Gulati: USSF to speak with Solo soon about arrest

Jeff Kassouf June 25, 2014 40

Hope Solo talks to husband Jerramy Stevens before a match earlier this year. (Photo Copyright Denise McCooey/Prost Amerika

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said the federation will speak with women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo and her representatives by Thursday afternoon regarding her recent arrest on charges of domestic-violence assault.

Gulati spoke on Wednesday in Recife, Brazil, at U.S. men’s national team training ahead of the team’s critical Group G finale against Germany on Thursday.

On Monday, Solo pleaded not guilty to two counts of domestic-violence assault. She was released without bail on personal recognizance. The U.S. national team and Seattle Reign FC goalkeeper is due back in court on August 11.

“We’ll be talking with Hope in the next 24 hours and her representatives, and I think it would be inappropriate for me to say anything else until some of these processes play out,” Gulati said during U.S. training at Arena Pernambuco, via the Associated Press.

Solo, 32, is accused of assaulting her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew, although her lawyer, Todd Maybrown, said Solo was the victim in the altercation. Police reports describe Solo as “intoxicated and upset” at the time of her arrest early Saturday morning in Kirkland, Wash.

Player conduct clauses are part of NWSL contracts, though it is unclear as to what Solo’s contract looks like and if it has the same language as the standard player agreement. The standard player agreement used league-wide includes the ability for the league to terminate a contract for certain breaches of contract.

Part of the standard player agreement states: “At all times during the Term of this Agreement the Player shall…comport and conduct herself at all times, both on and off the field, to a high standard of honesty, fair play and sportsmanship and in a manner befitting her position as a representative and promoter of soccer, the Team, NWSL and the League and comply with all applicable laws; and…refrain from conduct which is detrimental to the best interests of the Team or of NWSL.”

The standard player agreement clearly states that the league may terminate a contract “upon twenty-four (24) hours’ written notice to the Player” if she fails conduct herself “in a manner reasonably befitting” to the league and if a player “engages in alcohol or drug abuse or uses alcohol or drugs in a manner that interferes with her NWSL duties.”

Whether those stipulations appear in Solo’s NWSL contract remains unclear.

Seattle Reign FC are yet to comment on the situation other than a tweet Saturday that said they were aware of Solo’s arrest.

U.S. national team captain Christie Rampone was the first player to publicly comment on the situation, telling The Equalizer’s Dan Lauletta on  Sunday that she too would reach out to Solo.

“Hopefully I can get a hold of her and get the true story,” Rampone said.  “Last time wasn’t necessarily true so I can’t really believe what I read until I hear it from her mouth.  So I’m just being patient and hoping for the best and waiting to talk to her.”

Solo’s husband, former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens,  was arrested right before the couple’s wedding in November 2012 for investigation of assaulting Solo, but all charges were dropped.

On June 14, Solo tied Briana Scurry’s U.S. shutout record with her 71st in a 1-0 win over France. Solo is 9-0-2 this season for Seattle, giving up nine goals in 11 matches for the first-place squad.

  • Flammenwurfer

    They are going to tell her it’s the end of the road for Solo’s WNT play.

    • Jill

      If she’s found guilty that is. If found innocent she shouldn’t be punished.

      • Guest

        she still could get punished by Seattle. She missed a game because she was in jail.

        • Lorehead

          She won’t be suspended, though.

    • kdm

      That would be incredibly dumb not to mention sexist of US Soccer to terminate her contract for a misdemeanor charge (which, lest we forget, she actually hasn’t been convicted of). Other athletes, male athletes, get away with worse charges and only get suspensions. They then get full redemptive stories and back into the game without so much as a murmur.

      • Taylor

        Just something to consider: If found guilty, USSF might not even have a choice re: Hope’s inclusion for the upcoming WWC. Canada’s laws might prevent her for even coming into the country for that charge. It’s no joke & if true, I hope she seeks help.

        • Soccerfan1

          From an article on a seattle news site:

          “There is a law to allow athletes to compete in Canada. The National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, National Football League, and Major League Baseball have collectively held thousands of games in the country. Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd pleaded guilty to driving while impaired back in 2013, and was suspended by the NBA for two games. However, he coached multiple games in Toronto, this past season, including a playoff series. Kidd also pleaded guilty to spousal abuse back in 2001. Liu says any person can apply for “to overcome inadmissibility” which could involve seeking “rehabilitation approval” or a “Temporary Resident Permit.”

          • Lorehead

            I brought up the temporary resident permit on the other thread. Rehabilitation requires five years to have passed.

    • CHristina

      if you seriously think that they are going to get rid of Solo this close to a World Cup you are crazy. Yes, Nicole Barnhart and the other goalkeepers are great, but why do you think no of them are starting consistently…. Because Hope Solo is better. US Soccer is not going to get rid of Hope, they are just going to suspend her for a couple of games.

  • dw

    More things Gulati doesn’t care about. WNT problems when MNT is still alive in WC. They will talk to her before the game, I suppose? Otherwise Hope’s WNT career might depend on whether the MNT advance or not.

  • NYRick

    She better hope the men advance today or else ole Sunil may be in a bit of a tad surly mood. Really though, if she’s not suspended than there is a double standard in play for stars (no news there). If she was even just in the 30 player pool vying for a spot to make the team, she would be suspended for a minimum of 6 months. It is a matter of personal conduct (it’s in her contract for sure) and her association and fame in sports isn’t even with a club team (sorry Reign fans), it’s with the national team obviously. Big difference and the USSF has the hammer in this as well.

    Regardless of self defense, who started it, he said/she said, crazy punch happy family, broomstick, BB gun actually made an appearance, bad egg husband, no taxis available in the Seattle area, alcohol/drugs either or…there is one solid fact to all this:

    She embarrassed the crap out of the US program at a time when it was shining the brightest. That can’t be understated, and her timing for this event could not have been worse. She’ll just get off with a slap to the wrist, some community service, some anger courses, but no suspension of any kind. She’s a star for the program. Different rules apply. Watch.

    • ctsmith73

      Agree, almost. There is one other standard that may supersede – the “role model” factor. How much of the market is kids and families? How do they spin this to avoid alienating them, if they want to keep her on board? And – given the personalities involved – is that even possible?

      • TsovLoj

        Nobody asks that in men’s sports, so f**k the kids and families.

        • ctsmith73

          And their dollars too?

    • morSOC

      If any none star ever has a similar experience on which to base a comparison your statement might have merit. Right now there is nothing to compare it to in US soccer. No misbehaving male player, no other woman star, etc. The standard is going to be set as this situation plays out.

    • Lorehead

      I think she’ll definitely get a long suspension: both her club and her national team are more than capable of winning without her.

      As I speculated in the other thread, the real problem for her career is whether a conviction would stand in the way of her getting a visa to play in Canada and maybe Brazil. If she can’t, then she’s worthless to U.S. Soccer and they need to give her replacement experience, now.

      • Soccerfan1

        Plenty of athletes with much worse convictions compete in Canada all the time. She just has to get the correct permit.

        But lets not forget she hasn’t be convicted of anything yet.

        • Lorehead

          You are absolutely right that she hasn’t been convicted of anything. We haven’t even heard her side of the story fully.

    • guest

      Soooooo?

  • Rufan

    Interesting that Jeff has received some general details of the players’ league contract, stuff the league and USSF usually guards very closely. Hard to believe that Hope’s league contract regarding player conduct is different than the standard agreement clauses and that the league’s conduct clauses are much different than the language in the WNT contract. Its possible the agreement contains language of “up to and include termination” for violation of the conduct clause, which would allow some sort of punishment short of termination.

    • StarCityFan

      Odds are that the contract for an allocated player is different from the one for someone who’s not on the national team. But you’d think the quoted clauses would be in both.

  • smallchief

    I will opine that Solo won’t be severely punished — unless more detrimental stuff comes out, such as drugs. Counseling, certainly, suspension for a game or two if she’s convicted.

    It was a family fight; nobody was seriously injured. Unseemly, but fights seem to be the norm in the Solo family. Dysfunctional togetherness. Maybe a ban on any contact with family members would be appropriate?

    I would also guess that the charges against her will be dropped by the victims of her assault in exchange for a settlement of an undisclosed amount — to use the language of corporate wrongdoing.

    Let’s see if I’m surprised and the hammer comes down on Solo……

    • TsovLoj

      Yeah, I suspect to avoid the immigration drama of a conviction on the record, things will be settled behind closed doors.

    • Lorehead

      This is a criminal, not a civil, trial. It doesn’t work that way. (However, if her family are the alleged victim and the only eyewitnesses, and they don’t want to testify, the prosecution probably has to fold.)

  • readit

    I am a leading goalkeeper!
    Harvey and Rogers are mad
    but I am a diva goalkeeper
    and I ain’t been nothin’ but bad.
    I missed my flight
    so I got drunk.
    Somebody snitched on me!
    I whacked a broom
    off nephew’s ear.
    Somebody snitched on me!
    Just you wait-
    I’ll be good!
    Saves and stops
    and booming punts.
    Clean sheet now-
    we’ll crush those ****
    But somebody snitched on me!

  • Think about it

    Brace yourself
    for this break down.

