As difficult as it may be, try to imagine the U.S. women’s national team at this summer’s World Cup without goalkeeper Hope Solo.
Now, try to imagine the USWNT without Solo, not because of an injury preventing arguably the world’s best female shot-stopper from playing, but because she was cut her from the team.
According to U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, the above scenario could play itself out at this year’s tournament in Canada. Speaking to the media via conference call on Monday, when asked if he could envision Solo being left off the team’s World Cup roster, Gulati said, “Sure.”
Solo once again came under scrutiny when her husband, with whom she was in the car, was arrested for DUI while driving a team van. For he role, Solo was suspended 30 days. That incident came little more than a week after domestic violence charges against Solo were dismissed.
Gulati continued: “We’ve asked her to do a number of things, and she’s going to have to do those things and make progress in those areas. That’s possible. We hope that’s not the case. We hope she’s making progress and joins the team. That’s certainly the goal — hers and ours.”
Gulati wouldn’t go in detail about what the “number of things” Solo has been to do were, but nearly every one of Solo’s past two years’ worth of run-ins with the law have been alcohol-related. It wouldn’t be a far leap to surmise some sort of alcohol-abuse treatment was requested by the federation before Solo’s reinstatement is granted.
Solo will miss both of the USWNT’s next two games, which are friendlies scheduled for Feb. 8 against France, in Lorient (noon ET), and Feb. 13 against England, in Milton Keynes (3 pm ET), before having her reinstatement considered a week later.