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Hope Solo: ‘Never an ounce of professionalism’ in NWSL

(Brad Smith/ISI Photos)

Hope Solo gave her thoughts on professionalism in women’s soccer in the United States during a new episode of her podcast, “Hope Solo Speaks,” on Friday. The former U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper’s comments come after the release of Sally Yates’ report on allegations of misconduct in the NWSL, which found “systemic” abuse spanning “multiple teams, coaches, and victims.”

In a clip posted to social media, the former U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper tells the documentary’s director, Jen Strauss, “There was a culture of intimacy, of sexual innuendo, of poor taste in words and actions.”

“It shouldn’t have been OK to marry your coach in the ’90s, and it shouldn’t be okay now, yet the list of players marrying coaches goes on and on,” she said. “The list of players marrying players goes on and on. There was never an ounce of professionalism displayed by any professional league that I played in in America.”

Solo, who played for the Seattle Reign from 2013-16, also talked about her disappointment in the venues, coaches, league rules and guidelines, television contracts, and travel and accommodations that she experienced in the NWSL. Solo also played in previous iterations of women’s professional soccer in the U.S., including the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) and Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS).

In the days since the release of the Yates report, multiple people accused of misconduct or found to be complicit in covering it up have faced consequences. The Portland Thorns fired two executives and the Chicago Red Stars’ board of directors voted to remove owner Arnim Whisler as chairman, while players across the league call for more action to be taken.