Hope Solo: USWNT Goalie Should Be Benched Until Further Notice


While the National Football League is in the middle of a mess with players involved with domestic violations allegations, US Soccer is in the same boat. US Soccer Federation (USSF) has mishandled the Hope Solo situation. On Monday, Solo was named to the Women’s World Cup Qualifying national team squad, but she shouldn’t have been.

USSF has said they are letting due process play out. Well, the NFL took that same stance She should not be apart of the squad and rather be benched until she is cleared of all charges. Then the league faced pressure after the Ray Rice incident video broke and they flipped their decision and have since changed their domestic violence policy.

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I’m all for innocent until proven guilty, however, I think sports leagues and federations need to take be sensitive to accusations like domestic violence. It wouldn’t hurt anyone for Solo to be benched and return to the field if she is found not guilty. At the same time, if she’s found guilty then USSF will be asking why didn’t we handle this differently and bench her until she was cleared.

The same pressure that was put on the NFL should also be put on the USSF. There’s a few reasons why that pressure isn’t there. One of them is the USWNT isn’t as popular as the NFL. The Hope Solo news hasn’t been forefront of SportsCenter and other news programs like the Ray Rice and other incidents involving NFL players were.

Keith Olbermann called out USSF over Solo playing a few weeks ago. This week former USWNT player and ex-teammate of Solo Jillian Loyden put pressure on USSF for Solo to be benched amidst the domestic violence charges.

Related: Report Card: Grading the 2015 USWNT World Cup Qualifying roster by position

She’s the founder of the Jillian Loyden Foundation, which was set up to aide children whose lives are affected by domestic violence. Loyden has experienced domestic violence first-hand as her own sister was killed by her child’s father.

Since then, Loyden has taken the initiative and priority to speak up for domestic violence victims as she wrote for USA Today.

"“It took my sister’s death for me to stand up and speak out. When I looked into my nephew’s eyes, I swore that I would not stay quiet anymore. And I will not stay quiet. Because every voice counts. Domestic violence can be stopped. It is preventable. We must end the cycle.”"

USWNT has found success on the field, yet they should also hold that same “gold standard” off the field as well.

"“When fans think of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team, they think about gold medals, winning and success. They think of the most successful team in women’s sports. They think of the gold standard. More than anyone else, when people think about women’s soccer, they think of Hope Solo, the team’s star goal keeper.But U.S. Soccer must be the gold standard beyond the field as well. I believe that individuals are innocent until proven guilty, but in failing to take action against players’ behavior off the field, the league is not living up to its responsibilities.”"

While the USWNT trains and prepares for the 2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying, there will be a black cloud over them as long as Hope Solo is on the field training. Until they decide otherwise, pressure should continue to be put on the USSF to bench Hope Solo until she is cleared from her domestic violence charges.

However, it seems USSF would rather not take a no tolerance stance to domestic violence. Instead of being an example to other leagues, they would rather follow in suit when it comes to domestic violence protocol and taking domestic violence charges seriously. They failed miserably to show the world the how serious domestic violence should be taken, and now fans and others will think it is okay to not to speak up against domestic violence.