6-month ban for US goalie Solo over comment
UNITED States Soccer handed goalkeeper Hope Solo a six-month ban from internationals on Wednesday after she branded opponents Sweden "a bunch of cowards" at this month's Rio Olympics.
The Swedes beat the United States 4-3 in a shootout on Aug 12 to move into the semi-finals, denying the Americans a chance to win a fourth straight title.
US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said: "Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we've had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a US national team member, US Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action."
Solo, who was previously suspended for 30 days in early 2015 for her conduct, will start her suspension immediately, US Soccer said.
Solo, who played on Olympic gold medal-winning teams in 2008 and 2012, said in a statement to Sports Illustrated that she was "saddened" by the ban.
Following the US' exit from the Rio Games tournament, she told the magazine she was proud of her teammates for coming back from a goal down to draw 1-1 but was highly critical of Sweden's tactics.
"I'm very proud of this team," she said.
"But I also think we played a bunch of cowards.
"The best team did not win today," she added.