Hope Solo has joined the criticism against the United States Women’s National Team.
Solo, who played goalie for the USWNT from 2000-2016 and played every minute of the team’s 2015 World Cup triumph, joined others in ripping the American goal celebrations during their 13-0 throttling over Thailand on Tuesday.
Solo, who was suspended in 2016 for calling Sweden’s Olympic team a “bunch of cowards,” expressed her distaste for the celebrations on “CBS This Morning” on Thursday.
“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 No. 1 team in the world. I think it was unnecessary to have planned-out goal celebrations.”
The predetermined nature of the celebrations was what bothered Solo the most.
“My favorite goal celebrations are the ones that come naturally, because you really see the passion from the player,” Solo said. “What I thought was so classy was after the end of the game, 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.”
Many around the USWNT, specifically coach Jill Ellis, questioned whether the United States Men’s National Team would receive the same judgement if they were to win in the same fashion.
“I think that’s how you grow the game,” Solo said. “There’s this ongoing debate now in England about ‘How do we push the women’s game forward?’ Well, we have to be willing to take criticism as women athletes and women footballers because ultimately the men take criticism as well.”
Solo was asked whether celebration critiques were counterproductive to growing the women’s game and the current equal pay for equal play movement.
“I don’t think it’s counterproductive,” Solo said. “Because like I said, we can celebrate goals. America loves winning, and we certainly put on quite the show the other night. It was a beautiful performance by the United States, but I still think we can celebrate those goals and the fans can enjoy the game without having the choreographed celebrations.”
This is not the first time Solo has butted heads with the current USWNT, as she previously criticized Ellis, who coached her in the 2015 World Cup, on the “BBC Football Daily” podcast.
“I don’t agree a lot with Jill Ellis, to be quite honest,” Solo said last week. “She’s not the leader I wish her to be. She relies heavily on her assistant coaches. She cracks under the pressure quite a bit. But oftentimes it doesn’t matter, because the quality of the players on the U.S. team is superb.”
Despite her qualms with the team, Solo still wants to see them succeed.
“Ultimately I know that the United States are going to do what they do best, and they’re gonna score goals,” Solo said Thursday morning. “And ultimately, they will come out on top on this second game, as well.”