Hope Solo: USWNT goalie running for president of US Soccer

By Alex Butler
USA's goalkeeper Hope Solo announced her candidacy for USSF President Thursday on Facebook. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
USA's goalkeeper Hope Solo announced her candidacy for USSF President Thursday on Facebook. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- United States Women's National team goalkeeper Hope Solo has put her name in as a candidate for the next U.S. Soccer president.

Solo did so on Thursday on social media.


The 36-year-old wrote a long Facebook post about the decision. Her core principles for the campaign include: Creating a winning culture at the United States Soccer Federation, equality and women's issues, youth and diversity at all levels and USSF organizational, operational and financial governance transparency.

"Ever since I was a young girl, all I ever wanted to do was to play soccer for the United States at the highest level," Solo wrote on Facebook. "I wanted to win a World Cup and play in the Olympic Games. I was just a kid from a lower-middle class family in Richland, WA. I played with a reckless determination to win and a fearless belief that with my talent and my work ethic, I could accomplish my dreams."


A spot opened up for the position after President Sunil Galati announced his resignation after serving at the post for a dozen years. He announced the decision on Monday that he will not be running for re-election. Gulati will remain in place on the FIFA Council and serves as chairman for the U.S., Canada and Mexico bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

"The systemic problem in U.S. Soccer starts at the youth level," Solo wrote. "Soccer has always been a middle class sport and in more recent times, has become an upper middle class sport. Some of the best clubs around the country charge each youth player between $3000-$5000 per season. I have personally witnessed young players heartbroken over the financial reality that they could no longer pursue their dream."

"Yes, most club teams 'scholarship' kids in, but it is the responsibility of the USSF to develop the best youth in America. The system has been set up to discriminate and to overlook the disadvantaged because of an arrogant belief that the United States possesses the worlds best athletes, so therefore we can get away without having the world's best soccer players. It is an outdated and a painfully evident reality that the National Teams currently face."


"We need passionate and intelligent soccer people leading the way at U.S Soccer. 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."

Solo adds her name to a list of candidates including: Kathy Carter, Kyle Martino, Eric Wynalda, Paul Caligiuri, Carlos Cordeiro, Michal Winograd, Paul Lapointe and Steve Gans.

"The time for talking is over," Solo said. "I have been traveling internationally learning and speaking about many of these issues. I have met with foreign national soccer teams player associations and unions. I have met with Presidents and members of the United Nations to discuss leadership and the importance of sport in the world order. Through all of these experiences, I have learned that it is the responsibility of those in leadership positions who have the ability to change policy to stop giving lip service to the issues, but to instead, execute and take the actions required to affect real change."

"Given the opportunity, as President of the USSF, I will make these changes. Developing players skills at all levels and in all communities in order to get the most out of our national player pool, to ultimately develop the Men's and Women's National teams into perennial world champions, should be the USSF's number one priority."


"The only way for American soccer to propel itself on the world's stage is by creating a culture that is diverse and by shedding a mentality that is no longer acceptable."

Former United States Men's National Team player and analyst Alexi Lalas commented on Solo's decision by asking if she is being backed by outside parties.

"Dear @hopesolo, welcome to the race," Lalas tweeted Thursday. "As I've asked all the candidates, is any individual/group financially contributing to your #USSF President campaign, either directly/indirectly?"

Solo's Facebook post has 200 shares and more than 4,000 likes. The deadline to file paperwork for the position is on Dec. 12. Solo was suspended from the U.S. national team after comments she made in the 2016 Summer Olympics, calling Sweden "a bunch of cowards." She was also suspended by the USSF for 30 days in 2015.

The election for president takes place on Feb. 10 at the USSF's annual general meeting.


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