    I don’t support violence. However she is innocent until proven guilty and I
    consider this her first offense whether she is found guilty or not. I don’t
    consider her mouth a crime or an offense so I don’t get why so many articles
    and commenter are trying to equate this incident with anything else that has
    happen in the past. The only thing that could be equated with this incident was
    when she was the alleged victim, and US Soccer would have been jerks to fire
    her from the team for being a victim. A lot of people seem to think her
    marrying her husband was a crime, as it is listed in 99% or articles as one of
    her prior offenses. While it may be poor judgment and for some a crime in their
    hearts and mind it is not.

    While it is not positive press for Us Soccer, it should not be then end of her
    career nationally or at club level.

    Some conditions should be placed on Hope.

    1) Alcohol treatment

    2) Anger management classes

    3) Counseling

    If found guilty:

    a) Monetary fine,

    b) Community service that is closely related to domestic violence, domestic
    violence shelter etc.

    c) The best redemption move would be for her to become a spokesperson and
    donate some time to domestic violence awareness.

    d) Icing on the cake would be to team up with Jill Loyden’s foundation
    “But that would be pushing it, she would definitely have to want to do
    this, because nobody can force Solo do anything she doesn’t want to do”.

    If she does have a problem with alcohol, then she has a substance abuse problem
    and it should be treated as such. Let her know that she has to get treatment
    for her disease and if this sort of behavior happens again, she will be removed
    from the team.

    This is America,
    people get second and sometimes third chances. Example Michael Vick, I was so
    pissed at that man. Now he has changed things around and I am over it.

    On the business sense:

    Unfortunately people think of athletes as role models and that’s just how it
    is.

    As much as so many fans would love to believe that the USWNT players are our
    Role models, mothers, girlfriends or whatever some may imagine in their own
    minds, please get a grip.

    Does anyone really think the USWNT or her club team attendance and sponsorship
    will be affected by giving her another chance? Some do.

    1) I say NOOOOOOOOO

    2) The USWNT has many other faces to market (about 22 to 30) to be exact.

    3) As long as she does the above she will be fine, it might even add some
    substance to the USWNT and Reign FC.

    I might get a lot a flack for what I am about to say now, so just let me say
    this and go about my business.

    For those who truly follow women’s soccer and/or know a little history about
    the team, and not just bring their kids to games to get autographs may
    understand what I’m about to say. “My irrational, conspiracy theory”
    that I think is an added factor with this big elephant on the field. Let me
    say, I like and respect the 99ers. But some of the 99ers should get over their
    bruised egos AKA The Ponytail Posse. Everything isn’t about you; this is
    not a continuation of your problems from way back when. You are not about to
    get some sort of justice for some kind of wrong that was done to you in
    the past. So: Let it go, let it gooooooooooo.

    As for Solo: Please get your CRAP together. You work very hard on the
    field to be the very best GK in world. Now you need to do the same not to be
    the best person in world, but to give your best to be a better you.

    • Steglitz49

      As far as I know, Hope has not been subjected to a post-match review by FIFA. Other women have but not Hope but maybe I misremember.

    • Lorehead

      Even though I’ve been talking about a worst-case scenario, she definitely does not deserve to lose her career over this. Whatever happened, it’s not part of a pattern and it’s not likely to recur.

    • guest

      For us new readers here. Anyone care to elaborate on some of the 99ers having brusied egos from the past???

      • guest

        in 2007, Greg Ryan benched Solo over bri scurry who hadn’t played a game in 5 months. Basically the 99ers went behind solos back and told greg ryan to bench her and Solo refused to be a doormat.

        • David R

          And you forgot to mention, they LOST that game.

  • Elaine

    Gulati: Did you do it?
    Solo: I have a messed up family.
    Gulati: Are you going to clean this up?
    Solo: With every inch of my ability.
    Gulati: Can you perform as our #1 goalkeeper?
    Solo: Absolutely.
    Gulati: Ok, you’re good.

    • guest

      yup

      • Pia Knows Best

        She’d say anything to get this behind her. I hope USSF is not fooled by nice words. We need solid behavior, not promises.

        • Steglitz49

          The US ladies need to win the world cup.

        • Rufan

          I agree. Like others I think here and on BS, I wonder if Hope has a drinking problem, one that she had been able until now to keep out of the general public view and possible from her teams and teammates. If she agrees to go to a clinic, and even if that means missing league games this summer, it would be better for her for the long term. The issue otherwise is would her problem could grow worst and she possibly have a bigger incident within a year.

          • guest

            The only way she is not playing (if not convicted guilty) is if she suddenly has a huge drop in performance. U.S soccer wants to win the wc and i don’t believe they can do it without her and i think they know that.

          • Lorehead

            She hasn’t entirely been able to keep it out of the public view, but I hope she beats it. She’s an incredibly determined woman.

    • kernel_thai

      It’s quite likely that Sermanni will get fired over this.

      • Elaine

        Let it go, KT, let it go.