Hope Solo suggests Megan Rapinoe was 'hustled' over equal pay settlement

Former goalkeeper Hope Solo has discussed the equal pay settlement between US Soccer and the women’s national team on her new podcast.

Solo revealed yesterday she had launched a new podcast, titled “Hope Solo Speaks”.

According to the 40-year-old, the show will allow her to “speak my truths and tell the world what I stand for”.

Former teammate Carli Lloyd, who retired from football last year, joined Solo for the first episode.

The pair discussed the recent equal pay settlement reached between US Soccer and the women’s national team, with Solo explaining why she was not celebrating the historic moment.

“The reason for my sadness, the reason I feel gutted, kicked in the stomach, the reason why I feel betrayed and a bit hopeless is because the settlement is pathetic,” Solo said.

“After fighting for years for equal pay starting in 2015, the players still went on and agreed to a less-than-equal CBA. They continued to believe in the promises of the Federation.

“They were outclassed, outmanoeuvred and then, finally, after pumping the brakes and doing a 180 in the fight of our life, they decided to show up to the party and they got hustled.”

The settlement was announced last week, ending a six-year battle over equal pay. Under the terms of the agreement, the players will share $22 million (£16.2 million) in payments from US Soccer.

An additional $2 million (£1.5 million) will be paid to the players for post-career goals and charitable initiatives, while US Soccer also pledged to equalise pay between the men’s and women’s national teams in all competitions.

Megan Rapinoe was often viewed as the spokeswoman for the USWNT players involved in the equal pay battle, with the 36-year-old involved in the majority of media appearances after the settlement was announced.

Solo and Lloyd also discussed the changing culture in the USWNT, with both players admitting they found the atmosphere difficult in recent years.

“It was really tough and challenging to play these last several years,” Lloyd said. “To be quite honest, I hated it. It wasn’t fun going in.

“It was only for love of the game, really, for me. I wanted to win and wanted to help the team, but the culture within the team was the worst I had ever seen it.”

With the full episode out on Wednesday, it is not yet clear what the change in culture entailed, and why Solo and Lloyd disliked it so much.

Both players were somewhat controversial during their illustrious careers. Solo was suspended by US Soccer in 2016 after branding Sweden a “bunch of cowards” after their match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

She also claimed last year that Megan Rapinoe would “almost bully” members of the USWNT to take the knee during the national anthem.

Lloyd refused to take the knee alongside her teammates before the bronze medal match at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The side decided to take the knee as a protest against racial injustice.

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