Hope Solo, the United States Women’s Soccer goalkeeper, already wasn’t the most popular athlete down in Rio after her Zika-related social media posts this summer. Her comments after her squad’s loss to Sweden on Friday aren’t going to help.
Hope Solo, after her team’s crushing quarterfinal loss to Sweden, which ensures the United States won’t medal in this year’s Olympic games, took a shot at the Swedish side, calling them “cowards.” It’s unclear exactly what provoked the quote, but it’s a doozy.
— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) August 12, 2016
Team USA struggled throughout the entire contest, but a second half goal from Alex Morgan knotted the score at 1-1 and forced extra time. After two questionable calls, which waived off goals by both sides, the contest went to penalty kicks. Morgan and Christen Press missed their kicks, and Sweden advanced, 4-3.
This is the first time in history that the United States has not medaled in women’s soccer at the Olympics. Team USA has won gold four times and settled for silver once.
Solo may be right about the second part of her statement – considering the Americans are World Cup champions are are generally regarded as the best team in the world. But when you get to the knockout stage, it only takes one poor effort to be sent packing.
Solo is getting criticized for her words on social media – with many expressing disappointment. Most don’t believe it paints the country in a great light.
The best teams in the world have to deal with inferior opposition that bunkers in and defends. But they don’t call them cowards.
— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) August 12, 2016
Shaking my head. https://t.co/FK3ofCcDdG
— Julie Foudy (@JulieFoudy) August 12, 2016
As a former athlete, I have serious serious problems with Hope Solo's conduct on/off the field, and her sportsmanship.
— Katie Marie (@KMarie_22_) August 12, 2016
Leave it Hope Solo to entirely miss the point of the Olympic games. https://t.co/65D3fRptN0
— Lara Schutz (@LaraMarieNY) August 12, 2016
So many great women role models in theae Olympics @hopesolo is not one of them
— The Notorious (@joecam_17) August 12, 2016
What led to Solo’s comments? It’s hard to know for sure. Players in all sports talk trash on the field – and most of the time, the cameras don’t catch it. But it didn’t seem like there was anything out of the ordinary that happened between her and any of Sweden’s players.
According to FIFA’s official rankings, Sweden is the sixth-ranked team in the world. The United States is first.
Update: Here’s the entire quote, via FOX Sports’ Grant Wahl. Solo was upset about Sweden’s game plan, apparently.
Full Hope Solo quote on Sweden after US was eliminated from the Olympics today. pic.twitter.com/UZVCAeur6m
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) August 12, 2016