Hope Solo back on the Twitter rampage

So the U.S. women’s soccer team cruised through its game against Colombia today, apart from that nasty punch to Abby Wambach’s face. Three goals, solid win. No problem, right?

Or maybe not.

That was her second Tweet after the game. The first was dated 2:44 p.m. ET. The game ended around 1:50 p.m. That’s quick.

I didn’t hear all of the commentary, given my other two jobs. So what was said?

Well that sounds serious. Anyone else want to weigh in?

OK, that clears things up.

Frankly, I’m not sure it matters if Brandi wound up and yelled “HOPE SOLO STINKS! THIS DEFENSE IS A JOKE!” over and over during the game. Fans can debate that.

Why the heck are players offering their critiques before they’ve even left the stadium?

And what does Solo know of Chastain’s comments? She wasn’t that busy during the game. Was she watching an NBC feed in the goal?

As regular readers know, this isn’t the first time Solo has wound up on Twitter. She has been significantly quieter since then.

But with a book coming up and promising to tell her side of the 2007 Women’s World Cup, along with some attention-getting interviews, I wondered before the Games whether Solo’s words were going to pose a threat to team chemistry. You could say it’s “new guard” (at least one of them) vs. “old guard,” but some of the old guard is still around.

Should they be worried?



Published by

Beau Dure

The guy who wrote a bunch of soccer books and now runs a Gen X-themed podcast while substitute teaching and continuing to write freelance stuff.

17 thoughts on “Hope Solo back on the Twitter rampage”

  1. I mean…you’re basing your opinion on asking what happened and taking the word of random people? I heard that the team watched bits of the game right after to see if the Abby punch looked intentional, but that’s just a rumor. She could have heard commentary then. She also could have heard from a family or friend who was watching, whose word she could trust. It’s not like this is the first time Brandi has said something that displeased people. Fans spend the majority of games complaining about her commentating. She took it too far, though, when she made a personal attack on a specific player. Hope thought it was right to defend her teammate and I respect that. I just wish she chose to voice her complaint to Brandi directly and in a less public manner.

  2. I know this is your blog and as such you can say whatever you like, BUT I really expect more from you than reading a few tweets. Suffer through 90+ minutes of Brandi explaining why nothing is right and how much better the team/player/outcome/weather/concession food/toilet paper would be if they did it her way, then blog away. Her contributions as a player and since she’s retired aren’t in dispute, it’s her ability to be a good commentator.

  3. But Diane, YOU suffered through 90+ minutes of her commentary. (I usually like her, but I have to say I don’t think she’s connecting with Arlo White.) Hope didn’t! She played the game!

    So Hope’s taking some snippet of commentary she heard and is drawing conclusions she deems worthy of broadcasting to nearly 500K followers (and the inevitable larger audience it’ll get on Deadspin and beyond).

    And she’s not just saying, “Geez, Brandi’s really negative.” There’s this:

    Lay off commentating about defending and gking until you get more educated @brandichastain the game has changed from a decade

    And this:

    I feel bad 4 our fans that have 2 push mute, especially bc @arlowhite is fantastic.@brandichastain should be helping 2 grow the sport

    Wow! So Brandi doesn’t know the game and isn’t helping to grow it? She should hang out with Brandi sometime. She’ll quickly lose that notion.

    Julia — What was the personal attack on a specific player?

  4. According to a lot of people (I was watching a stream without commentary) she called Mitts ‘the worst player’ and was also saying rude things about Buehler. She was essentially just saying the backline was terrible, but the scoreline didn’t support that. Sorry if I came off as rude before, haha. I’m a little protective.

  5. I don’t have much to say on this other than Solo comes off as petty and having a large ego the size of Lebrons. I personally stopped following her on Facebook and Twitter. My younger sisters who the “old” guard was their role models felt pretty much the same (one in the early 20s and the other a teen). I’m not sure what fans she is trying to reach but she lost three today.

  6. Chastain said Mitts was having the worst game of the four in the back. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of commentary from a sports analyst whose job it is to provide context and critique. Oftentimes the women’s soccer community treats this team with kid gloves like a bunch of U-7s, afraid to level any sort of critique for fear of hurting their feelings. They’re grown women and professional athletes who don’t need us to protect them, and shouldn’t be disturbed by commentary that is no worse than what they would hear from their own coaches when reevaluating their performances. Brandi said nothing that the team should be offended by. Funny that no one complains when Brandi critiques our opponents…

  7. Once Again She demonstrates why she is a liability… Supposedly her book will be a tell all of the inside story of 2007… Isn’t that a no-no for for the USWNT ? Guess this generation is gonna let it all hang out instead of keeping it in house…

    She is a bone head and needs to be in the spotlight… but don’t worry the tweets will disapear soon, her account will go blank due to some internal site error or hacking or whatever else she thinks she blame it on this time (International internet glitch anyone?)

