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Saturday 18 August 2018

Troubled US soccer star Solo joins RTE World Cup pundits

Hope Solo will join the rest of RTE’s presenters and pundits
Hope Solo will join the rest of RTE’s presenters and pundits

Controversial US soccer star Hope Solo is joining RTE's punditry panel for the World Cup.

The goalkeeper (36) has been embroiled in numerous controversies during her sporting career.

She was arrested in 2014 for allegedly assaulting her sister and her nephew.

She subsequently denied both allegations.

It was recently reported that Washington state prosecutors had dropped the charges against her.

Solo was given a warning by the US Anti-Doping Agency in 2012 when she tested positive for a banned diuretic. She claimed she did not know the substance was in premenstrual medication that had been prescribed by a doctor.

Cowards

Meanwhile, the athlete recently settled a grievance with the US Soccer Federation after it terminated her contract last year for calling the Swedish soccer team "a bunch of cowards".

Her remarks were in reference to Sweden's defensive tactics in their match against the US at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The US were knocked out on penalties in the quarter-finals.

She was suspended from the US women's team for 30 days in 2015 after an argument with police when her husband, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Solo angered team-mates in 2007 when she was benched during the US match against Brazil, a game they lost 4-0.

She was critical of head coach Greg Ryan and given a temporary suspension.

RTE would not comment on Solo's past controversies.

Darragh Maloney, Jacqui Hurley and Peter Collins will present the broadcaster's live coverage. They will be joined by panellists Eamon Dunphy, Liam Brady, Damien Duff, Didi Hamann, Richie Sadlier, Keith Andrews, Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Michael O'Neill and Solo.

RTE will provide coverage of all 64 games across RTE2, RTE News Now and RTE Player, totalling more than 180 hours of television.

RTE stalwart Hurley will be the first woman to join the presenting team for the station's World Cup coverage.

"I've never done a World Cup and it's a great thing to be involved in," she said.

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