• Wed. Oct 4th, 2023


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Hope Solo, Former U.S. Soccer Star, Charged With Impaired Driving

Hope Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and former star goalkeeper for the United States soccer team, was arrested on Thursday in North Carolina and charged with impaired driving, resisting arrest and misdemeanor child abuse, the police said.

Ms. Solo, 40, had her two children in the vehicle when she was arrested in the parking lot of a business in Winston-Salem, the police said. She was later released from the Forsyth County Law Enforcement Detention Center, the police said, adding that no further information was available.

A passer-by had noticed Ms. Solo passed out behind the steering wheel for more than an hour with the vehicle’s engine running and her 2-year-old twins in the back seat, The Associated Press reported, citing arrest reports.

“On the advice of counsel, Hope can’t speak about this situation, but she wants everyone to know that her kids are her life, that she was released immediately and is now at home with her family, that the story is more sympathetic than the initial charges suggest, and that she looks forward to her opportunity to defend these charges,” Rich Nichols, Ms. Solo’s lawyer, said in a statement that was also shared by Ms. Solo on Twitter.

Ms. Solo is one of the most decorated players in U.S. Soccer history and was widely considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world before her contract was terminated in 2016 for what U.S. Soccer called “conduct that is counter to the organization’s principles.”

The termination — and a six-month suspension from the women’s national team — came after Ms. Solo derided the Swedish women’s team that beat the United States in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as a “bunch of cowards” for their defensive style of play.

For more than a decade, Ms. Solo had been a dominant force between the goal posts. She won gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London, and she anchored the U.S. team during its 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship run. She won two Golden Glove awards as best goalkeeper at the World Cup, in 2011 and 2015.

But her playing years were shadowed by controversies that tested the patience of U.S. Soccer. She clashed with coaches, criticized teammates and fought with former national team stars on social media.

In 2014, she was charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault in what the police in Kirkland, Wash., described as an alcohol-fueled confrontation with her half sister and nephew. U.S. Soccer was criticized for not suspending Ms. Solo at the time. The case was dismissed in 2018.

In 2015, Ms. Solo was with her husband, the former N.F.L. player Jerramy Stevens, in a borrowed team van when he was arrested on drunken-driving charges.

After learning through news reports that Ms. Solo had been with Mr. Stevens and that she was arguing with the police when he was arrested, U.S. Soccer suspended Ms. Solo for 30 days. The coach, Jill Ellis, said Ms. Solo had made “a poor decision” that “resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates.” Ms. Solo apologized at the time for “disappointing my teammates, coaches and the federation, who have always supported me.”

After her contract was terminated in 2016, Ms. Solo ran unsuccessfully for president of U.S. Soccer. Next month, she is to be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas.