When the Olympics end, there will be all sorts of lingering questions, ranging from how to deal with continued doping problems to whether the Games should be awarded to countries that don’t seem capable of staging them.
But, really, there’s only one question that matters: When will Hope Solo go away?
The sooner the better following the goalkeeper’s graceless trashing of Sweden after it knocked the U.S. women’s team out of the Rio soccer competition Friday. The Swedes used a defensive strategy against the more talented American team, and it paid off in a big way. Sweden had only two shots on goal, but one of them got past Solo. After a 1-1 tie, Sweden won 4-3 in a shootout.
“I thought that we played a courageous game,” Solo said. “I thought that we had many opportunities on goal. I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down; I’m very proud of this team.
“I also think we played a bunch of cowards. But, you know, the best team did not win today; I strongly, firmly believe that. I think you saw America’s heart. You saw us give everything that we had today. Unfortunately the better team didn’t win.”
Solo isn’t a sore loser. She’s a national embarrassment.
Rather than worrying about how the other team plays its game, maybe Solo should ponder how she could have stopped both of the shots Sweden got against her in regulation. Not one – both. How about the American team scoring more than one goal on its 27 shots? Or how about Solo not allowing the ball to go through her legs on what should have been an easy save in an earlier game against Colombia, leading to a 2-2 tie?
She has been a distraction for too long, from an alleged assault against two relatives to a suspension after the national team learned through TMZ that her husband had been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence while she was in the car. She’s a controversy waiting to happen. She’s also one of the best goalkeepers around, meaning the women’s team has the same question before it that your typical NFL team does: Is she worth all the baggage?
If the American team wants to be the best in the world, it needs to start acting like it. With class and without Solo.