August 12, 2016
Going Solo: a classless exit by USA goalkeeper
By Michael Lewis
Hope Solo opened her mouth and put both feet into it after the USA was eliminated from the Olympics by Sweden.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
If you have come to this column look for some nice things to be said about Hope Solo, well, sorry, you are in the wrong place.
What she did after the United States suffered its earliest elimination from an Olympics and a Women's World Cup was classless, utterly classless.
Unless you have been under a rock or can't get WiFi, I will give you a brief explanation.
She called Sweden "a bunch of cowards" for its tactics in its quarterfinal shootout win over the USA. The Swedes moved onto the semifinals after winning the penalty-kick tie-breaker, 4-3, after playing to a 1-1 draw in regulation and extratime.
Like it or not, but those kind of tactics have been and will be used against the United States, the most feared women's soccer team in the world.
It is up to the American women to figure out to how break a bunker-style defense. If that is the best way for a team to stymie another side, well, all power to them. Besides, the soccer boot could be on the other foot someday.
Listen, I think Hope Solo is one of the best goalkeepers around.
As for her off-the-field antics -- personal and professional -- I take the fifth.
Does she know how to lose with dignity?
I have seen tweens lose with more dignity than that.
And this is someone who is supposed to be a role model for those same tweens, right?
Solo is 35-years-old. She will be 38 for the next Women's World Cup in France in 2019, certainly not out of the range for a keeper to be playing at the highest level.
Perhaps it is time for head coach Jill Ellis to start to playing Alyssa Naeher or Ashlyn Harris a little more.
If this was Hope Solo's last appearance at a major international tournament, she is going out a loser in so many ways.