'It was unnecessary' – Solo questions class of USWNT following Thailand celebrations

The former goalkeeper took aim at her former teammates for their reactions during their 13-0 World Cup-opening victory

Former U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo became the latest pundit to criticize the team following Tuesday’s 13-0 victory over Thailand.

The U.S. has been condemned in some quarters in the wake of that match for both continuing to run up the score and celebrating goals, with former Canadian national team stars Clare Rustad and Kaylyn Kyle​ saying the USWNT should be “embarrassed”.

Carli Lloyd was seen after the match consoling Thailand goalkeeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying with the USWNT star saying she understands the “human element” that comes with such lopsided scorelines.

Solo was quick to praise Lloyd’s reaction, but the former goalkeeper, who was suspended in 2016 after calling Sweden’s Olympic team a “bunch of cowards” following the USWNT’s quarterfinal loss, took aim at some of her former teammates for their celebrations.

“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 told CBS This Morning.

“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 number one team in the world…I think it was unnecessary to have planned-out goal celebrations.

“My favorite goal celebrations are the ones that come naturally, because you really see the passion from the player. 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.” 

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She added: “There’s a time and place for the choreographed celebration, and there’s a time and place for just, the natural, whatever happens after a goal, the natural aspect of sport. And I think that’s what I want to see more of.”  

Despite her comments, Solo says she feels the USWNT are in a good place as the team prepares to take on Chile in their second group stage match on Tuesday.

“I think that they have a lot of momentum right now,” she said. “They’re playing with so much confidence … I want to see the United States defense get tested. Because ultimately, they haven’t been tested yet — and to win this tournament, it has to be a complete team performance, but we have not seen how our United States defense and goalkeeper will perform under pressure.

“But ultimately I know that the United States are going to do what they do best, and they’re gonna score goals, and ultimately, they will come out on top in this second game, as well.”    

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