Hope Solo travelled to Rio de Janeiro this summer focused on helping the United States win another Olympic gold medal but failed to achieve her primary objective and reacted badly.
The 35-year-old, who is certainly no stranger to controversy, called Sweden “a bunch of cowards” following the US women’s team’s elimination on penalties at the end of a hard-fought quarter-final.
Solo was irritated that, in her view, Sweden were focusing more on defence than attack.
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The experienced goalkeeper was also criticised for changing her gloves during the shoot-out; a deliberate act of gamesmanship was the general consensus.
Following her disparaging comments, US soccer decided to suspend Solo for six months. Her career with her national team now as good as finished.
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US Soccer: Solo's comments 'unacceptable'
US Soccer president Sunil Galati was quoted as saying by the Guardian that Solo’s comments were “unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our national team players”.
“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.”
Video: Hope Solo's reaction filmed
Footage has now emerged - courtesy of a soon-to-be-released documentary titled “Keeping Score” - showing Solo’s reaction in the minutes after she was informed of US Soccer’s decision.
And it’s safe to say she wasn’t happy in the slightest.
“Six month suspension no pay, terminated contract effective immediately,” a tearful and angry Solo says in the video. “17 f------ years and it’s over!”
Her husband, the former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens, looks equally as bemused by the decision and can be seen comforting his wife.
Hope Solo's statement
After composing herself, Solo, a winner of one World Cup title and two Olympic gold medals, released this statement on social media.
"For 17 years, I dedicated my life to the U.S. Women’s National Team and did the job of a pro athlete the only way I knew how — with passion, tenacity, an unrelenting commitment to be the best goalkeeper in the world, not just for my country, but to elevate the sport for the next generation of female athletes," Solo said. "In those commitments, I have never wavered. And with so much more to give, I am saddened by the federation’s decision to terminate my contract.
"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.
“My entire career, I have only wanted the best for this team, for the players and the women’s game and I will continue to pursue these causes with the same unrelenting passion with which I play the game."
Was a six-month suspension harsh on Hope Solo - or did she deserve it? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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