Hope Solo announces candidacy for U.S. Soccer president on Facebook
Hope Solo announced on Thursday that she is running for the presidency of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Solo made the announcement on her Facebook page, in which she laid out a four-pronged platform and detailed some of the struggles she and her family experienced in paying for her to play youth soccer.
She also criticized what she described as the USSF's approach of valuing profits above all else.
A spokesperson for Solo confirmed that the former U.S. women's national team goalkeeper has the required three nomination letters from voting members to formally enter the race. The deadline for filing the necessary paperwork is Dec. 12.
"We need passionate and intelligent soccer people leading the way at U.S. Soccer," Solo wrote. "The business strategy at U.S. Soccer cannot continue to be profit before progress. The heart of what USSF must represent is the development of youth soccer in America.
"I know exactly what U.S. Soccer needs to do, I know exactly how to do it, and I possess the fortitude to get it done."
The ideas in her platform consist of creating a winning soccer culture; pushing for equal pay for the U.S. women's national team and all women in the USSF workplace; addressing the pay-to-play issue in youth soccer and making the game accessible to all; and organizational, operational and financial governance transparency.
Solo joins a crowded field that includes former U.S. international Paul Caligiuri; soccer marketing executive Kathy Carter; USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro; Boston-based attorney Steve Gans; Springfield, Massachusetts-based businessman and soccer entrepreneur Paul Lapointe; former player and current broadcaster Kyle Martino; New York-based attorney Mike Winograd; and former U.S. international and current broadcaster Eric Wynalda.
The candidates are seeking to replace current president Sunil Gulati, who announced earlier this week that he will not seek re-election for another term. The election is set to take place at the USSF's annual general meeting on Feb. 10.
As a player, Solo made 202 appearances for the U.S. women's national team, winning Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. She was a member of the U.S. team that won the Women's World Cup in 2015.
Solo was suspended from the national team in August 2016, and her contract was terminated following comments she made at the 2016 Summer Olympics. After the U.S. was eliminated by Sweden in the quarterfinals she called Sweden "a bunch of cowards" for their negative tactics.
She hasn't appeared for the U.S. team since, though that is due in part to undergoing shoulder surgery. She hasn't retired from professional soccer or the national team.
At the time of the suspension, Solo was among five members of the women's national team who filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over pay equal to that of their male colleagues. She was also involved in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. The team signed a new CBA earlier this year.
Solo was arrested in 2014 on a charge of domestic violence involving her half-sister and nephew. That case has yet to be resolved. In 2015, Solo was suspended for 30 days after her husband, ex-NFL player Jerramy Stevens was arrested for driving a U.S. team van while under the influence. Solo was a passenger in the vehicle.
Solo recently accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexually assaulting her at a FIFA awards show in 2013, allegations that Blatter denied.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.