed performances.
“They’re going to use my comments as an excuse to get rid of me forever so that they don’t have to deal with such a strong voice and opposition to field conditions and playing conditions and pay,” Solo said on the show. “I think I’m just a thorn in their side and it’s time for them to cut their losses.”
Solo was backed up in her assertions by longtime teammate and fellow national team star Megan Rapinoe. “I think that there’s probably some legal strategy going on with it all,” Rapinoe said in the episode.
To be continued, surely.