Hope Solo wouldn’t have stood for the United States women’s soccer team’s antics if she was on the field.
The former USA goalkeeper criticized USA players Thursday during her appearance on “CBS This Morning” for performing planned goal celebrations during their 13-0 rout of Thailand in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. USA sparked controversy this week for running up the score against a clearly overmatched opponent and for what some consider over-the-top celebrations during their record-setting, 13-0 win.
Solo, who helped USA win two Olympic Gold Medals and one World Cup prior to her firing from the team in 2016, is among those who accuse USA of poor sportsmanship.
“I am no stranger to controversy, but let me tell you: I am a proponent of respecting my opponents, and I always have been,” Solo said. “Obviously, I’ve made some comments in the past out of poor sportsmanship, but I truly believe that we have to show so much class, especially coming from the number one team in the world … . I think it was unnecessary to have planned-out goal celebrations.”
Solo prefers spontaneous outpourings of emotion to planned celebrations after goals.
“My favorite goal celebrations are the ones that come naturally, because you really see the passion from the player,” she said. “What I thought was so classy was after the end of the game, (USA forward) Carli Lloyd went up to the Thailand goalkeeper, and she put her arm around her and walked her off the field. That’s the kind of class I want to see from the United States.”
USA’s victory in its tournament opener made headlines and boosted the visibility of the team and star players like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Lloyd, as they seek to repeat as world champion. USA’s next outing will be Sunday when it faces Chile in their second Group F game. National and global audiences will watch intently to gauge not only how the players play but also how they behave.