US Women’s soccer great Hope Solo once stayed up in the news over her hot temper and her inability to censor herself. However, she recently said something that was right on target. Here’s her reasoning why the U.S men’s soccer team isn’t at the 2018 Word Cup in Russia.
“My family would not have been able to afford to put me in soccer if I was a young kid today,” Solo said at the Hashtag Sports conference in New York.
“That obviously alienates so many communities, including Hispanic communities, the black communities, the rural communities and under-represented communities. Soccer, right now, has become a rich, white kid sport.”
My family would not have been able to afford to put me in soccer if I was a young kid today” – @hopesolo #HS18 https://t.co/vR6sV1qLDA
“I was a player for 20 years, and I saw first-hand what Carlos Cordeiro’s idea of change is. You cannot, as a vice president, claim you are the lone voice for change while all of this happened under your watch,” Solo said during her fiery speech. “And you as delegates cannot buy that. He was part of a federation that generated millions of dollars off the backs of its players, and much of it off the back of its women’s players, who have been the economic engine of this federation for years, yet treated like second-class citizens.”
Solo was arrested on assault charges in 2014 in Washington state in a case involving her nephew and sister. The charges were later dismissed. During the 2016 Olympics in Rio, she slammed the Swedish women’s team as a “bunch of cowards.” U.S. Soccer terminated Solo’s contract after those comments, citing “conduct that is counter to the organization’s principles.”
Solo helped lead the U.S. women’s team to Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012 and a World Cup title in 2015.
Fox Sports’ telecast of the USWNT’s 5-2 victory over Japan in the title match of the 2015 FIFA World Cup still ranks as the most-watched soccer game in U.S. TV history.
Without the existence of the celebrated U.S. women’s soccer team, American pro soccer wouldn’t be a blip on our national sports radar. Though very popular at the youth levels and with many non-English speaking Americans, the U.S. is one of the few countries where soccer doesn’t make the VIP section in terms of popularity.
Hope recently ran an unsuccessful bid for president of the USSF, losing to former vice president Carlos Cordeiro. Before the election, she slammed Cordeiro as an establishment candidate who did little to help female players establish pay parity with their U.S. male counterparts.