Hope Solo was never known for her tact.
And after Team USA’s penalty shootout defeat to Sweden Friday and unceremonious exit from the 2016 Olympics, her comments continued in that same vein. The goalie’s classless rant included calling Sweden “a bunch of cowards.”
“I thought we played a courageous game,” she said. “…I think we showed a lot of heart…But I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I truly believe that…They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer…I don’t think they’re going to make it very far in the tournament. I think it was very cowardly…The best team did not win today.”
It was par for the course for Solo. During the 2007 World Cup, she threw a very public temper tantrum after getting benched for a subpar performance. In 2012, Solo helped the women’s team win the Olympic gold medal, but she also failed a drug test and had a nasty public spat with former teammate and soccer analyst Brandi Chastain, in which she berated Chastain’s abilities as a commentator. In 2014, Solo was arrested for assault after a drunken fight with relatives got physical, leaving visible injuries to her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew.
Perhaps the most telling part of this latest transgression is the fact that Sweden is coached by Pia Sundhage, who coached the U.S. women from 2008-2012, and shared more than a few differences with Solo. Sundhage engineered Sweden’s gameplan to frustrate the U.S. She obviously knew best what would work and what wouldn’t.
While Solo’s comments were clearly aimed at Sundhage, it was Sundhage who got the last laugh, “I don’t give a crap. I’m going to Rio, and she’s going home,” she replied.