Hope Solo eyes women's national team comeback while also making U.S. Soccer accusation Hope Solo wants back in. The 35-year-old longtime United States women’s national team goalkeeper and star has been suspended by the United States Soccer Federation since August and isn’t eligible for reinstatement until late February. Following the USA’s quarterfinal elimination at the Rio Olympics – the team’s worst finish at a major tournament ever – she called Sweden, which had just beaten the Americans on penalties, “cowards” for its defensive tactics. [ FC Yahoo: Why USWNT superstar Morgan is moving to France ] U.S. Soccer considered this the last straw after a long rap sheet of other transgressions, both within the team and in her private life, and kicked an irate Solo off the team for half a year. More significantly, it terminated her contract, essentially firing her from her national team job. Solo’s case is a complicated one. And it seemed highly unlikely that she would ever make it back to the national team, posing questions about her legacy. But with two months to run on her suspension, Solo has given an interview to the Associated Press to say that she hopes to return. “Let’s be honest, it’s not my decision if I return to the national team,” she told the AP. “I find it an honor and a privilege to represent our country at the highest level in a sport that I love, in a position that I love. And I would do almost anything to play at that level once again. I say almost, because at this point in time I believe our fight for equality is much bigger than being on the national team again.” Solo was a leading voice in the locker room and one of the five players who filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against U.S. Soccer over pay discrimination between the women’s and men’s national teams. And she had a big role as a hardliner in the team’s collective bargaining negotiations with the federation, with the current CBA expiring Dec. 31. Solo reiterated to the AP that she thinks her influence in negotiations – egging her fellow players on to fight tough – was the real reason she was fired. “I think that I have been used as an example, and my firing instilled a lot of fear in the players,” she said. “I got fired for what they say was using the word ‘cowards’ but in reality they got rid of an adversary in the fight for equal pay.” These accusations are, um, maybe not the best way to convince the federation to let her back on the team.