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Solo delivers bitter rant after USWNT’s Olympic loss

Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

To say Hope Solo was upset following the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 4-3 loss in a penalty shootout to Sweden in the Olympic quarterfinals would be an understatement.

The U.S. goalkeeper sounded off when asked about her thoughts on the game, saying that the defending gold medalists “played a bunch of cowards,”:

Solo also criticized Sweden’s game plan, claiming that “they didn’t want to play great soccer” or open up the play and that the U.S. utilized a similar system under Pia Sundhage, who now coaches the Swedes. However, the tactician did not seem irked by the shot-stopper’s comments.

Solo then backtracked slightly after her initial post-game remarks.

“I’ve won and lost a lot of games in my career,” Solo told Sports Illustrated. “And not all wins have been pretty. Sometimes it’s just finding a way to win that matters the most and tonight Sweden found a way to beat us.”

Solo’s comments didn’t seem to bother Sundhage, who had a stinging reply to Solo’s remarks:

Someone who did take issue with Solo’s comments was former U.S. Women’s World Cup winner Julie Foudy, who called the comments “ridiculous and classless”.


This is the first time the USWNT has both failed to reach the semifinals of a major tournament and has failed to medal at the Olympics.

What do you think of Solo’s comments? Think they’re inexcusable? Just the frustration of an emotional athlete? Agree with her comments?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The way she phrased it was ill-chosen and saying it right after a game comes off as sour grapes. So I’m not defending her decision to make these comments.

    That said, this is one of the worst parts of tournament football. Teams can show up, play anti-football and still make deep runs. Portugal just won Euro 2016 playing that way. I don’t think there’s a solution but it does make major tournaments less fun to watch. USWNT didn’t create a lot of chances with all of their possession anyway so they can’t complain too much.

  2. “Cowards” may be a bit much, but there is really nothing to see here. The notion that a team playing a defensive style is somehow not living up to some sort of moral/ethical/aesthetic standard is one of the oldest tropes in soccer. Some managers or players say roughly the equivalent thing every week. It doesn’t matter whether the notion is right or not. It does matter if we are holding Solo to some standard we’d never hold man saying the same thing.

    • “It does matter if we are holding Solo to some standard we’d never hold man saying the same thing.”

      Yep, just as I was commenting above and as az18 and others have also already noted. I’m not sure there’s routinely this much flak for male players even for physical behavior on the field of play, which is objectively worse than any post-game commentary could be (sticks and stones, you know).

    • really, so we are going to act like Ronaldo wasnt crucified for his comments against Iceland or that people wanted to ban Suarez for life after his biting incident or that Benzema wasnt kicked out of the French National team for his role in the Valbuena situation. There is no double standard here, its just an accumulation of Solo’s past antics that have eroded people’s opinions of her.

    • The Suarez situation is not comparable as it is on-field physical violence against other players, and clearly not even of any type that could be considered part of play and just excessive. It is objectively speaking much worse than what Solo said because it’s much worse than what anyone could just say off the field like that. Nevertheless, he’s playing again, right? And is quite valued for it.

      Did anybody say CR7 was a sh–ty person and trash and all the rest of it, because of his recent comments? Did they say he should quit representing his country or quit playing altogether? Or that he was drunk (again)? Did they recommend he enter the porn industry? He has hardly been “crucified”, as you put it.

      Did Benzema get any of that sort of treatment?

      You only have to compare the reactions to see the glaring double standard in operation.

  3. And which coach out there doesn’t want tough-minded players like Solo on his/her team? Folks need to stop pretending that professional athletes don’t get upset when they lose.

    • The better team lost soundbite isn’t uncommon in sports. It’s usually displays poor sportsmanship, but I understand the “competitor” angle you’re trying to reference.

      In this case, I don’t think you’ll find too many people (fans or otherwise) who feel her statements were justified or called for. Players are human and non-robotic answers are appreciated, but when identifying the source, it’s par for the course on a trashy individual.

      This and the rest of her comments rung of bad blood for Pia. Why? I don’t know, but I can only guess. Knowing what we read in the headlines, it was probably Pia that helped keep Solo in check and stay out of jail – so she resented her oversight…as criminals usually do.

      • “it was probably Pia that helped keep Solo in check and stay out of jail – so she resented her oversight…as criminals usually do.”

        unfounded speculation => personal attack

      • “trashy individual” Wow, how do you live with yourself? First, Solo is a long serving member of our national team and a rather good goalkeeper. Second, she is just another human being, with her faults and strengths.
        I realize that standards on the internet are low and standards on soccer boards even lower, but comments like this have no place at all in any kind of conversation. You should be ashamed of yourself. I am ashamed of you. You don’t belong on this site or any other.

    • “Folks need to stop pretending that professional athletes don’t get upset when they lose.”

      Agreed. But then you may have forgotten that she’s a woman, you see, and to therefore apply the corresponding double standard evident in this regard.

