U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has shrugged off Hope Solo’s criticism ahead of her team’s World Cup opener.
In a press conference on Monday in France, Ellis commented on Solo’s remarks about her and defended her time as head coach. Solo was quoted in on a BBC podcast, stating that Ellis “cracks under pressure”.
“Comments are comments,” Ellis said. “I feel over the past five years [I’ve] made a lot of important decisions. And I have processes to make those decisions and own those processes. And at this point everything and every focus is about this group of players that are here and now. Pundits that are out there, that’s part of it. And part of the message is always to make sure that the focus is on the internal part of the game. And that’s where we are.”
Since taking over in 2014, Ellis has led the USWNT to one World Cup title (2015), two Concacaf Women’s Championships (2014, 2018), two SheBelieves Cups (2016, 2018) and one Algarve Cup (2015).
Solo played for Ellis during both the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, but was suspended for six months by U.S. Soccer after those Olympics. The USWNT was eliminated in the quarterfinals after a penalty shootout loss to Sweden, in which Solo called Sweden “a bunch of cowards” postmatch.
Since that suspension, the 37-year-old Solo has neither played professionally or for the National Team.
The USWNT opens group stage play in Reims on Tuesday against Thailand.