SEATTLE — For the first time since being arrested on domestic violence charges, Hope Solo appeared before her fans. She re-joined her team, the Seattle Reign, as they took on Sky Blue FC at Memorial Stadium tonight.
The stands were filled with young soccer players from around the country, in town to compete in a national tournament. Many of them were hoping to see Solo in-goal for the reign.
“I’ve always looked up to her, since I was a little kid,” says Lauren Woodyard, a player from California.
“Most of us came here to watch her and the better players on the team,” says Kalea Kelly, another California player. “So yeah, we were kind of bummed.”
That’s because just before kickoff, the Reign announced that Solo would not be starting. Many fans wondered if her sitting on the bench had something to do with her sitting in jail last weekend, after being arrested on domestic violence charges. She’s been accused of hitting her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew.
“I was a little disappointed about the arrest, not but surprised,” says Shanna Keeger, a mother. “I remember some of the past troubles she’s had. So I was disappointed, of course.”
Solo released a statement on Facebook after the arrest. She apologized to those she disappointed and said she takes her responsibilities as a role model seriously. Fans say they appreciate that.
“You might as well look at it in the face and try to move forward,” says Keeger. “Try to be better.”
Solo entered a not guilty plea in court this week. She and her attorney say are confident in the legal process and believe her name will be cleared in the end. Young players seem willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
“I mean, I get in fights with my brothers and sisters all the time. So, I don’t blame her,” says Woodyard.
“None of us know really what happened, what they were arguing about. So it doesn’t really bother me,” adds Kelly.
Solo did not end up playing, but the Reign were able to keep the Sky Blue from scoring and the team came away with a 0-0 tie. Their next match is Wednesday in New York.
Solo is not due back in court until August.