January 31 – Hope Solo, the United States’ World Cup-winning goalkeeper who has thrown her hat into the ring for presidency of the US Soccer Federation, has filed a legal complaint against the USSF for what she claims is a “blatant violation” of a legal code protecting athletes.
Solo, arguably the best-known keeper in the women’s game who has at times been a controversial figure both in her personal life and football career, alleges the federation is neglecting youth development for the sake of self-serving financial gain.
In a statement on her website, Solo, who made 202 international appearances and is one of eight candidates in the running for the upcoming USSF presidential election to replace Sunil Gulati, said she had to take a stand to prevent the sport in her country suffering.
“US Soccer has become blinded to its fundamental obligation to develop soccer in America,” writes Solo who won the 2015 Women’s World Cup and two Olympic gold medals during her 17-year international career.
“Because of the power, prestige, status and money flowing from the federation’s alliance with Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing, the USSF’s priority has become protecting and building the MLS, at the expense of our youth, the women’s game and our place in the global game.
“I joined the USSF presidential race because I could no longer watch the USSF sidestep its responsibility to the people it was created to serve,” she added. “As a player, I experienced the USSF’s ‘profit before progress’ approach for more than 20 years.
“The campaign has also made me acutely aware that the USSF’s conflicts of interests and other governance transgressions are so alarming that we can’t wait for the results of the Presidential election to take action.”
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