As much as people in the United States love their women’s soccer team, Hope Solo has always been more of a divisive figure. She also didn’t have a great Olympics. The nadir came for Solo and her teammates when Sweden upset them in penalty kicks, eliminating the United States in the quarterfinals. The four-time defending champions are going home, and Solo is not happy about it. She let her disappointment be known in a diatribe wherein she called the Swedish team “cowards.”
It’s understandable that Solo is frustrated following such a shocking loss. It’s fair to assume she might feel extra culpable as the losing goalkeeper in a game that featured penalty kicks, too. But every team is entitled to employ a strategy that gives it the best chance to win, and Sweden’s coach, Pia Sundhage, thought controlling the ball and limiting scoring opportunities gave her side a good opportunity to pull off the upset. The Swedish native was right, too, which only makes her and her players smart – not “cowardly.”
Sundhage, who coached the United States until 2012, fired back at Solo with a mic drop of her own.
“I don’t give a crap,” she told Sports Illustrated, “I’m going to Rio, she’s going home.” Solo can complain all she wants and call Sweden “cowards” until the proverbial cows come home. Sundhage has the trump card here, and she wasn’t afraid to use it. The U.S. lost and Sweden won. They don’t give out gold medals for bravery.
(Via Sports Illustrated)