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The United States Women’s National Team, without starting goalkeeper Hope Solo, came back with two goals off of Alex Morgan to tie France in a second friendly match in East Hartford Connecticut on Thursday night. One day after her team tied the French women without her, Solo was arrested at her Kirkland home for alleged domestic violence against her sister and nephew.
France took an early lead in the 27th minute when keeper Ashlyn Harris was called for a foul on Louisa Necib as the French striker chased the ball toward the end line. Necib converted the penalty kick and the US was on the wrong end of a 1-0 game. The US women were not able to equalize until after the half. Morgan was subbed in for Heather O’Reilly at halftime and scored from about 25 yards out in the 57th minute to tie the game at one apiece.
Amandine Henry put France back ahead about 10 minutes later, but Morgan, who admitted she is still getting in shape, buried a rebounded ball past France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi with five minutes left in regular time. The game, which the US played without several starters, including Hope Solo and Abby Wambach, ended in a 2-2 tie shortly after Morgan’s second goal.
While her teammates were winding down from the game in Connecticut, Solo was hosting a family gathering at the home she shares with husband Jerramy Stevens, which police described as a “big party” and “out of control.” According to the reports, the US goalkeeper got into an altercation with her sister and nephew, both of whom had visible injuries. Solo, who holds the record for most shutouts in US Women’s Soccer, among many others, has been arrested and is being held without bail on two charges of assault, just a day after her teammates tied France in Connecticut.
Solo, who is arguably the best women’s goalkeeper in the sport, has made headlines before. In November 2012, her now-husband Stevens was arrested for violence against her, though charges were later dropped. Her Twitter battle with former US Women’s player Brandi Chastain over her commentary on NBC during the 2012 Summer Olympics started hashtags of “Team Solo” and “Team Chastain” and pulled attention away from the team and their accomplishments. Solo took issue with Chastain’s comments about the US Women’s defense, saying that the former player does not understand the “different” game played today and should “better represent” the team. Chastain claimed she was simply “doing her job” to be honest and objective about the team.
These previous antics have gotten Solo into some trouble with the team, but not enough to earn a suspension. Fans will wonder if this incident will finally spark US Soccer into taking disciplinary action. Having a player like this on the team and allowing the behavior to go unchecked is hazardous to any organization. Solo’s teammates have backed her in the past, but an assault charge will be much harder to overlook or explain away.
The US Women have no additional friendlies scheduled currently, and will next compete in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which will serve as the final round of qualifying for the Women’s World Cup next year in Canada. If Solo is unavailable for the championship due to her assault charges, Ashlyn Harris will likely get the start.
While her team was recovering from their tie against France with goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, Solo was being arrested by Kirkland police for domestic violence. The Seattle Reign and USWNT keeper and leader will face assault charges for attacking her sister and nephew, and could face discipline from US Soccer or FIFA if the charges are not dropped.
Commentary by Christina Jones