The Trials of Hope Solo

I am still trying figure out what was wrong with what Hope Solo said about how Sweden played in the Rio Olympics soccer quarterfinals.

No, let me back up. I was shocked when I read what she had said. Then, I chucked it to Hope being true to herself. Her team lost a frustrating match. She said what her more tactful teammates felt but wouldn’t say.

Sweden, now coached by former USWNT coach Pia Sundhage, decided to ‘park the bus,’ as the saying goes, essentially playing with as many players behind the ball as it could and only making counterattacking forays. It’s a legitimate tactic to deploy against a team with superior talent but it does not make for scintillating soccer.

Solo called the Swedes “a bunch of cowards.”

Hope Solo answers questions after the USWNT against Canada on 9/22/11 from Chris Singer on Vimeo.

Calling your opponent “cowards” at the end of gut-wrenching loss was, at the very least, ugly, classless and unsportsmanlike. It is also one of the more benign things you could call an opponent in any competition, especially in the cesspool that is the world Olympics movement. Don’t forget this is the same Olympics that featured Ryan Lochte and Justin Gatlin, drugged-up athletes from at least Russia, the same Olympics where an official was arrested for scalping tickets.

The games themselves, all of it, were a disgrace, purchased as they were by scarce resources that should have gone to taking care of Brazil’s much impoverished population.

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