Hope Solo

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USWNT coach Ellis responds to Solo’s comments


USWNT head coach Jill Ellis has taken the high road.

Ahead of the U.S. women’s national team kicking off their 2019 World Cup campaign against Thailand in Reims on Tuesday, former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo has been critical of Ellis.

The legendary goalkeeper, who had her contract cancelled by U.S. Soccer back in 2016 over disciplinary reasons, lashed out at Ellis when talking on the BBC in her role as a pundit for the tournament.

“Jill is not the leader I wish her to be,” Solo said. “She relies heavily on her assistant coaches. She cracks under the pressure quite a bit. But often that doesn’t matter because the quality of the players on the U.S. team is superb. It doesn’t matter who is coaching us because we will find a way to win. The United States knows how to find a way to win in spite of who the coach is.”

Tell us how you really feel, Hope…

But Ellis, who led the USWNT to the World Cup title in 2015 with Solo in goal, hasn’t risen to the bait.

Speaking to the media ahead of their tournament opener, Ellis tried to play down the comments and labelled Solo as a ‘pundit’ and nothing else.

“Comments are comments. For me, personally, I feel over the past five years I’ve made a lot of important decisions and I have processes to make those decisions, and I own those processes,” Ellis said. “At this point, everything and every focus is about this group of players that are here and now. Pundits, out there, that’s part of it. And part of the message is always to make sure that the focus is on the internal part of the game. And that’s where we are.”

Ellis won the 2015 World Cup just months after  she was handed a permanent contract after being in interim charge, and since then she’s had plenty of critics as the USWNT were knocked out of the Rio 2016 Olympics by Sweden at the quarterfinal stage. A few U.S. hiccups have occurred while the rest of the women’s soccer world has caught up at the international level with England, the Netherlands and France all pushing on and among the favorites to prevail this summer.

The pressure is on Ellis and the USWNT to defend their crown, and she knows it. Ellis doesn’t need Solo or anybody else to crank up any extra pressure, because everyone expects this USWNT to win the trophy in France. Solo’s differences with this current USWNT and the U.S. Soccer Federation is clear, but Ellis did well to not respond too strongly and add any further fuel to the fire.

Hope Solo hammers USWNT head coach Ellis

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Former USWNT star goalkeeper Hope Solo tells it like it is.

The 2015 World Cup winner, now 37, had her contract terminated by U.S. Soccer in 2016 and it appears that she isn’t going to lavish praise on head coach Jill Ellis while working as a pundit for the BBC in the UK during the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Not at all.

Speaking on BBC Five Live in the UK, Solo didn’t hold back when asked about the USWNT head coach and how the players feel about her.

“Jill is not the leader I wish her to be” Solo said. “She relies heavily on her assistant coaches. She cracks under the pressure quite a bit. But often that doesn’t matter because the quality of the players on the U.S. team is superb. It doesn’t matter who is coaching us because we will find a way to win. The United States knows how to find a way to win in spite of who the coach is.”

Solo did say that she had a really good relationship with the coaching staff towards the end of her time as a national team player, as she could talk with them and get along with them better than the young players on the team.

But with Ellis and the USWNT terminating Solo’s contract due to her comments about Sweden after elimination at the 2016 Olympics, there are clearly issues behind-the-scenes.

Following on from Solo’s previous disciplinary problems while a member of the USWNT, plus the ongoing lawsuit between several U.S. stars and the federation in their fight for equal pay, there is clearly friction here.

If the U.S. doesn’t play well in their opening games at the World Cup this summer, Solo will not sugarcoat her thoughts on the USWNT or Ellis.

Solo: 2026 World Cup shouldn’t go to U.S.

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If you thought the U.S. Soccer presidential election was the last time you’d hear Hope Solo rail against the national federation, you’d be mistaken.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Solo said that she was not supporting the United 2026 bid to host the 2026 World Cup in Mexico, Canada and the U.S.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

“I can’t say it should be awarded to Morocco,” Solo said. “But I don’t think it should go to the United States, and that’s hard to say.”

In the past, Solo has spoken out against U.S. Soccer’s tight relationship with the MLS marketing arm Soccer United Marketing (SUM), which presents a number of conflicts of interest when considering the growth of the game across the U.S., and not just in MLS. Solo particularly identified SUM and Don Garber as having a role in her decision not to support the United Bid.

Solo is so far the only notable former or current American soccer player to come out against the U.S. World Cup bid. FIFA member nations will vote on the 2026 World Cup on June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow, Russia.

David Beckham, co-owner of MLS’ new Miami franchise, came out in favor of the bid on Thursday.

Authorities drop assault charges against Hope Solo

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KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) — Prosecutors in Washington state have dropped domestic violence charges against former U.S. national team star goalkeeper Hope Solo.

Solo was charged with two counts of fourth-degree assault in 2014 after police said she assaulted two family members at a home in Kirkland, east of Seattle. The case was delayed by appeals.

KING-TV reports that city prosecutors dropped the charges Wednesday, saying the witnesses in the case wanted to move on with their lives and did not want to participate in a trial. An attorney for Kirkland, Melissa Osman, wrote in court documents that the circumstances were unlikely to be repeated.

The longtime national team goalkeeper and two-time Olympic gold medalist recently ran unsuccessfully for president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. She has called for equal pay and equal treatment for the U.S. women’s team.

Presidential candidate Solo files complaint against U.S. Soccer

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Hope Solo took a massive shot at the U.S. Soccer establishment on Tuesday, filing a complaint to the United States Olympic Committee that claims the United States Soccer Federation is neglecting its duties to the sport in favor of propping up Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing.

[ MORE: Arsenal teen to Barcelona ]

She adds that current administration’s apparent backing of ex-SUM president Kathy Carter will only continue what ails the federation.

Solo, the controversial and legendary USWNT goalkeeper running for president of the federation, claims that “USSF’s paramount concern has become protecting and nurturing the MLS, even if at the expense of other stakeholders, including those involved in professional women’s and amateur soccer.”

She says the USSF is in violation of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, which in part allows the USOC to give organizations governing power regarding individual sports.

On a blog post announcing the complaint, Solo says:

“The campaign has also made me acutely aware that the USSF’s conflicts of interests and other governance transgressions are so alarming that we can’t wait for the results of the Presidential election to take action.”

The document lays out some interesting points, including a shot at current president Sunil Gulati’s statement that the non-profit USSF was a “consumer-driven organization.”