Within the first 10 minutes of the Women's World Cup pre-game news conference, reporters asked five questions about new allegations related to Hope Solo's domestic violence charges. It's a looming controversy Team USA can't seem to outrun, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan.
Coach Jill Ellis tried to assure reporters that her team is focused on the game, and not their teammate, Solo.
"She's been a fantastic player and teammate, so no, none of that has even resonated with us, and I'm sure many of the players aren't aware of it," Ellis said.
Hours before the press conference, ESPN published new details about Solo's alleged domestic violence incident involving her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew last June. Citing police records and sworn depositions, ESPN reported an intoxicated Solo insulted officers, called one of them a 14-year-old boy, and remarked that her necklace was worth more than he made in a year.
"I know our team. We have each others backs. No, I'll be honest, again, I think it was something a long time ago and we've certainly put it to bed," Ellis said.
While Solo's case was dismissed on procedural grounds, she has yet to be cleared.
"We are roommates right now. Honestly, I didn't discuss it with her for one second," midfielder Carli Lloyd said.
The second-ranked Team USA will take on number 10 Australia on Monday. It's the first game in a difficult first round.
"It is the most competitive Women's World Cup," Sports Illustrated senior writer Grant Wahl said. "Australia is a difficult team for the U.S. A lot of athleticism. They're still sort of a young team; they have some experience though."
On Sunday the team practiced on turf. It's the first time an artificial field has been used at the World Cup, for either men or women.
"Take it one game at a time. You can have all the pressure in the world, but still be focused, still be ready," Lloyd said.
Solo was not made available to the media Sunday.