      Not that I like at all what she said (though hearing the original comments in full and in context, and seeing her self-effacing follow-up about it, admitting she has long been bad at losing, serve well to mitigate the overall effect). But it’s hardly unusual for players on the men’s side of the game (or obviously in other sports) to make denigrating comments about their opponents, including of course when they suffer a bitter loss. What’s unusual is to see this degree of uproar about it.

      • When Cam Newton lost the most recent Super Bowl and he sulked through an abbreviated press conference it was analyzed for weeks after, and there was way more made of it than the Solo comments. When Bill Belichick loses a big game there are cameras trained on him to capture the quality and sincerity of the post-game handshake. Even Ronaldo was being mocked for his poor-sport comments after the Iceland game. Those are just 3 examples off the top of my head. If you have proof Solo is being held to a different standard than a man please provide it.

      • Have any of those 3 been referred to repeatedly as trash or sh—ty people or called criminals or alleged to be drunk or said to be barely kept in line only by those above them or recommended for the porn industry? Or has anyone suggested they should leave the sport, following the behavior in question? That’s all happened here wrt Solo just in the last 24 hours and is similarly all just off the top of my head, without trying to go back and do a thorough check first (and I’m most likely missing some other choice ones).

      • If you have proof Solo is being held to a different standard than a man please provide it.

        Don’t hold your breath. In case you haven’t noticed, the white knights are out in full force defending Hope purely based on her being female and attractive (even though she’s not).

        She’s referred to as trash because she is and a criminal because she is.

      • “Don’t hold your breath.”

        Well he won’t need to, will he, as I provided what he was asking for some time before you even told him that. Interesting to note you avoid addressing that, however…

        “In case you haven’t noticed, the white knights are out in full force defending Hope purely based on her being female and attractive (even though she’s not).”

        More pure speculation about things you couldn’t possibly know about that you then use as the basis for ad hominem attacks.

        “She’s referred to as trash because she is and a criminal because she is.”

        …and still more personal attacks.

      • How does a human being become “trash?” How is referring to another human being as “trash” acceptable, even on the internet?
        Internet comments are generally pretty awful, but the discussion of Hope Solo is some of the worst I have ever seen. In the heat of the moment, she said something that many soccer folks believe and she has then been subjected to incredible abuse.
        She is a successful player who has overcome a great deal to get where she is. Like the rest of us, she has made mistakes, but there is no question that she has served the national team well and, I believe, deserves everyone’s support.

      • Really? Was she serving that national team well with the van incident or throwing a fit about the Scurry thing?

      • She was right about her abilities v Scurry’s, and right to complain about pulling her in favor of Scurry, which again is something male players do all the time but do not get so berated for.

        But Dr O is quite correct wrt calling her trash and the genera tenor of the comments here, and happily TPTB here removed your last comment of that type, Bryan, which was beyond the pale.

        Interesting to consider that the response to someone who calls other cowards is to call that person trash (or all the other things that she has been called here). That’s some good thinking in evidence, there.

      • Name me one instance in which anyone on the USMNT or USWNT has completely disrespected a teammate in the media like that. Obviously, she should have started over Scurry but you keep your comments in house. But trash is as trash does…

      • I don’t know of any other such comments from WNT or MNT players, but then I also don’t know off the top of my head of any other such unreasonable benchings, and wasn’t attempting to artificially limit the context to the US national teams for eligible or valid comparisons. If you haven’t seen male players in a variety of sports complain about coaching decisions that leave them on the bench — or about other negative aspects surrounding their play, team, contract, ownership, etc — you really haven’t been paying attention to sports very much. But as I noted the other day, the reaction when male players do it is not to call them sh–ty people or trash or say they should quit the team/sport in question or all of these other things.

      • Maybe Cam Newton would have caught more shade than he already undoubtedly did if he had the checkered past Hope carries around with her? And I’m not talking about someone’s opinion that Hope is a jerk (she is), i’m talking about police reports. Multiple police reports.

      • Dunno if he would have or not. And that’s just one of the cases you mentioned; I don’t see a lot of evidence being brought forth from the side that says there’s no double standard, or other responses on that point when evidence of the double standard is presented.

        As for the police reports, well there are lots of police reports on a lot of people, and a lot of people have done irresponsible or even despicable things. None of us were there when Solo’s family’s domestic violence incident occurred that resulted in misdemeanor charges that the family members bring them later dropped. There’s no Ray Rice video or other smoking gun type of evidence. The world has moved on, and I for one was not talking about police reports about previous behavior but rather the current topic, “Solo delivers bitter rant after USWNT’s Olympic loss”, and how different the reaction to it has been as compared to how male athletes are generally treated in such cases.

  4. Sounds a lot like Ronaldo’s comments on Iceland. He was wrong then and She is certainly wrong now. Its part of soccer. It’s like these players think they are entitled to win and pout when they don’t.

  5. This is what happens when you have a star that has no one keeping her ego grounded. I blame all the higher-ups and other USWNT leaders for Solo’s shenanigans. She only pulls this baloney because she gets away with it.

    • Agree on US Soccer, they should have dropped her long ago. Also disappointed that some of the veteran players on the team haven’t taken action, whether it’s pressuring Solo to behave or pushing her out of the team. Solo makes the entire team look bad.

