Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com
By CAITLIN MURRAY
Hope Solo is making her way back onto the pitch and back onto good terms with the public — at least for now.
Solo issued a public apology to her fans and colleagues Thursday ahead of her expected return to her professional club and expressed optimism the fourth-degree domestic violence assault charges against her will be dropped.
“I understand that, as a public figure, I am held to a higher standard of conduct,” Solo wrote on Facebook. ”I take seriously my responsibilities as a role model and sincerely apologize to everyone I have disappointed.”
Solo was arrested Saturday for allegedly assaulting her 17-year-old nephew and his mother, her half-sister, while intoxicated at a family gathering.
“I love my family dearly,” Solo’s statement continued. “We, like all families, have our challenges but my sincere hope is that we are able to resolve this situation as a family. Adversity has always made us stronger and I know this situation will be no different.”
The statement added: “Due to pending legal issues, I cannot comment further at this time. However, I am confident in the legal process and believe my name will be cleared.”
After pleading not guilty and being released without bail Monday, Solo will be available to rejoin Seattle Reign FC, the club announced Thursday. Under a judge’s orders, she is not allowed to contact the alleged victims or drink alcohol. A pretrial hearing is set for Aug. 11.
The undefeated Reign FC hinted though Solo is returning to training, a guilty verdict could affect her standing with the club.
“Hope will attend and participate in all training sessions this week and will be available for selection in Saturday’s 6 pm home match against Sky Blue FC,” the club said Thursday in a statement on their Facebook page. “It is our sincerest wish that the outcome of the legal process clears Hope of any wrongdoing. Should that not be the case, we will take the necessary and appropriate action at that time, in a manner consistent with the values and beliefs of our organization.”
Reign FC’s statement comes one day after U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati told reporters the federation would be contacting Solo “in the next 24 hours” to discuss the arrest and declined further comment. Solo is the starting goalkeeper for the U.S Women’s National Team.
Reign FC said the club conducted their own investigation and spoke with Solo several times about the incident.
“This investigation, which has included multiple conversations with Hope, made it clear that there are differing perspectives on the events that led up to Hope’s arrest,” the statement said. “As such, we feel it is fair and prudent to await the outcome of the legal process before making a final judgment about the incident.”
“That being said, it should be understood that we hold all of our players, coaches, and employees to the highest ethical and moral standard. In the event any Seattle Reign FC player is convicted of a serious crime the consequences will be significant and swift.”
Reign FC managed to keep their season-long 13-game unbeaten streak alive without Solo last Sunday, beating the Western New York Flash on the road, 2-1. Reign FC host New Jersey’s Sky Blue FC at 9 pm ET Saturday.