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Carli Lloyd Calls Out Culture Within USWNT On Hope Solo’s New Podcast

Hope Solo, one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the game, is known almost as well for her exploits on the pitch as her voice off it. This week, her voice will have a new platform via a Hope Solo podcast, which launches Wednesday, March 2, with what promises to be a must-listen first episode featuring Carli Lloyd.

“Hope Solo Speaks” is an original SiriusXM podcast available every Wednesday on the SXM App, Stitcher, Pandora, Apple Podcasts and other major podcast platforms. It will also air on SiriusXM FC on satellite radio. You can check out a trailer below.

Throughout an illustrious playing career, Solo won two Olympic gold medals and a Women’s World Cup title. She retired as the USWNT’s all-time leader for a goalkeeper in appearances (202), starts (190), wins (153) and shutouts (102). 

Solo has always been followed by controversy off the pitch, whether it was calling Sweden “cowards” after an Olympic defeat or getting arrested for assault (the charges were later dismissed). Earlier this year, Solo was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, though she said live on TV immediately after the announcement that she wasn’t sure if she’d attend the enshrinement ceremony in May. 

Recently, Solo has been back in the news for criticizing the landmark settlement between her former USWNT teammates and the U.S. Soccer Federation, in which the women’s players were awarded $24 million in their gender discrimination lawsuit. Solo called the deal “heartbreaking and infuriating” and called out Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan for accepting the agreement. 

In the first episode of her podcast, Solo expands on her thoughts.

“The reason for my sadness, the reason I feel gutted, kicked in the stomach, the reason why I feel betrayed and a bit hopeless is because the settlement is pathetic,” Solo says in the episode. “After fighting for years for equal pay starting in 2015, the players still went on and agreed to a less-than-equal CBA. They continued to believe in the promises of the federation. They were outclassed, out maneuvered and then, finally, after pumping the brakes and doing a 180 in the fight of our life, they decided to show up to the party and they got hustled.” 

It’s that sort of attitude and perspective that makes this Hope Solo podcast so intriguing for soccer fans. 

“Now it’s time for me to speak my truths and tell the world what I stand for,” Solo says in the trailer for her podcast. “From equality in sports to the right and wrong ways to coach a modern athlete to new parent struggles and so much more, there’s nothing that’s off limits.”

Best of all, Solo is bringing her friends along for the ride. 

Embed from Getty Images

Carli Lloyd Hollins joins the first episode and speaks out against the atmosphere in the USWNT in the last few years. 

“It was really tough and challenging to play these last several years,” Lloyd said. “To be quite honest, I hated it. It wasn’t fun going in. It was only for love of the game, really, for me. I wanted to win and wanted to help the team, but the culture within the team was the worst I had ever seen it.”

We’ll have to wait for the full episode to drop on Wednesday to hear the full conversation about what Lloyd hated about the culture within the team, but we can take some guesses. Lloyd retired last fall as one of the all-time leaders in appearances, goals and assists for the USWNT, but she was clearly on the outside when it came to certain aspects surrounding the team. She refused to join her teammates in kneeling before kickoff at an Olympic match in a statement against systemic racism in the U.S. around the world, the latest in a long history of questionable statements about race. Before she retired, the #ThankYouCarli hashtag on Twitter was taken over by people calling her out for being racist

In the past, Solo said on another podcast that Rapinoe bullied people into kneeling, so you know this conversation with Lloyd will be fascinating. If all that doesn’t get you interested in listening to this new Hope Solo podcast, I don’t know what will. 

I just hope, given her tendency to say things others don’t like, Solo doesn’t regret not getting this Fisher-Price podcast set. 

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