Hope Solo Has Choice Words Before Women's World Cup

The former goalkeeper criticizes Jill Ellis
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2019 3:35 PM CDT
Hope Solo Slams US Coach Before Women's World Cup
In this April 10, 2016, file photo, Hope Solo looks on prior to an international friendly soccer match against Colombia in Chester, Pa.   (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, file)

Nothing like starting the Women's World Cup on a positive note. Hope Solo, the US team's former goalkeeper, trashed the team's coach just three days before their Tuesday opener against Thailand, Reuters reports. "Jill—she's not the leader I wish her to be," said Solo of Jill Ellis during an interview with the BBC. "She relies heavily on her assistant coaches. She cracks under the pressure quite a bit. But oftentimes it doesn't matter, because the quality of the players on the US team is superb." In fact, Solo said the team's coach makes little difference: "We have a rich history of winning, a winning tradition, and it doesn't matter oftentimes who's coaching us, because we'll find a way to win ... in spite of who the coach is."

As if that wasn't enough, Solo penned a BBC column in which she criticized Ellis for lacking a tough approach. Ellis, the team's coach since 2014, "has not shown mistakes to defenders because she thinks it might affect their confidence," writes Hope, who later adds that Ellis "told me time and again she didn't want to hurt anybody's confidence, so we won't look at goals and we won't look at defensive mistakes." In Hope's view, "that's the wrong decision." A little jawing is nothing new for Solo, who was suspended from the team and saw her contract terminated when she branded the Swedish team "a bunch of cowards" after the Swedes beat the US on penalty kicks in 2016. Solo has also sued US soccer for alleged gender discrimination, per NBC Sports, and accused the former head of FIFA of sexual assault. (More Hope Solo stories.)

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