Former U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo won two gold medals and a World Cup during her tenure with the team, and now she appears to have her sights set on something even bigger.
Solo announced that she is launching a bid for president of U.S. Soccer on Thursday, which she did in a Facebook post. In it, Solo explained why she is running, citing that she will focus on fixing a “systemic problem” in youth soccer which, she believes, gives an advantage to children coming from middle and upper-middle-class backgrounds. Solo also stated her campaign will be centered around four “core principles,” including creating a winning culture, equality and women’s issues, transparency and youth diversity.
The former goalkeeper also stated her case as to why she believes she’s the best candidate for the job, in this excerpt from her post:
“I know exactly what U.S. Soccer needs to do, I know exactly how to do it, and I possess the fortitude to get it done. I have always been willing to sacrifice for what I believe in and I believe there is no greater sacrifice then fighting for equal opportunity, integrity and honesty, especially in an organization like the USSF that could give so much more to our communities across the nation.”
Solo is facing stiff competition, as she will be running against candidates such as Eric Wynalda, Kyle Martino, U.S. Soccer vice president Carlos Cordeiro, United Premier Soccer League Northeast Conference manager Paul Lapointe and others. She’ll face an uphill battle, especially given her off-field issues. In 2014, she was arrested for domestic violence, after she allegedly assaulted her nephew and sister. The end of Solo’s tenure with USWNT could be called into question as well, as she had her contract with U.S. Soccer terminated in August 2016 for calling Sweden’s women’s national team “cowards” in criticizing their game plan for a quarterfinal match in the Rio Olympics.
The 36-year-old Solo did a good job of outlining some problems U.S. Soccer has been facing, but she’s clearly one of the biggest longshots in a field filled with some very capable candidates that have a lot more experience working as a sports executive than she does.