The Race For President: A Close Look at Hope Solo’s Statement on Why She Is Running For U.S. Soccer President
“The systemic problem in U.S. Soccer starts at the youth level. Soccer has always been a middle class sport and in more recent times, has become an upper middle class sport. Some of the best clubs around the country charge each youth player between $3000-$5000 per season. I have personally witnessed young players heartbroken over the financial reality that they could no longer pursue their dream.”
Soccer News: Hope Solo is the former goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s National Team — an outstanding, world-class goalkeeper who grew up on the “tougher” side of the street and spoke out without the conditioned veil of upper-middle class private schooling.
Welcomed for her on-field talents and scorned for her off-field antics, Solo is a force to be reckoned with. Smart and newly polished, Solo knows the darker side of U.S. Soccer’s questionable stance on equality and speaks from the heart in her recently published statement on why she is seeking higher office in the organization that banned her from representing the USA.
Few can forget Solo’s suspension by U.S. Soccer after she called the Swedish team ‘a bunch of cowards’ at the Olympics last year in Rio. Of course, this was not the first time that U.S. Soccer took action to discipline Solo — the first time she was suspended for a month after the fiasco with her husband Jerramy Stevens and the Federation van in 2015.
But this wild side is behind her. And, if you take the time to read her platform, you will discover a cohesive statement on why Solo is wanting to run.
You will also read a heartwarming tale of a young girl with big dreams and parents who could not afford to pay big dollars for competitive soccer.
“My parents gave me a great life but they had no choice but to say “no” time and time again to the outrageous expenses that we would incur with every team, every tournament, and every camp. I was the best player in the state, but I couldn’t afford gas money to drive across the mountains to play in tournaments, stay two nights in the hotel and eat out.”
Would the U.S. Women’s team have won Olympic gold and the World Cup without Solo?
What will happen the next time a talented player can’t afford to participate?
Is that why we failed to qualify for next summer in Russia? One can only wonder how many talented plays were left out because of the all too often unforgiving pay-to-play system.
One of Hope Solo’s core principles is to make soccer financially accessible to all.
While many of the best youth soccer clubs have generous scholarship programs, these opportunities do not reach many of the players in need. Our great country needs a solution that will work. Hopefully, the next president will be able to lead the way for a change.