Until recently women’s international soccer players had enjoyed a reputation for cheating far less than their male counterparts whose antics can often derail an entertaining match.
That was until Rio 2016. Move over Diego Costa and Luis Suarez, make room for the ugly American Hope Solo. Get ready Southsiders in Chicago, Her conduct in Friday’s Olympic women’s soccer quarter-final was so reprehensible the girl deserves to join the Gallagher Family on an episode of Shameless.
If we gave out red cards, United States women’s Olympic soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo would definitely be walking to the dressing room; If Brazilians gave red cards she wouldn’t even have been a factor during the final play of her match against Sweden.
Prior to the tournament she enraged people from the host nation and around the world after making light of the Zika Virus with some insensitive and tasteless jokes about mosquito netting and repellent concerning the dire situation in Brazil. No surprise that Solo was openly jeered every time she touched the ball throughout her team’s ill-fated Olympic campaign.
Then at the end of it all, a couple of weeks later, we all cringed again as the outspoken keeper launched another round of verbal Diarrhea following her team’s penalty kicks defeat in the quarter-finals on Fridays, calling her opponents from Sweden “Cowards” during a dressing-room tantrum in front of international media. Here is what the gracious athlete said in defeat:
“I don’t think they’re [Sweden] going to make it far in the tournament. I think it was very cowardly. But they won. They’re moving on, and we’re going home…”The best team did not win today, I strongly believe that. I think you saw American heart. You saw us give everything we had today.”
The comments were so ear-bending they even caught the attention of the International Olympic Committee who called them reprehensible but also said they were powerless to defend Solo for her words:
But if that wasn’t bad enough to permanently derail your enthusiasm for the Olympic spirit – prior to her post-match curtain call there was some more poor sportsmanship on display. This time it was in the form of blatant cheating on the field. What was Solo’s shameless act this time? A mock equipment change where she attempted to delay Sweden’s final spot kick in the extra-time tiebreaker by pretending her goalkeeper gloves were damaged and she needed them replaced.
Everyone watching knew it was 100 percent USDA B.S. After a more three minute delay, Sweden’s Lisa Dahlkvist calmly stroked the ball past Hope to win the match and a spot in the semi-finals.
In a perfect world the referee Anna-Marie Keighley of New Zealand would have allowed play to continue and let Sweden take the kick without Solo in goal. The decision would have been legal and put the spoiled sport from Richland, Washington in her place. Another option would have been to hand out a red card for deliberate time wasting, sending out the message that this type of behavior wouldn’t be tolerated.
Remember Hope there are young children watching an event celebrating sportsmanship and amateur athletic competition. The smart thing to do now would be to Tweet out an apology and make a public statement concerning your reprehensible behavior. And of course, next time think before you speak.