Friday, December 07, 2007

Hope Speaks


Sounds like Hope Solo is still reeling from the whole World Cup experience, which I summarize as:

Greg-Ryan-Makes-An-Idiotic-Decision, Solo-Gives-Ill-Considered-Interview-After-Goading-By-USSoccer-Press-Flack
Then-The-Team-Shuns-Her
Happy-Ending: Moron-Ryan-Fired-Pia-Sundhage-Hired

I hope she realizes how many rabid women's soccer fans support her. There is no proper way to react when your coach makes "the worst decision in the history of organized sports" and takes you out of the most important game of your career. There's no manual for that one.

She is interviewed by AP by phone: Hope Solo Talks About World Cup

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In her first public comments since a brutally frank TV interview in which she criticized her benching, Solo told The Associated Press she never saw it coming and wasn't prepared for it.

"I had felt as though my childhood dream basically had been ripped away from me," she said.

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"It is a little difficult to relive that," she said. "Mentally, I was full of all sorts of emotions. The World Cup was the only thing that kept me together after the death of my father (in June), kept me fighting and together and dedicated to the game.

"Moreso, the moment I realized we didn't have the opportunity to win the gold medal, my world came tumbling down. I had nothing to immediately give back to my father. I was wound so tight emotionally, and the moment after the loss I broke."

The worst part, Solo said, was her comments seemed directed at her teammates as well as at Ryan, who recently was replaced at coach by Pia Sundhage.

"Of course I know I have some friendships to rebuild and teammates to rebuild relationships with," she said. "But there is nothing I can go back and do.

"Never did I intend to put down a teammate, and that is the thing that hurts the most. I always have respected and will respect Bri. And that is the thing that hurts me the most."

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"I have reached out to her, but beyond the Mexico series we have not really spoken, which is not unusual with my teammates, because we're often not together for long (stretches)," Solo said.

"I have spoken to a handful of different teammates here and there at different levels. In the end, we are all professionals and have a common goal to qualify for the 2008 Olympics. I can only hope we put our differences aside because we have a job to do.

"It's important we respect each other on the field; we don't have to be best friends off the field."

The 25-year-old keeper from Richland, Wash., chuckled at the irony of the Olympics, for which the Americans must qualify in April, being staged in China.

"China is going to bring back a lot of memories for me, no doubt," she said. "But I've been through a lot of worse things in life."

Particularly the death of her father, Jeffrey. Would getting that gold medal in the Olympics ease the pain from the World Cup fiasco?

"My father was even more excited about this World Cup than I was," she said, her voice cracking. "Looking back, it is not just gold medals that I have to celebrate his life and give back to his passing. If I never see a gold medal in my life, I will be doing what I can to make my father proud."

2 comments:

Anfield Iron said...

Is that summary haiku?

Can we make a category that's "worst collective decision in the history of organized sports"? I nominate Carter's boycott of the 1980 Olympics for that.

Also, we have to have some mention/category for the 1972 Olympic men's basketball final. "Worst rigged bullshit decision of all time"?

Love you, Truth

truth said...

Sorry, AI, more than 17 syllables. A bastardized version. Real haiku doesn't have the dashes, either.

How 'bout worst decision in the history of sports by the worst person in the history of sports? I nominate George W. Bush's trade of Sammy Sosa. Bad man, bad decision.