U.S. women’s national soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo, 32, despite being accused of domestic violence for an altercation with her sister and nephew on July 21, has not been thrown off the US national team and still has her endorsement deal with Nike. Tuesday night, Solo issued a statement on her Facebook page not only protesting her innocence, but also addressing supposed intimate pictures of her recently posted on the website 4Chan:
It is extremely sad and unfortunate that the rights of so many women were violated by the unauthorized release of private photographs. This act goes beyond the bounds of human decency and, as such, I stand united with all the women affected and am exploring every option to protect my privacy. In addition, while I understand that the public desires more information regarding the allegations against me, I continue to maintain my innocence against these charges. And, once all the facts come to light and the legal process is concluded, I am confident that I will be fully exonerated.
The two charges against Solo for the July incident in Kirkland, Washington are misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree domestic violence. Solo’s trial is scheduled for November 4; she has already offered a plea of not guilty. If she is convicted of the charges, she could be imprisoned for up to six months.
Solo, holds the U.S. national team record for most career shutouts and has been on the team since 2000. Despite the domestic violence charges, she still plays for the team in exhibition matches and with the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Solo was backed by both U.S. Soccer and Nike; U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said on Monday, ”U.S. Soccer takes the issue of domestic violence very seriously. From the beginning, we considered the information available and have taken a deliberate and thoughtful approach regarding Hope Solo’s status with the national team. Based on that information, U.S. Soccer stands by our decision to allow her to participate with the team as the legal process unfolds. If new information becomes available we will carefully consider it.”
Nike said Tuesday, “We are aware of the allegations and that Hope Solo has pled ‘not guilty’ to the charges. Hope remains a Nike athlete and we will continue to monitor the situation.”
There is no evidence that Solo will be dropped from the U.S. team when it plays in the CONCACAF championship next month. The tournament, which is a qualifying event for the 2015 World Cup in Canada, is scheduled for four U.S. cities. The final will be played Oct. 26 at PPL Park in Philadelphia.
Solo passed Briana Scurry on the career shutout list in an exhibition match against Mexico in September with her 72nd career shutout as the U.S. triumphed 8-0. Her career includes 155 international matches and a spot on the team in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.