AMSTERDAM (AP) American goalkeeper Hope Solo is looking to resume playing and says she had had offers to play overseas.
Solo was handed a six-month suspension and her contract with U.S. Soccer was terminated last year following the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after she called Sweden’s team “cowards” for their defensive style of play against the Americans.
Since the abrupt break in her career, the 36-year-old Solo has focused on recovering from shoulder replacement surgery.
“Let’s be clear, a goalkeeper peaks a little bit later in their career, so I feel like I have many years ahead of me if that opportunity arises,” Solo said in an interview Monday. “I’m very happy with my career should I walk away from the game today, but I’m not one to retire. I have not retired.”
Even before her Olympic outburst, Solo was at odds with American soccer leadership as she lobbied for women’s players to earn equitable salaries to the male national team players.
“My contract got terminated because of my fight for equal pay with the United States Soccer Federation,” Solo said. “I’m not sure until the lawsuit is over, that anything will change that. In the meantime I’ve had great opportunities and great contract offers to go back overseas and play. Possibly you’ll see me overseas next year.”
Especially as Solo, who played in Sweden and France in 2004 and 2005, said her “shoulder is doing great.”
“I have a completely metal arm now – I’m bionic,” she said. “I’m better now than I have been in the last 10 years so I’m pain free and I have more range of motion. I’m very happy with my health right now and I’m very happy with my fitness. I’m ready to get back.”
Solo, who was voted into the World XI team by fellow players in March, still hopes to be back in the United States side for the World Cup title defense in France.
“I’ve always wanted to play in the 2019 World Cup,” Solo said. “I’m in the best shape of my life in terms of my shoulder. I feel great. Should they (the United States) welcome me back then I will be in the goal competing and hopefully bringing back another World Cup trophy, but it’s highly unlikely they are going to ask for me to come back. But I’m here guys.”
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