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Former RTÉ pundit arrested after being found passed out in car with children in the back


A police mugshot of Hope Amelia Stevens (Hope Solo)

A police mugshot of Hope Amelia Stevens (Hope Solo)

A police mugshot of Hope Amelia Stevens (Hope Solo)

Former US women's national team football star and RTÉ soccer pundit Hope Solo has been arrested after she was found passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle with her two-year-old twins inside, police said.

A police report said the ex-goalkeeper was arrested on Thursday in a shopping centre car park in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and charged with driving while impaired, resisting a public officer and misdemeanour child abuse.

She has been released from jail and has a court date of June 28, the report said.

According to an arrest warrant, a passer-by noticed Solo passed out behind the steering wheel for more than an hour with the vehicle's engine running and the two children in the back seat.

A responding officer smelled alcohol, and the warrant said Solo refused a sobriety test and a blood sample was taken instead.

Rich Nichols, a Texas-based lawyer who represents Solo, released a statement but did not respond to questions on the charges and said his client would not respond either.

"On the advice of counsel, Hope can't speak about this situation, but she wants everyone to know that her kids are her life, that she was released immediately and is now at home with her family, that the story is more sympathetic than the initial charges suggest, and that she looks forward to her opportunity to defend these charges," Mr Nichols said.

Solo was dismissed from the national team following the 2016 Olympics in Brazil after calling the Swedish team "cowards" for a defensive display against the defending gold medallists, ending a laudable playing career that was also marred by controversy.

She was suspended for 30 days in early 2015 after she and husband Jerramy Stevens were pulled over in a US Soccer-owned van and American football star Stevens was charged with driving under the influence.

She was also benched after publicly questioning coach Greg Ryan's decision to start Briana Scurry against Brazil during the 2007 World Cup.

Solo was also involved in an altercation with family members in 2014 that resulted in her arrest, although charges were eventually dropped.

She made 202 appearances with the national team, with 153 wins and an international-record 102 clean sheets. She won a World Cup title and two Olympic gold medals with the team.

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During the 2015 World Cup championship run, she conceded just three goals in seven games with five clean sheets.

In 2018 she was an RTÉ pundit for the broadcaster’s covering of the World Cup in Russia. 

She was elected to the US Soccer Hall of Fame in January. The induction ceremony is set for May 21.

Solo married Stevens, a former tight end for the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 2012.

The couple have twins, Vittorio Genghis and Lozen Orianna Judith Stevens, born on March 4, 2020.

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