August 12, 2016
Solo calls Sweden 'a bunch of cowards' after USA elimination
By Michael Lewis
|Hope Solo: "Iím very proud of this team. But I also think we played a bunch of cowards."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Well, Hope Solo was at it again Friday afternoon.
No, she wasn't making any saves to save the U.S. women's bacon in their Olympic quarter final elimination to Sweden in Brasilia, Brazil.
It was her reaction to the defeat after the Swedes handed the Americans their earliest elimination from a tournament -- Women's World Cup or Olympics.
Solo called Sweden "a bunch of cowards" after the Americans were shown the door at the Rio Olympics as they lost in a shootout, 4-3, following a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes of regulation and extratime.
"Iím very proud of this team," Solo told reporters. "But I also think we played a bunch of cowards.
"The best team did not win today. I strongly believe that. I think you saw American heart. You saw us give everything we had today," she told SI.com's Grant Wahl.
Asked why she called the Swedes cowards, Solo replied that she wasn't impressed with their tactics.
"They dropped into a 50," she said. "They didnít try and press. They didnít want to open the game. And they tried to counter with long balls. We had that style of play when Pia was our coach. I donít think theyíre going to make it far in the tournament. I think it was very cowardly. But they won. Theyíre moving on, and weíre going home."
Pia is Pia Sundhage, the Swedish coach. Sundhage directed the USA to a pair of gold medal victories in 2008 and 2012 and to the finals of the 2011 Women's World Cup, where the USA lost in a shootout to Japan.
Sundhage's reply to Solo's comments?
"I don't give a crap," she said. "I'm going to Rio, she's going home."
Sweden will play the winner of the Brazil-Australia Friday night, in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday.