If anyone knows World Cup soccer, it’s Hope Solo, the two-time Olympic gold medalist who starred as the United States Women’s National Team’s goaltender for more than 15 years and helped America capture the FIFA women’s tournament in 2015.
And while Solo was admittedly happy for the U.S. exploding out of the gate with Tuesday’s record-breaking 13-0 rout of Thailand in Group F play, she sides with those critical of the way the USWNT celebrated its historic blowout.
In a guest column for The Guardian on Wednesday, Solo said “it was tough for me to watch some of the U.S. goal celebrations” and suggested some of their players’ behaviors went “overboard” as the scoreline got uglier, echoing this week.
“Should the US have taken their foot off the pedal against Thailand? Absolutely not,” she wrote, before diving into the celebrations.
You do want the game to be celebrated and you do want to see players having fun but at the same time I thought some of the celebrations were a little overboard. A few seemed planned out and I do know some players spend a lot of time thinking about celebrations for the fans. It’s not always necessary. We haven’t won the World Cup yet.
Instead of championing the USWNT’s late-match celebrations as merely an “explosion of joy,” as a criticized Megan Rapinoe did following the victory, Solo pointed to Carli Lloyd as a role model for handling such circumstances.
“One of the classiest things I saw was Carli Lloyd going directly to Sukanya Chor Charoenying, Thailand’s goalkeeper, after the game,” Solo wrote. “Carli put her arm around her and supported her as they walked off the field. Thirteen goals on a goalkeeper has to be incredibly tough.”