WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Once one of the prominent faces of the U.S. women’s team, promoted alongside stars like Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach, Hope Solo is now largely relegated to the background while she faces continued scrutiny over a domestic assault case last year.

She poses a difficult problem for U.S. Soccer as the women seek an unprecedented third World Cup title: How to laud Solo’s performances on the field while not fueling the attention on her behavior off it. And the dilemma will likely become amplified the further the U.S. advances.

Former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, now the head coach of Sweden, summed up the dichotomy best earlier this week when she called Solo “a piece of work,” while in the same breath praising her as the “best goalkeeper in the world.”

Solo is quietly on the job in Canada. It’s a contrast to the World Cup in Germany four years ago, where she was everywhere, held up as one of the team’s biggest stars. And deservedly so: She would win the Golden Glove award as goalkeeper of the tournament. The performance landed her on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Her status would rise higher with an appearance on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Last June she was charged with two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault stemming from an altercation with her sister and 17-year-old nephew at a family gathering in Kirkland, Washington. A judge dismissed the charges earlier this year.

U.S. Soccer has been criticized for its handling of the situation, with some calling for Solo to be benched while the case played out.

Solo was suspended from the team for 30 days earlier this year after her husband, former Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens, was arrested in Southern California for driving under the influence in a U.S. Soccer team van. Solo was his lone passenger.

Following the suspension, Solo wrote on her blog that she had taken the time to work on herself and issues that were vexing her. But an ESPN investigative report released on the eve of the U.S. team’s World Cup opener against Australia raised new questions about the assault and reignited the controversy.

Anyone tasked with promoting Solo would be best served to keep the attention squarely on the field, said Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing specialist for Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco. Nike is Solo’s most prominent sponsor.

“It’s going to get interesting if she’s just fantastic in goal, as kind of the difference maker, where it’s hard to ignore her,” Dorfman said.