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U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

June 7, 2015
NOT A DISTRACTION
U.S. Team ignoring new report about Solo

By Charles Cuttone, Executive Editor
with reporting by Michael Lewis, Big Apple Soccer Editor

Hope Solo's teammates say her off-field problems won't be a distraction to the team.
Hope Solo's teammates say her off-field problems won't be a distraction to the team.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Hope Solo's nearly year-old domestic violence case isn't going away, but the U.S. Women's National Team is not going to let that off-field issue become a distraction as the team heads into its opening game of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup against Australia on Monday night.

ESPN's Outside the Lines reported on Sunday that prosecutors in Washington hope to re-open the case, which was dismissed on procedural grounds. Prosecutors are scheduled to file their argument by July 13, with the defense due to respond by Aug. 10. Oral arguments are scheduled for Sept. 11.

Solo was arrested in June 2014 and charged with domestic violence, assaulting her then-17 year old nephew and her half sister, Teresa Obert.

Obert spoke with the ESPN program, and refuted Solo's claim that she was innocent, and she was in fact the one attacked by her nephew.

After the charges were filed, Solo was not disciplined by U.S. Soccer, but she was later suspended when her husband was arrested for DUI while driving a U.S. Soccer vehicle while the team was in training camp.

At Sunday's media availability, Solo's teammates refused to be caught up in the new turmoil surrounding the 33-year-old goalkeeper.


"We are creating a bubble and we want nothing to penetrate that bubble right now," said forward Abby Wambach, who at 35 is likely looking at her last chance to win a World Cup. "Our focus is on playing Australia tomorrow and beating Australia, getting three points."

Solo was not available to the media on Sunday, but U.S. coach Jill Ellis also spoke about the situation, and the fact that the team is ignoring it.

"That was a long time ago," said Ellis of the original incident. "I'll be honest. We've moved on. She's been a fantastic player and teammate. No, none of that even has resonated with us. I'm sure none of the players are aware of it."

Ellis, Wambach and Carli Lloyd, who is Solo's roommate in Edmonton, all spoke of the team remaining in a bubble.

" Obviously (I) didn't discuss it with her for one second," said Lloyd.

Ellis said she was not aware of the report until team Press Officer Aaron Heifetz told her about it.

"It's standard for me not to read anything," said Ellis. "I like to have clear focus, stay in the bubble so to speak and worry about the things that impact the players and the team, that's within here. That doesn't affect us. "

ESPN's story by investigative reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada, goes into extensive details about the night of the alleged incident, citing police reports and court documents, as well as interviews with Obert and others involved in the case.

When pressed, Ellis would not disclose if Solo would be the starting goalkeeper when the U.S. trots onto the field at Commonwealth Stadium on Monday, but did give the media a clue.

"If you look at the history of our past few games I think you can draw your own conclusions," she said.



   
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