Goalkeeper Hope Solo’s suspension was lifted by U.S. Soccer on Saturday when the two-time Olympic champion was named to the roster for the women’s national team ahead of next month’s Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal.
Solo, whose brilliance on the field has been rivaled by her troubles off it, was sent home from January’s training camp and suspended 30 days after her husband, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, was charged with DUI while behind the wheel of a U.S. Soccer van. Solo, who was a passenger in the van, was not charged by police but was suspended by Coach Jill Ellis for making “a poor decision that has resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates.”
In handing down the penalty, U.S. Soccer officials said Solo’s return would depend on her actions during the suspension.
“There are a number of things that Hope is being asked to do in that 30 days,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said at the time. “And then we’ll evaluate where things stand at the end of that period and make a decision going forward.”
But Gulati and Ellis sidestepped the question when asked if one of the things Solo was being asked to do included rehab.
“Neither one of us denied or confirmed that,” Gulati said. “She’s been given time to deal with some issues. And we think that in this period she’ll certainly start that process.”
The January incident came just six days after two counts of domestic violence against Solo were dismissed by a judge in Washington state. Solo was charged in June with assaulting two relatives at their Seattle-area home and responding officers said Solo appeared intoxicated. Alcohol was also an issue in a November 2012 case in which Stevens was arrested for assaulting Solo. Stevens was not charged in that case and hours after his release from jail he and Solo were married.
Solo, 33, is widely recognized as one of the best goalkeepers in women’s soccer history. She holds the U.S. team record with 78 shutouts and is second to Briana Scurry in wins (124), games (162) and starts (156).
The U.S., which opens play in the women’s World Cup in June, played two European friendlies in Solo’s absence, losing to France and beating England. Ashlyn Harris started both games in goal and though she was rarely tested she looked uncomfortable at times.
Also called up for the Algarve Cup camp was veteran defender Christie Rampone, who missed the Europe trip with a bad back. She’ll be joined by forwards Alex Morgan, Christian Press and Abby Wambach and midfielder Carli Lloyd. Forward Sydney Leroux is also back after rehabbing an ankle injury as is midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who injured a knee in January camp.
The U.S. lost consecutive games to Sweden and Denmark in last year’s Algarve Cup, which led to the dismissal of Coach Tom Sermanni and the promotion of Ellis as his replacement.
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