It’s time for Sunil Gulati to remove Hope Solo from the USWNT

For my money, Hope Solo is the best goalkeeper in the history of the United States Women’s National Team. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that she’s the best goalkeeper in the history of the women’s game. Hope is a very important cog as the USWNT try and win the World Cup next summer in Canada. However, she is also facing two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence after she allegedly assaulted her sister and teenage nephew back in the summer.

It’s time for Sunil Gulati and the rest of US Soccer to take a stand and bar Hope Solo indefinitely from all USWNT activities.

Yes, she did apologize days after the incident on her Facebook page. Then, while in Brazil for the World Cup, Gulati spoke with members of the media about Solo’s situation.

“I spoke with Hope last week. I think her comments, which she put on her Facebook page and other places, reflect how she feels about the whole situation. I think her apology was appropriate and appreciated certainly by us. I think the rest we’re have to wait and see what happens with the legal process. Hope certainly understands that it’s not a right to play for the national team, it’s a privilege, and certain responsibilities come with that. And we would much prefer to have her in the news for great goalkeeping performances than anything else. We had a good conversation.”

That’s really fine and well, Sunil, but you need to take a page from the NFL here. Yes, obviously the NFL hasn’t been a bastion of genius decisions over the last few months (or, basically, ever) on the topic of domestic violence; however, I believe that getting these players off of the field is an important symbol. While the media scrutiny on Solo simply won’t be there due to her being a soccer player, it should be there. She is currently alleged to have assaulted a minor, Sunil!

Solo should’ve been handed her sentence immediately following the allegations, but here we are roughly three months later. She’s still on the field. She’s out there breaking records. She’s out there being a sham role model.

Take her off the field for the World Cup Qualifiers, Sunil.

Take a stand.

Charlotte Independence joining USL PRO, announce alliance with Colorado Rapids

In Charlotte, NC today, the USL PRO announced their newest team for next season will be the Charlotte Independence.

They will be replacing the Charlotte Eagles in the third division, as the Eagles are dropping down to the PDL. If you’re interested in reading why the name ‘Independence’ was chosen, please go read about the May 20th Society.

The USL PRO is seeing a lot of expansion next season, and with MLS officials mandating their teams either align with a USL PRO team or put their own reserve team in the USL, it makes since for a new USL PRO team to latch onto one of these MLS teams before they’re all taken. During the current USL PRO season, all eight playoff teams were in a partnership with a MLS team or, in the case of LA Galaxy II,  an USL PRO team fully owned by a MLS team.

So, on the day that they announce their team, the Charlotte Independence also announced their MLS affiliation. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Independence president Jim McPhilliamy broke the news.

The Independence will be a farm team of sorts for the Rapids. Charlotte will usually have as many as five of Colorado’s top prospects. The Rapids also will have a large say in who the Independence’s coach will be. The Eagles, who are moving to the USL’s Premier Developmental League, will also have players from the Rapids system.

Oh, well, that’s an interesting move. The Colorado Rapids will not only be sending players to the Charlotte Independence in the USL PRO but also the Charlotte Eagles in the PDL. Also, the Rapids will get a say in who the Independence choose as coaches? It’s a risky move to put your faith in the team that spent months looking to hire a new coach, went through an entire preseason with a recently retired player (Pablo Mastroeni) running the show because nobody had been hired yet, and then announce Pablo as the new head coach a week before the start of the season.

As a native North Carolinian, I am fully behind more professional teams in the state. I hope the Independence are a rousing success. Good luck!