U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo suspended for calling Sweden 'cowards'

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"I did the job of a pro athlete the only way I knew how - with passion, tenacity, an unrelenting commitment to be the best goaltender in the world.to elevate the sport for the next generation of female athletes", Sports Illustrated quoted her as saying.

The suspension is for six months, but the organization also ended her contract with the women's national team, which makes it likely that Solo, who is one of the world's best goalkeepers, will never play for the USA again.

The 35 year old was also suspended in 2015 for an incident at a U.S. national team training camp. "Unfortunately, the better team didn't win".

As a result of the suspension, Solo would not be eligible for selection to the US womens national team until February.

"During our current National Team camp, Hope made a poor decision that has resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates", coach Jill Ellis said in a separate statement.

The ban means that Solo will not be able to represent the United States until February 2017.

The federation also suspended Solo from the women's national team for six months. Even considering her prior conduct problems, the length of suspension is surprising for simply inflammatory comments, but U.S. Soccer made it clear in the statement that there is likely more to this than meets the eye. "I think it's best for me to take a break, decompress from the stress of the last several months, and come back mentally and physically ready to positively contribute to the team".

Then there's 2013, when she lashed out at USWNT legend Julie Foudy over a perceived slight.

Solo made the comments because she felt the Swedes were playing too defensively.

Solo, who was previously suspended for 30 days in early 2015 for her conduct, would start her suspension immediately, US Soccer said. Solo said she was a victim in the altercation.

While her play on the field has been exceptional at times - she was voted the outstanding goalkeeper at the past two World Cups - she has caused public relations problems for herself and US Soccer away from the field. I dont think theyre going to make it far in the tournament. "In those commitments, I have never wavered". She and other women's players filed a lawsuit against the soccer federation, alleging that they were paid almost four times less than male national team members but generated more revenue.

Rich Nichols, the general counsel for the women's national team's players' association, called the goalkeeper's suspension "excessive, unprecedented, disproportionate, and a violation of Ms".

The suspension is one thing, but the termination of her contract means that Solo will have to fight to regain her spot on the global roster. The best team did not win today.