The United States women's national team doesn't need former goalkeeper Hope Solo to make any more saves for them, either on the field or in their legal battles.
Earlier this month, Solo submitted a legal pitch to join the USWNT's fight for equitable pay, essentially offering to serve as an enforcer as the United States Soccer Federation and USWNT head into mediation against their governing body. In her pitch, Solo suggests that the 28 past and present USWNT members would need her involvement to withstand the intimidation and fear tactics presented by the opposition.
However, that idea was quickly and wholly rejected by both the USWNT and USSF.
On Friday, the USWNT (through Alex Morgan) rebuffed Solo's pitch and did so with rather strong emphasis.
"It is regrettable that Solo has chosen to challenge the fortitude of the Morgan Case Plaintiffs to adequately represent the class," Morgan's motion said.
"The Morgan Plaintiffs are all World Champions who have proven that they bow down to no one and are relentless advocates of equal pay. They would only propose a class settlement if they believed it achieved their equal pay objectives under the law and was in the best interests of the class, a determination that would then have to be approved (by the court)… for any settlement to go into effect. With all due respect, they do not require Solo's assistance to achieve these objectives.
"Solo's claim that members of the USWNT will not have the strength and fortitude to resist 'intimidation and fear tactics' and protect the interests of the putative class is regrettable and has no basis in fact," the motion said.
It certainly seems as though Solo's bid and the claim that the USWNT isn't tough enough to survive mediation was not received well by Morgan and her fellow USWNT members. It also certainly seems as though this response was crafted to serve as a strong message countering the argument.
On Monday, Solo's attorney, Rich Nichols, released a statement regarding the USWNT's response.
"It's unfortunate that in their continued quest to marginalize Hope Solo, the player who has led the fight for equal pay at every stage, including being the first player to file a federal lawsuit for equal pay 8-months before the other members of the team, the USWNT and their counsel elected to file an Opposition that not only inaccurately represents the nature of their case, and Hope's status in that matter, but also boldly violates the Federal Rules in order to partner with US Soccer to keep Hope out of their Mediation," said Nichols.
The USWNT filed the lawsuit against U.S. Soccer back in March, alleging "institutionalized gender discrimination" and championing for equitable pay. The women's team has made significantly less money from their male counterparts on the USMNT despite finding much more success -- including a fourth Women's World Cup title win earlier this summer. The two sides ultimately agreed to future mediation efforts during the USWNT's run to a second straight Women's World Cup win.
Solo's bid to join the USWNT's case didn't come until after the conclusion of the Women's World Cup.
Solo, 37, and the USSF have also agreed to a separate case of mediation as result of a personal lawsuit filed by Solo over an equal pay dispute last year. The goalkeeper claims that she was terminated from the team in 2016 due to her advocacy for equal pay, saying she'd "been a thorn in the federation's side for years."