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Hope Solo says she won't finish season with NWSL's Seattle Reign

Goalkeeper Hope Solo, saying Tuesday that she was “not there yet” mentally, decided to end her season with the Seattle Reign of the National Women's Soccer League.

Solo, 35, who was suspended for six months by U.S. Soccer and had her contract terminated last week, announced her decision in a statement. She won't be eligible for selection to the national team again until February. Solo did not say whether she would be returning next season.

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“Coming to terms with the fact I was fired from the U.S. women's national team after 17 years of service has been devastating. After careful consideration, I have decided to end my season with the Seattle Reign, an organization I love playing for," Solo said Tuesday. “Mentally, I am not there yet.”

Solo was suspended on Aug, 24 after calling members of Sweden’s squad “a bunch of cowards” for their defensive style of play during the Olympic quarterfinals. Sweden had pulled off a shocking upset of the U.S. women’s team, winning 4-3 in penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw. The U.S. women had won gold in every Olympics since 1996, except in 2000, when it won silver.

Before last Saturday’s match against Portland, the Reign announced that Solo had been granted an indefinite leave for personal reasons. Haley Kopmeyer took over for Solo in goal and the Reign won 3-1.

Lionel Messi calls it quits after Copa America loss

<iframe src="//storify.com/Crawf33/messi/embed" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/Crawf33/messi.js"></script>[View the story "Messi calls it quits after Copa loss" on Storify]

Sydney Leroux announces pregnancy, adds to USWNT Olympic uncertainties

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It looks like plans are changing for another key piece of the 2016 US Women's Olympic soccer team. Forward Sydney Leroux announced on Instagram that she's pregnant and will likely be missing the US' Olympic stint in Rio de Janiero.

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Leroux, a member of FC Kansas City, is married to Sporting Kansas City's Dom Dwyer who made a similar announcement on his Instagram.

Leroux's absence will mean the US' World Cup and gold medal-winning offense will need to adjust if they want to make another deep run.

The team is already without forward Abby Wambach, the all-time leading scorer in women's soccer. Wambach retired after the team's World Cup performance in 2015.

Midfielders Lauren Holiday and Shannon Boxx and defender Lori Chalupny have also retired prior to the Olympics.

Forward Amy Rodriguez is likely a no-go for the games. She announced her second pregnancy in late December and remains questionable for the 2016 games.

Midfielder Megan Rapinoe is a question mark for team. She tore her ACL in December but is working to return to the Olympics, which start Aug. 5.

As NBC Sports points out, if Rapinoe and Rodriguez are unavailable, Alex Morgan will be the only returning forward from the 2012 Olympic team.

Leroux started two games for the U.S. during their World Cup run in 2015. She had one goal in four games played in the 2012 Olympics.

Man names daughter after soccer team, wife finds out two years later

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Many crazed sports fans express their loyalty for teams in interesting ways. 

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But one Australian man named his daughter after his favorite soccer team – and he didn't tell his wife until the child was two years old.

Clare Smith wrote in to a magazine saying, "We chose our daughter's name, Lanesra, because it was unique and romantic. It wasn't (until) she was two that my husband told me it was actually his favorite soccer team, Arsenal, spelled backwards."

Social media users responded to the father's creative name online. 

It's unclear if there will be an uptick of soccer-related names in the coming year.

Don't use your head: U.S. Soccer bans headers for kids

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If you played sports growing up, you probably had a coach tell you to use your head. But that could become a thing of the past, at least in soccer.

As part of a new safety campaign designed to prevent concussions, U.S. Soccer announced it is "eliminating heading for children 10 and under, and limiting the amount of heading in practice for children between the ages of 11 and 13."

The change comes after a lawsuit filed last year against some of the largest youth soccer organizations in the country, including U.S. Soccer and American Youth Soccer Organization, demanding they take action to reduce head injuries in the sport.

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Although soccer is often mocked in the U.S. for being soft, especially when fans see players flopping, it’s actually the second most dangerous sport for high schoolers.

