February 25, 2015 / 4:13 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. goalie Solo admits to 'horrible choice' that led to suspension

Aug 20, 2014; Cary, NC, USA; USA goalkeeper Hope Solo (1) watches a cross during a women's friendly between the USA and Switzerland at Wake Med Soccer Park. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA Today.

(Reuters) - Two-time Olympic gold medalist Hope Solo admitted on Wednesday she made a "horrible choice" by being in a U.S. soccer team van when her husband, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, was arrested for drunken driving.

Solo, 33, was suspended for 30 days by the U.S. Soccer Federation for the incident, which occurred in January during training camp in the Los Angeles area.

"Clearly, I wasn’t thinking," she said on ABC's "Good Morning America" broadcast on Wednesday. "It was a horrible choice. I think I just wasn’t in a good place, emotionally, to even make good decisions.

"It’s not an excuse. It was stupid. I should have called a taxi."

Solo was reinstated Saturday and is expected to play in the Algarve Cup beginning on March 4, a key tune-up for this summer's World Cup in Canada.

The goalkeeper also defended the decision by the U.S. soccer's governing body not to suspend her after she was charged with a domestic violence for an alleged scuffle near Seattle involving her half-sister and nephew last June. Charges in the case were dropped in January.

"All of us, in my opinion, have a fundamental right to be considered innocent until proven guilty," Solo said. "I know U.S. Soccer took a lot of heat but I am very grateful that they let due process play itself out.

"Those eight months were some of the worst months of my entire life."

Solo's teenage nephew accused her of punching and tackling him. Solo said she, not her nephew, was the victim of domestic violence.

"I was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of my 17-year-old nephew, who is 6-foot-9 (206 cm), 280 pounds (127 kg)," she said. "I was struck over the head and concussed, pretty severely. It was a very scary night."

Solo said she is still "working through" her emotions in order to deal with the "traumatic events over the last year."

"I'm not going to be too hard of myself right now," she said. "Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody learns from them, hopefully, and continues to work on themselves.

"I'm a work in progress and I will continue to be a work in progress until the end of my days... I want people to realize I'm just human and I make mistakes."

Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Bill Trott

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