U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo says she’s received offers to play overseas and could even continue her career in Sweden, where fans were enraged when she described their national team as “cowards.”
In a talk show aired late Friday on Swedish television network SVT, Solo said she was still reeling from being kicked out by the U.S. football Federation, and suggested it was partly due to her advocacy for women’s rights.
“I don’t really know where I’m going with my life right now,” she said. “It is still very painful. But to be honest, the past 30-plus days I’ve had the opportunity to be home. And not travel as much. And to enjoy my family, my dogs, and my husband.”
Solo, who announced her departure from the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s football League at the end of August, insisted she hasn’t retired.
“I have had a lot of offers to play overseas. So maybe Sweden will welcome me back,” she said, without elaborating.
She apologized for saying Sweden played like a “bunch of cowards” after they eliminated the U.S. in the quarterfinals of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, saying she wasn’t talking about the players or the coach, but their style of play.
“It wasn’t very Olympic-spirited,” Solo said.
The USSF suspended Solo for six months and terminated her contract, saying it was the result of missteps.
“There are more layers to it that I don’t think everybody quite understands,” Solo said in the interview, which was pre-recorded in New York on Sept. 22. “I believe the federation used my comment, saying the word `cowards,’ to terminate me.”
When talk show host Fredrik Skavlan asked if she meant there were other reasons for it, Solo said: “I’ve been the lead voice behind the push for equal pay. In fact, in all the court documents, it says Hope Solo vs. United States football Federation.”
Solo and four other U.S. players accused the USSF of wage discrimination in an action filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April.
“This is a fight worth fighting, and I’m going to be on the right side of history at the end of all of this,” Solo said in the interview.
She has had plenty of run-ins with teammates and coaches over the years. She still faces a possible trial on misdemeanor domestic violence charges after a 2014 incident at her sister’s home. She served a monthlong suspension last year for being in a team van when her husband was arrested on drunken-driving charges.
Solo became the first goalkeeper with 100 international shutouts just before the Olympics when the United States defeated South Africa 1-0 in Chicago. The 35-year-old Solo has 153 career victories and 102 clean sheets.