Solo’s decision comes in the wake of the U.S. National Team’s decision to suspend her six months for disparaging comments she made about Sweden’s soccer team during the Rio Olympic Games.
The Seattle Reign announced the news Saturday, saying that Solo has been granted personal leave. However, the team did not say how long the leave would last.
Seattle’s announcement came just hours before the team prepared to square off against the Portland Thorns, this despite the fact she was listed as the team’s starter Saturday. The Reign signed goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski in her place.
Solo’s aforementioned suspension came after USA’s dramatic loss in the quarterfinals to Sweden, the 35-year-old goalkeeper called the Swedes “cowards” for their defensive style of play.
As the three-time defending champions, the women’s team made their earliest-ever exit from the tournament in Rio. Sweden’s coach, Pia Sundhage, who had previously served in the same capacity for the U.S. women’s team and lead them to consecutive gold medals in Beijing and London, replied to Solo’s rhetoric by saying: “It's OK to be a coward if you win."
Solo got a head start in the controversy category with Brazilians before the Olympics even began — social media posts she made about the Zika virus caused her to be booed mercifully by Brazilian fans, who also shouted “Zika!” every time she touched the ball.
It’s not the first incident which Solo has been disciplined for — in 2015, she was suspended 30 days for her conduct. She won’t be eligible to return to the National team until February.
When U.S. Soccer made its announcement last Wednesday, their statement indicated the decision was made because of a culmination of events.
Solo issued a statement on her social media following her suspension.
"I could not be the player I am without being the person I am, even when I haven't made the best choices or said the right things," she said. "My entire career, I have only wanted the best for this team, for the players and the women's game, and I will continue to pursue these causes with the same unrelenting passion with which I play the game."