What’s Next for U.S. Soccer? Teamwork, Says Hope Solo

“I'm happy to say that I don't really get pushed around anymore.”

Hope Solo poses prior to the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards on Feb. 26. Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images courtesy of Laureus.

It’s a new day for soccer in the U.S. — or at least that’s what World Cup and Olympic Champion Hope Solo and other advocates for the sport would like to think.


Earlier this month, Solo was unsuccessful in her run against Carlos Cordeiro to become the first new president of the U.S. Soccer Federation since 2006, but she’s not done fighting yet. Solo believes Cordeiro could be the key to setting things right on a number of fronts, from providing more access for underrepresented youth to elevating the game’s appeal in the media and creating equity for all players in pay, endorsements, and support.

“My campaign was all about being more collaborative, inclusive, working on teams,” Cordeiro recently told Sports Illustrated. “You will see a very different leadership [from former President Sunil Gulati’s] going forward.”

Hope Solo at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. Photo courtesy of Hope Solo.

It might be said that Solo, too, is exuding a more sophisticated leadership style herself these days. During her nearly 20 years on the national team, she has been devoted to working on equitable pay for male and female soccer players. And while she’s been sidelined in the past by a number of controversies at home and on the field — not to mention the fear that comes with challenging your employer as a whistleblower — today she seems more determined than ever to build on the momentum of the growing women’s movement that’s taken hold across the nation.

GOOD caught up with Solo at the 2018 Laureus Sports Awards in Monaco to find out what’s next in the fight to make U.S. soccer more accessible, equitable, and supportive for all of its players.

What’s next, now that the election is behind you?

The election was really important because we highlighted a lot of the challenges that we face as Americans for soccer, and now it’s somebody’s responsibility to push those issues forward. I’m not going to stop pushing those issues forward, but ultimately the one who can really help us the most is the new president, Carlos Cordeiro. He has a great opportunity to really change the dynamics of soccer in America. But we have to hold him accountable, and I’ll continue to speak about these issues.

Are you hopeful that change is coming?

We still have the Equal Employment Opportunity Claim pending. We’ll continue to fight for women's equality. It's just an ongoing battle, to be quite honest. It’s not something that changes overnight. It's not something that we can fight one day and just hope that it will take care of itself.

The popular thing right now is women’s empowerment. The popular thing is wearing shirts that say “women’s rights,” but that’s not enough. We have to do so much more. We should use our voices. We have to continue to speak about it and get more people involved, we have to educate people. We have to get the media behind us and talk to senators. I think that’s with anything, with the #metoo campaign and with reaching out to underrepresented communities to give them more opportunities in soccer.

Hope Solo prior to the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images courtesy of Laureus.

How do you stay strong while fighting for these issues?

I think it’s very easy to get bullied and intimidated. It’s not easy to go through it, but it oftentimes is a tactic that works. The other tactic that’s in use is “divide and conquer,” and it’s a tactic that to this day works. I’ve had my moments where I've been scared and frustrated and hurt. But I’m happy to say that I don't really get pushed around anymore. I don’t really get bullied. I think that’s because I have great people around me. A group that really is intelligent, they’re educated, they’re confident in themselves and confident in what we’re fighting for, and at the end of the day, we know we’re going to be on the right side of history. That’s important.

People can say what they want about me right now, and I’ll deal with those repercussions and those judgments — but 10 years from now, looking back, what really are they going to say? They’ll say, “Hope was somebody who exercised her right to push issues forward.” As a woman especially, to vocalize your opinion and to do it with strength and confidence ... a lot of people don’t like that. But once people realize they can’t intimidate you, they back off. At some point, we have to figure out a way to work together.

Aside from equal pay, what other issue needs the most attention in soccer right now?

After running for the president of U.S. Soccer, I was heartbroken to see all of the kids that we are neglecting. We’re alienating entire populations throughout America. We’re not welcoming them to the global game of soccer. But then I’ve also been inspired by seeing a select group of people who are really, really trying to fight for these young kids and giving them different avenues and scholarships. But it’s not enough. It’s not enough to change the dynamics of soccer in America unless somebody from the top helps us, which means U.S. Soccer and the $100 million in surplus funds needs to be distributed throughout amateur soccer.

These issues affect all of us, so I really hope we can figure out a way to work together. I think that’s where we are right now. Carlos Cordeiro and [I] have to figure out — OK, these issues aren’t going away. What can we do to make sure everybody’s taken care of?

Sports
via Smithfly.com

"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

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While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

Lifestyle
via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

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The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.

Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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Communities
via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

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Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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