In the 2005-2006 school year, a study found that 40 percent of concussions suffered by high school athletes were from football, which isn't surprising. But 21 percent came from girls' soccer and 15 percent from boys' soccer.

And female soccer players are actually much more likely to suffer a head injury. Another study determined there were 4.5 concussions for every 10,000 girls who took the pitch compared to 2.8 concussions in boys with the same exposure.

Even though the study highlights the dangers that soccer can pose, it actually refutes the idea that heading the ball is the most dangerous part of the game. An author of the study said it’s not the heading itself that causes concussions, but usually contact with other players.

Professor Sarah K. Fields told CNN, "If we can enforce the rules and minimize player-to-player contact, that could get rid of 60 percent of concussions, plus that would reduce other injuries." 

In addition to the updated concussion rules, U.S. Soccer also announced it would improve protocols for athletes returning to play after suffering concussions.

This video includes images from Getty Images. 

Referee pulls out gun during Brazilian soccer match

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A soccer referee is facing punishment after he pulled out a gun on the field in reaction to an argument during the game.

Gabriel Murta was kicked and slapped by players during a regional league match. At the same time, the manager of one of the teams demanded a red card, The Mirror reported.

That’s when Murta went to the locker rooms, and returned to the field with a gun, The Mirror reported.

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Murta is reportedly a policeman when he's not a referee.

A spectator recorded the confrontation as a linesman restrained Murta.

The group that oversees referees said Murta felt threatened and retrieved the gun to defend himself, The Mirror reported.

Murta was to undergo a psychological assessment and could be suspended or banned from refereeing.

Photos: U.S. women win World Cup

WATCH: Tennessee college soccer player sinks basketball shots, wins $10,000

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With $10,000 on the line, Bryan College student Gustavo Angel Tamayo, a soccer player, hit a layup, free-throw, 3-pointer and then a half-court shot Monday night.

And he says he did it all with a broken finger.

The feat earned him "Best Person in Sports" honors from Fox Sports, which noted, "He'd never played basketball before."

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Tamayo told NBC: "My mom started crying; Dad was overwhelmed. Right now, it's a great blessing, right now in the situation we're in."

The $10,000 was supposed to go toward his tuition, but the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Tamayo's tuition is paid, and he's all for spreading the love. He told the outlet, "Everyone wants a piece of the pie, so I guess I'm just going to hand out $1 bills."

Despite his 100 percent shooting percentage in basketball, Tamayo will be sticking with soccer and hopes to go pro. You can check out the full video on Bryan College's Facebook page or on YouTube.

Germany cheers, Argentina mourns World Cup final

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After a long, hard-fought battle, Germany is taking home its fourth World Cup. (Via Getty Images

It took nearly 113 minutes for the stalemate to break open, but it was the foot and chest of German striker Mario Götze that broke the hearts of Argentineans everywhere and led Germany to victory. (Via Getty Images

Götze scored off a cross in the 113th minute to give Germany the 1-0 win over Argentina for the 2014 World Cup. (Via Getty Images

It's the first time Germany has taken the Cup since 1990, when the West German team won with, once again, a 1-0 victory over Argentina. (Via Getty Images

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Both teams had good chances in the first half — Argentina with a goal flagged for offsides and Germany with a header ringing off the post and out. (Via Getty Images)

After that, there were a few more scoring chances for each side, a hard foul here and there, a streaker, and that's about it until Gotze's goal. (Via Getty Images)

The late goal didn't give Argentina much time to respond. A last-minute free kick by Argentina superstar Lionel Messi went soaring high over the goal. (Via Getty Images

Shortly after, soccer fans from all over the world erupted. 

Many German outlets focused their praise on striker Götze, the 22-year-old who subbed in late in the match. (Via AbendzeitungB.Z.Emsdettener-Volkszeitung)

>> Special section: 2014 FIFA World Cup

Express.de simply puts it, "World Champion."

Though the Argentina outlets were a bit more somber. 

Argentinean news site Infobae wrote, "​Argentina brushed glory, but Germany won the World Cup in overtime."

And Urgente24 reads, "The dream is over."

Germany will have four years to celebrate and will look to defend their title in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. (Via Getty Images

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