  6. Hope Solo has sense of entitlement to win gold. she should look I mirror and question what she did wrong.
    Time for USWNT to move on from her. Other GK as talented without having baggage

  7. No question Sweden’s tactis were to defend , defend, and counter. They did it well and the USA could not manage more than a single goal despite a large number of shots. (Actually Sweden was robbed, the last goal was not offside, while the one the USA had called back was a clear foul by Lloyd.) It was a fair result in that if you can’t score, you are not going to win many soccer games.

    • agree on all except the ‘clear’ foul on Lloyd; have seen that not called a million times but to be clear, I am not making excuses…no excuses. Sweden won

  8. wow, embarrassing for US soccer in the least. I’m using this as a teachable moment to my kids and my teams. Pathetic response to defeat from Solo

    • Oh? Are we done blindly praising her from the previous thread?

      cheers Vlad, RB

      August 12, 2016”

      There’s a lot more to work with in teaching our youth what not to be when looking at the way Hope Solo conducts her personal life as public figure and face of women’s soccer. This moment is only scratching the surface.

      Cheers though for seeing the light.

      • I never blindly praised her you a-hole. I only realize that her strap on her glove broke so I didn’t rip her for that some others here…get it now dumass?

        as for seeing the light, go out and coach these kids like I have my whole life and then tell me what you’ve learned you keyboard wimp

      • Dont take it personally, BB. Old School is just being consistent in misrepresenting others’ views and comments, on the topic of Hope Solo. Reality is hard!

      • Get used to it beachbum. Old School has literally nothing better to do than remember every comment on this site so he can cite to it and say “gotcha!” Doesn’t sound like much fun to me but it’s the highlight of his day.

    • When you’re facing a 10% chance of success (save % on pk’s) and your existence in the tournament requires that you get a result, you do what you can to push the odds in your favor.

      I have no problems with trying to ice the kicker in that situation – for any team.

  9. No one has ever accused Hope Solo of being classy. Maybe if she woulda stopped another penalty. Pia had one thing to say to her “ziiiiiiikkkkkaaaaaaa”!!!

  10. You bring what you have to help your team. Some bring a cowardly style of play some bring a piece of sheat human being as their keeper.

  11. Media needs to stop being so sensitive.. it’s getting rediculous. Solo is absolutely right. Did you see the way Sweeden played? They parked the bus. If you can’t see that “parking the bus” is cowardly, that’s fine.

    • Well, then supporting a team playing with a defensive strategy has made me a coward all my life. USMNT, DC United, Puerto Rico national teams, PR Islanders, I could keep going on.

      Solo’s shown yet another time that she lacks class. I’m glad that no one asked her about about our male countrymen over the years. Park the bus, look to counter when we face superior competition.

      I laughed at some TFC fans when they got eliminated from the CCL years ago by PR Islanders and I’m laughing at Hope now. It’s not ballett or synchronized swimming.

      The sad thing is, I’m still stung by today’s loss. Pia doing what Pia does. Everybody knew that game plan was coming and out team still couldn’t get the result…

      • Lacks class? It’s her rightful perspective. I saw the same thing. Parking the bus can be seen as cowardly by some. I’m a huge USMNT fan, but I always see it as cowardly whenever we park the bus, but it’s still entertaining. After all, I’m a defender by trade.

        Respect somebody’s perspective. Any other ne perspective is not absolutely wrong or right, especially when it is opionated like this was.

    • So this is about “the media”? Seriously? The thousands of people on social media who were appalled by her comments was because of the media?

      Oh, please. Stop being an apologist for classless Solo. You do what you have to do – within the rules – to win the game. Props to the Swedes. Defending and counter-attacking is a time-honored tactic when you’re out-skilled. A heavy favorite (as the US was) should find a way to win anyway.

      You’re wrong, Alex. And so was Hope Solo. She embarrassed herself and her country.

      • People are tired of her past antics. I get it. However, saying a team played cowardly is just an opinion that does not need to get blown out of proportion. Relax, dude.

      • One again its the “media”. Probably a Trump voter to boot. No, if someone lacks class or expresses unsportsmanlike behavior its ok to call it out. It’s called civility. If a player were to lose a game and calls the others cheats is that fine? Just someone expressing themselves? No, they lack what we are supposed to be about, decency. Decency when we lose and decency when we win. Boisterous winning is just as bad as passing the buck when we lose. Maybe you just lacked a proper American upbringing.

      • According to you I’m a Trump supporter, lack decency, and I’m unamerican because I view “parking the bus” as cowardly and an intelligent tactic (I’m glad that the USMNT uses it when its prudent). That’s a bit of an over presumptuous statement.

        I do know one thing about Trump supporters is that they don’t respect opinions differing from their own, and you don’t seem to be any different. Get off your high horse, buddy.

      • Bryan, I am defending the point that calling the way another team using the “park the bus method” as cowardly is only contentious to the weakest minded individuals, which seems to be you and few others on this thread.

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