"I'm not happy with it, but it is the coachs decision and I have to be there for my team," replied Hope Solo regarding not getting the start prior to the U.S. womens soccer teams semi-final World Cup match against Brazil.
Fair enough. I can understand not being happy about being sidelined for the most important match of your career. And she seemed to understand that she still had a responsibility to support her teammates and be prepared to contribute in a positive way.
After hearing her post-game interview, it is quite clear that she did not grasp that concept.
I watched her interview make the rounds on ESPN several times after the game was over and became increasingly disappointed each time I heard her bark those disparaging words. Publicly calling out your coach, no matter how wrong he was, isn't a good idea; nor is slighting your teammate--especially if she is one of the most decorated keepers in the world.
Prior to the game, head coach Greg Ryan said Solo is a very talented keeper who will lead this team many years into the future. Now that future has become unclear for the young keeper. I think Julie Foudy's comments were right on and I would venture to say that many members of the U.S. team agree with her:
"It is an unwritten code of conduct that you don't do that to a player. This is a coach's decision so, if anyone, she could have made Coach Ryan the villain but instead she chose to attack a player, Brianna Scurry. To make the decision to go in front of a camera, if I'm a playerI don't think I want Hope in goal behind me."
For a team that has always been far removed from controversy, the loss on the field and the heated debate off the field made it the most regrettable day in the history of the United States women's national team.