USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo ‘in a happier place’ after resolution of off-field controversy

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Serious controversy engulfed USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo off the field this past summer when domestic assault charges marked her reported physical confrontation with relatives, during what was described as an “out-of-control situation.”

Her case was dismissed in January, but she was then suspended for 30 days by U.S. Soccer for her aggressive actions as a passenger in a car with her husband and former NFL player Jerramy Stevens.

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Now that both of the personal incidents have eased to a close, the first-rate goalkeeper wants to completely put her past in the rearview, while she admits the negative pressure has lessened with her return to game exploits for the United States.

“I feel better, I feel a little bit lighter, like a weight’s been taken off my shoulders,” Solo said a few days before Saturday’s exhibition against the New Zealand national team at Busch Stadium, per the Associated Press.

“I feel just in a happier place, a bit more relaxed with my defenders, which is more fun for them to play with me when I’m not on edge.”

Veteran forward Abby Wambach also revealed her understanding of Solo’s temperament at this time.

“I think Hope has come back with her eyes wide open and with her heart full of passion and excitement for the game, for competing in another World Cup,” she said. “We’re all human beings, we all have things that are going on in our personal lives, myself included.

As noted by Wambach, Jill Ellis and Co. are in deep preparation for the World Cup in Canada this summer, and Solo’s presence, in addition to the returns of Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux, will certainly have an positive effect on the Stars and Stripes chances to erase the memory of heartbreak to Japan in the 2011 World Cup final.