-- Goalie Hope Solo has been suspended six months from the national team for what U.S. Soccer called "conduct that is counter to the organization's principles."?
After the U.S. was eliminated from the Rio Olympics earlier this month in a penalty shootout, the 35-year-old Solo criticized the winning Sweden team, calling it "a bunch of cowards."?
"The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players," U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement Wednesday. "Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions.
"Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we've had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a U.S. National Team member, U.S. Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action."
The suspension is effective immediately.?
Solo was previously suspended for 30 days early in 2015 for conduct related to an incident at the team's training camp.?
The U.S. Olympic team?dominated possession against Sweden in the quarterfinal match and finished with 27 shots, but Sweden scored on a counterattack in regulation -- one of only two shots on goal it had in the game.?After playing to a 1-1 stalemate over 120 minutes, Sweden edged the U.S. 4-3 in the shootout.
Solo didn't hold back in her comments afterward.?
"I thought that we played a courageous game," Solo said. "I thought that we had many opportunities on goal. I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down; I'm very proud of this team.
"I also think we played a bunch of cowards. But, you know, the best team did not win today; I strongly, firmly believe that. I think you saw America's heart. You saw us give everything that we had today. Unfortunately the better team didn't win."