Hope Solo made a lot of news in Olympics 2016. She was jeered by the Brazilian crowd for her Zika comments. She is very outspoken, competitive and confident. Because of these qualities, she might get into trouble in the public opinion sphere.
Hope Solo is definitely a polarizing figure and her new comments about the Swedish team just cements this.
The US women?s soccer team suffered a tough loss Friday in Rio. The US team had controlled the ball for most of the game–around three quarters. They also got off a lot of shots but never found goal. Kevin Baxter of Los Angeles Times observed that the US women?s soccer team is own worst enemy as they occasionally rush their attempts. Also, they also take way too ambitious attempts. Their attacking style is enjoyed by many but in the quarterfinal game against Sweden, it did not pay off.
The US-Sweden game ended with a 1-1 draw. The first goal came from Sweden?s Stina Blackstenius in the 61st minute. Blackstenius dashed from the right wing into the box and slides a low-right-footed shot that went past Hope Solo to the net. This was scored in a counter-attack. The US women?s soccer team though came back from behind courtesy of a play ending with Alex Morgan scoring in the 75th minute tying the game.
Then it was time for penalty shots and this time, it sent the Swedish team towards the semi-finals. Lisa Dahlvist was responsible for the game-winning penalty in the fifth round. Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Landhal stopped the shot from Alex Morgan in the first round. Christen Press, for the US, ?shot her kick way over the bar in the final round. Solo was not happy with the results.
She criticized the Swedish team after the game saying that they dropped back and didn?t want to open play. She said that they did not play entertaining soccer and this, she added, is disrespectful to the game. She also felt that the Swedish played a very physical and combative game. This, she thought, was their game plan all along.
She also said that they played against a ?bunch of cowards? and the best team did not win today.
— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) August 12, 2016
Admittedly, Hope Solo is bad at losing. This is likely what makes great athletes great. Like her or hate her, she has achieved a lot with this kind of mindset and attitude.
In the end though, the Swedish are going to the Semifinals against Brazil. Would they pull it off with a conservative and defensive style of play? What do you think?