Hope Solo Announces She's Running for President of US Soccer

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2017

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2016, file photo, United States' goalkeeper Hope Solo takes the ball during a women's soccer game at the Rio Olympics against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Th suspended U.S. national team goalkeeper said Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, she has had shoulder replacement surgery. (AP Photo/Eugenio Savio, File)
Eugenio Savio/Associated Press

Former United States women's national team goalkeeper Hope Solo announced Thursday that she is launching a bid for president of U.S. Soccer. 

In a post on Facebook, Solo said she is running for the position and will place an emphasis on fixing a "systemic problem" in youth soccer that hands children from middle- and upper-middle-class backgrounds an inherent advantage. 

According to Solo, the "system has been set up to discriminate and to overlook the disadvantaged because of an arrogant belief that the United States possesses the world's best athletes, so therefore we can get away without having the world's best soccer players."

Solo also wrote she believes 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."

The 36-year-old added that her campaign will be built around four core beliefs: creating a winning culture, equality and women's issues, youth and diversity at all levels and financial governance transparency within U.S. Soccer. 

Even prior to Solo's announcement, the field of candidates for the position vacated by former U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati had become expansive. 

On Tuesday, the New York Times' Andrew Das reported Kathy Carter, a former college goalkeeper and the president of Soccer United Marketing, was tossing her hat in the ring. 

Beyond Griffin and Solo, the list of candidates includes a trio of former U.S. men's national team players in Eric Wynalda, Paul Caligiuri and Kyle Martino, New York lawyer Michael Winograd, U.S. Soccer vice president Carlos Cordeiro and United Premier Soccer League Northeast Conference manager Paul Lapointe. 

Solo's candidacy is arguably the most interesting of the bunch, though. 

A World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Solo had her contract with U.S. Soccer terminated in August 2016 for "conduct that is counter to the organization's principles," after she criticized Sweden's women's national team for being "a bunch of cowards" for deploying a conservative game plan during the Rio Olympics, according to Das

Solo also has a history of off-field issues, including a 2014 arrest after she allegedly assaulted her sister and 17-year-old nephew. 

Das also reported Solo was suspended 30 days in January 2015 for "arguing with the police when her husband was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence."