Hope Solo takes indefinite leave from Seattle Reign


Hope Solo takes indefinite leave from Seattle Reign

Hope Solo has taken an indefinite leave from the Seattle Reign of the National Women's Soccer League, less than a week after being suspended for six months by the U.S. national team for disparaging remarks about Sweden.

The move was announced Saturday by the Reign, saying that the Olympic goaltender has been granted personal leave. The team did not say how long Solo would be away.

It's been a rough time for the record-breaking goalkeeper. On Wednesday, she was suspended after calling the Swedes "cowards" for their defensive style of play after the U.S. was ousted by Sweden in the quarterfinals of the Rio Games.

Solo was previously suspended for 30 days early in 2015 for her conduct, and won't be eligible for selection to the national team until February.

The Reign announced Solo's leave hours before Saturday's match against the Portland Thorns, after previously indicating that she and U.S. teammate Megan Rapinoe would be available to play. Seattle signed goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski to replace Solo.

The three-time defending champion U.S. women were handed their earliest-ever exit from the Olympics earlier this month when Sweden advanced 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw on Aug. 12.

Sweden's coach, Pia Sundhage, who led the U.S. team to gold medals in Beijing and London, replied to Solo's postgame comment by stating: "It's OK to be a coward if you win." Sweden went on to play in the gold-medal match against Germany.

Solo had caused a stir in Brazil even before the comment about Sweden because of social media posts about the Zika virus. Brazilian fans booed her mercilessly and shouted "Zika!" every time she touched the ball.

The 35-year-old has long been a lightning rod for controversy.

She still faces a possible trial on misdemeanor domestic violence charges after a 2014 incident at her sister's home, when she was accused of being intoxicated and assaulting her sister and 17-year-old nephew. Solo said she was a victim in the altercation. Earlier this year, an appeals court in Washington state rejected Solo's request to avoid trial.

In early 2015 while Solo was at a team training camp in Southern California, her husband Jerramy Stevens was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in a U.S. Soccer team van. Solo was with him at the time.

The former Seattle Seahawks tight end later pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and four years on probation. Solo was suspended by U.S. Soccer for 30 days.

U.S. Soccer indicated in its statement announcing her suspension on Wednesday that it was a culmination of events.

At the same time, Solo has been stellar on the field.

She became the first goalkeeper with 100 international shutouts last month when the United States defeated South Africa 1-0 at Soldier Field in Chicago. It also was her 150th career win.

During the Rio Games she made her 200th appearance in goal for the United States, an international record.

Solo won her second straight Golden Glove Award for the best goalkeeper at the Women's World Cup a year ago. Over the course of the tournament in Canada, she had five shutouts and allowed only three goals in seven games.

The U.S. won the World Cup for its third title in soccer's premier event.

She has also vocally advocated for women's rights. Solo was among the U.S. players who filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for wage discrimination, saying the men's national team players have been paid much more than many on the women's team.

Solo issued a statement on her social media following her suspension.

"I could not be the player I am without being the person I am, even when I haven't made the best choices or said the right things," she said. "My entire career, I have only wanted the best for this team, for the players and the women's game, and I will continue to pursue these causes with the same unrelenting passion with which I play the game."

Defensive lapses cost Quakes in first loss of new season


Defensive lapses cost Quakes in first loss of new season


Is Saturday's road effort a sign of things to come or a new team trying to gel?

After a 2017 campaign where the San Jose Earthquakes struggled on the road -- especially defensively -- the 2018 season did not start much better in a 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City. 

"Of course, I am disappointed to be leaving here without points," said Quakes head coach Mikael Stahre, "but especially because in the first half and then in the first 15 minutes of the second we played really well."

The teams went into the half tied but Sporting Kansas scored twice in the second half, both times taking advantage of San Jose's gift of enough space for KC to take advantage of.

Chris Wondolowski scored for the Quakes -- putting him 10 goals away from Landon Donovan in the MLS all-time race and all alone in second place on that list. 

"I wish we could have won," Wondolowski said. "but credit to our team and Magnus [Eriksson] for putting that ball in there. To finish it was pretty cool, but hopefully we will get a couple more wins."

After conceeding a penalty halfway through the second half, Valeri Qazaishvili equalized in minute 34, following up his own header attempt and cashing in for his second goal of the seaon. 

But that would be all San Jose could muster for the majority of the second half.

Graham Zusi scored in the 56th minute on a beauty of a shot. 

Felipe Gutierrez will be awarded with the game-winner after a left-footed bullet beat Andrew Tarbell.  

San Jose (1-1-0) is winless in its last four against Sporting.

"We came here with ambition to win the game, or second best to leave with a point," Stahre said. "We fought until the end and it was really important for us to score the second goal, but I felt at halftime that we could have won the game. Then we conceded the second goal and we lost the momentum. They are a good team, but I think we can take some positive things with us."

Earthquakes media services contributed to this report.

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

The San Jose Earthquakes are hoping they've caught lighting in a bottle twice. 

Last season, Nick Lima emerged as one of the game's best young defenders. And on Day 1 of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, San Jose went to the fullback well with the selection of Paul Marie from Florida International University with the 12th pick in the first round. 

"Paul has the profile we were looking for from the very beginning heading into the combine and the draft," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "We were looking for a fullback. We see in him an offensive-minded outside back that has technical qualities and the ability to read the game."

Experts pegged Marie, 22, as a late-first, early-second-round selection. But a pair of solid days during the MLS Combine boosted the Frenchman's stock -- especially on San Jose's board. According to Fioranelli, Marie was No. 4 on their draft board -- having him there at No. 12 must have felt like a steal for Fioranelli and staff. 

"We especially liked that he has character and in the interview that we had with him, he convinced us," Fioranelli said. "The entire coaching staff are really excited about having him part of the club."

San Jose not only lucked out that their fourth-best footballer was there at 12, but with American parents, he does not take up an international slot for San Jose -- the team is still three players over their allotment.

In an interview after his selection with Jason Davis of Sirius XM radio, Marie told San Jose fans what they can expect from the defender. 

"They can expect Paul Marie to give it all for San Jose," he said. 

The Quakes were in need of defensive depth going in to Day 1 of the SuperDraft. In Marie, they have a fullback who can stretch the pitch from the right side and be a backup to Lima.