Hope Solo Made Scapegoat | Teen Ink

Hope Solo Made Scapegoat

January 22, 2008
By Anonymous

Hope Solo Made Scapegoat

The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team was wrong to shun Hope Solo. Hope Solo, their top goalkeeper, was benched in the World Cup semi-final game against Brazil. Solo said some things she should not have said, but that still gave them no right to ban her from all team activities. She was not allowed to cheer on her teammates, eat with them, ride the bus with them, or even fly home with the team. That’s just going over the top. Hope apologized privately and publicly for Pete’s sake!
The U.S. team, a role model to many young aspiring players, were representing their home towns, states, and the U.S. I don’t think that rejecting their teammate was a very good way to be a role model and representative.

Hope Solo did say some things that she shouldn’t have, but she had also been implicitly slammed by Greg Ryan, the coach, when he went public before the game trying to justify why he was going to play Brianna Scurry instead of Hope. The only reason I can come up with is that Brianna Scurry played Brazil in the 2004 Olympics, and the team won. I agree with what Hope said, although I probably would have put it a little differently, that Brianna had a good game against Brazil, but that was four years ago. Hope had gone a little over three games (300 minutes) without a goal, and Brianna hadn’t played that much for the U.S. team in at least a year.

Most people don’t realize that Brianna Scurry said something similar about Siri Mullinix (the keeper who played before Brianna) during the 2004 Olympics about the 2000 Olympic Gold Medal game vs. Norway, “I put myself into that entire game, and I’ve always felt—and still feel—that if I were playing, we would have won.” Sound familiar? Hope Solo said this: “There’s no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves…”

After Hope made her comments, Greg Ryan used her as a scapegoat to take the focus off of his coaching mistakes and the team’s poor performance. Yes, they lost 4-0. Most people probably don’t know how important this game was to Hope personally because of her father dying before he got to watch her play in a friendly game against Brazil a few months earlier. He had been homeless for years and had not seen her play. That’s another long story but they had reconnected and he was coming to her game but died of a heart attack. She was even planning to sprinkle some of his ashes in the goal box for this game against Brazil. Give her a break Coach! Her dad just died!
They lost their first game in five years that day, against Brazil. They had the worst loss that the U.S. team has ever had in history that day! Not only did it “ruin” Hope’s reputation, but it also “ruined” Brianna’s as she was not prepared to play.
Greg Ryan made a huge mistake that day, by playing Brianna instead of Hope, but then making her a scapegoat for the whole team’s loss and his mistakes, was even worse. Who knows, if he had played Hope, they might have won and went on to the finals as they were expected to do, and he’d still have his job.

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