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Troubled Solo's World Cup status in doubt

27 January 2015, 08:14

Carlifonia - U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said on Monday that U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, currently serving a 30-day ban from the national team, is at risk of being left off the roster for this year's Women's World Cup.

The two-times Olympic gold medallist was banned last week, two days after she was in the passenger seat when her husband was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol in Los Angeles

The suspension came a week after Solo, 33, was cleared of charges in a domestic violence case.

"There are a number of things that Hope is being asked to do in that 30 days, and we're not going to get into the specifics of that," Gulati told reporters on a conference call. "Then we'll evaluate where things stand."

Solo, who has a U.S.-record 77 shutouts from 161 matches, will miss friendly matches against France on Feb. 8 and England five days later.

"She's been given time to deal with some issues and we think that in this period she will certainly start that process," added Gulati.

Asked if he could imagine a circumstance where Hope would not be on the World Cup team, Gulati said, "Sure," before adding: "We hope she's making progress and joins the team. That's the goal, hers and ours."

U.S. national women's coach Jill Ellis said the team was preparing in case Solo is not available for the June 6-July 5 World Cup in Canada, where they will be aiming to win their first cup in 16 years after winning in 1991 and 1999.

Three other goalkeepers are currently in the California training camp -- veteran Nicole Barnhart and relatively untested Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher.

Barnhart deputized for Solo in 2010 and 2011 when she was recovering from a shoulder injury.

"Barnhart, besides Hope, is our most experienced player," coach Jill Ellis said.

"It's two tracks really. (We're) looking to get experience for Ashlyn and Alyssa, also knowing that we have Barnhart in our back pocket."

- Reuters


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