U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo prepares to kick the ball during the Olympic quarterfinals Aug. 12 against Sweden in Brasilia, Brazil. After the Americans lost the match on penalty kicks, Solo described the Swedes as cowards. On Wednesday, U.S. soccer suspended her for those remarks. Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

USA's Clint Dempsey (left) celebrates after scoring against Ecuador during their Copa America quarterfinal match Thursday in Seattle. The U.S. won 2-1, advancing to the semifinals for the first time in 20 years. Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images

Carli Lloyd (left) and Megan Rapinoe are two of the five star players who filed a wage complaint against U.S. Soccer. The players say that the whole team supports their case, which accuses the national federation of paying male players far more money. Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

United States' Abby Wambach fights for the ball with Brazil's Bruna Benites during a final match of the International Women's Football Tournament in Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday. The game ended in a draw, giving Brazil the tournament victory. Eraldo Peres/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Eraldo Peres/AP

New England Revolution's Charlie Davies celebrates his goal against the New York Red Bulls last week to secure a spot in the MLS Cup. Elise Amendola/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Elise Amendola/AP

After A 5-Year Struggle, Soccer Player Gets A Second Chance

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/368859976/369008788" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The return of U.S. striker Jozy Altidore, who had been sidelined by a hamstring injury, could help the Americans as they face off against a talented and young Belgian team Tuesday. Marcos Brindicci/Reuters /Landov hide caption

toggle caption
Marcos Brindicci/Reuters /Landov

Jermaine Jones and other members of the U.S. men's national team train in Manaus, Brazil. Fitness may be a crucial factor in the U.S.-Germany game on Thursday in Recife . Raphael Alves/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Raphael Alves/AFP/Getty Images

Comedian Will Ferrell was unveiled as the surprise "secret weapon" of U.S. Soccer, on the eve of a pivotal World Cup match against Germany. Ferrell promised to "bite every German player, if I have to." YouTube hide caption

toggle caption
YouTube

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, members of the U.S. soccer team warm up during a training session the day before their Group G World Cup match with Ghana in Natal, Brazil. Julio Cortez/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Julio Cortez/AP

Midfielder Clint Dempsey of the United States dribbles the ball during a FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier match between Costa Rica and United States at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on March 22, 2013 in Commerce City, Colorado. Dustin Bradford/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images