Last week, U.S. Soccer suspended Hope Solo from the USWNT and canceled her contract with the team in a move clearly meant as a very public, quite possibly permanent distancing of the national team from their long-serving goalkeeper. After taking an indefinite leave of absence from her club team, the NWSL’s Seattle Reign, Solo has now announced that she will not be returning for the rest of the season:
Solo’s statement shows that she has interpreted U.S. Soccer’s punishment the same way we did, that this was essentially a firing that in all likelihood signifies the end of her international career. While it’s perhaps a little strange that Solo would end her club season early after receiving her USWNT punishment, it’s worth noting that the NWSL only has about another month of its regular season left, so she’s not missing all that much.
In addition, and in contrast with top-level men’s soccer, the U.S. national team really was Solo’s primary employer (Solo stood to make $72,000 this year due to her status on the national team, and $56,000 from the Reign—which itself is also paid by U.S. Soccer); it’s not all that much of a shock to hear that Solo doesn’t want to go back to her second job after losing her main one. Nonetheless, it’s all pretty weird.