Football: Ex-US star goalie Solo pleads guilty to impaired driving charge, gets suspended term

Hope Solo (right) said it was "easily the worst mistake" of her life. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Former United States women's national soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo received a 24-month suspended sentence on Monday (July 25) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, after pleading guilty to a charge of driving while impaired.

The case stems from a March 31 incident in which Solo was arrested in a Walmart parking lot in Winston-Salem, when she was reportedly found passed out in the driver's seat with the car engine running and her two-year-old twins in the back seat.

Charges of misdemeanour child abuse and resisting a public officer were dropped, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The suspended sentence credits Solo with 30 days as time served for her stay while undergoing rehabilitation for alcohol abuse in April. She was fined US$2,500 (S$3,464) and ordered to pay US$600 for lab fees.

The 40-year-old posted on Monday on Twitter: "It's been a long road, but I'm slowly coming back from taking time off. I pride myself in motherhood and what my husband and I have done day in and day out for over two years throughout the pandemic with two-year old twins.

"While I'm proud of us, it was incredibly hard and I made a huge mistake.

"Easily the worst mistake of my life. I underestimated what a destructive part of my life alcohol had become. The upside of making a mistake this big is that hard lessons are learned quickly. Learning these lessons has been difficult, and at times, very painful."

Solo made 202 appearances for the US national team from 2000 to 2016, helping the team win the Women's World Cup in 2015 and Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. In a career that was as decorated on the field as it was controversial off it, she was dismissed from the national squad for good after criticising the Swedish team for their tactics while beating the US in the 2016 Rio Olympics on penalties in the quarter-finals.

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