Former U.S. women’s soccer star Hope Solo says that the reason the U.S. national team did not make the World Cup, is because the game has become a “rich, white kid sport” in America.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion exclaimed that soccer is too expensive in the U.S. and has driven middle class and lower income families out of the sport, Sporting News reported.
Solo made her comments during an onstage interview at the Hashtag Sports conference where she said that the expense of the game has robbed the U.S. Soccer Federation of new talent by pricing Hispanics and blacks out of the sport.
— Hashtag Sports (@HashtagSports) June 26, 2018
“We have alienated the Hispanic communities. We have alienated our black communities. We have alienated the underrepresented communities, even rural communities, so soccer in America right now is a rich white-kid sport,” Solo told moderator Bonnie Bernstein. “Then we have to ask ourselves: Well, no wonder why we are not qualifying for the World Cup when we have alienated a huge population of really talented youth soccer players. And that’s the state of the game right now.”
Solo is no stranger to controversial comments. With her failed bid for president of the USSF, Solo charged Carlos Cordeiro for failing to help U.S. women players. She also charged former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter with sexual harassment, was accused of drunkenly insulting police and attacking a teenager in 2015, and in 2016 took criticism from her own former teammates for calling the Swedish women’s team a bunch of “cowards.” The former goalkeeper was suspended for six months over the latter incident.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.