  8. I often find myself wishing we could box up Hope Solo and put her in a closet somewhere when it’s not game time. Love her on the field. Off it, much of what she says and does induces groans, facepalms, and eyes rolled so far back in my head that I fear they will never return.

    The irritating part of this little snafu is that Hope is calling Brandi out for no good reason. Criticizing players’ performance is absolutely part of commentating. What irks fans about Brandi’s style is the constant coaching and pointing out what a team should have done in nearly every situation. She talks like she’s running a clinic, playing game tape for 10-year-olds and focusing on every single error in order to educate. If only Hope had complained about that instead. Better yet, if only she’d said nothing at all.

    As Beau says, and I think Diane would agree, Brandi does know the game and does quite a lot to support its growth. But she could use some lessons on good commentating.

    My own dream team? Thanks for asking! Ian Darke and Kate Markgraf.

  9. Meh from me. Brandi uses her soapbox to reach Olympic viewers who have to sit through it. Hope uses her own soapbox to respond. Both of them can do whatever they want, but at least with Hope, you can unfollow her and with Brandi, you HAVE to sit through it to get any game sound!

    I hope NBC will provide a no-commentary version of the games. That would be pretty cool. I think BBC has done something like that, provided a with commentary and without commentary stream.

    (Also, I seriously don’t mind a GK who stands up for her defenders. Fine with me.)

  10. So one thing I’ve learned from this is that a lot of people now have a visceral reaction to Chastain’s commentary. OK.

    But Solo, of course, was in no position to give an aesthetic critique of Chastain’s commentary. She didn’t hear the whole game. She’s just going by what she was told.

    And I only see the “sticking up for her defenders” to a point. She didn’t say “Mittsy and Rachel are awesome.” She said Chastain needed to be educated and needed to “promote the game.”

    These aren’t two equivalent sides here. Chastain isn’t getting nasty and personal.

    So part of my question about Solo’s tweets is the timing — so soon after the game — and the other part is the tone.

    Then there’s another. When she did all this stuff back in the WPS days — calling out everyone from the Freedom’s PR staff to the league office to Boston’s fans — she wasn’t playing at her best. Does she do better when she sticks to soccer?

  11. My NBC live stream yesterday didn’t have the commentary (which was sort of weird, since it did on Wednesday) so I can’t really comment fully to everything Chastain said during the match. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard a player in any sport complain about the commentators before the way Solo has (and I’m a baseball fan — where broadcasters, especially for national telecasts, are for the most part, terrible).

    So I was curious about what she could’ve said, and remembering the spat from January, went back to check the original tweets. They were unsurprisingly gone, except for a retweet of Galanis criticizing Chastain for what I believe were comments about Lloyd (he also chimed in yesterday: https://twitter.com/coachgalanis). Going out on a limb here, but I’d bet the comments about Mitts upset Solo more than the ones about Buehler did.

    I agree with Foudy and her question of “why”? The team is playing well and no one would’ve remembered a word Chastain said yesterday come Tuesday if Solo hadn’t gone off. Now it’s the lead story and taking away from the soccer. If anyone is turning this into a “old generation vs. new generation” story, it’s Solo herself. And she’s not making the new look good, despite some excellent play from Rapinoe, Morgan, O’Hara, and yes, Lloyd so far.

    I’m admittedly curious to read her book, though I may hold off and wait for a library copy rather than buying it. There are plenty of other athletes that I’d feel a lot better spending money to learn more about at this point.

  12. And then there’s this:

    @GrantWahl: “USA coach Sundhage: Had meeting with Solo, Rampone & Wambach. No discipline for Solo’s tweets. Discussed how want public to see the team.”

    @hopesolo: “@GrantWahl discipline? Ha! For what! Never even a topic! We talked about our team deserving the best!”

    She’s still not helping herself, but sure is garnering a lot of attention for WoSo (any press is good press?). And now I have to try to comprehend the fact that I actually agree with Skip Bayless about something:

    Hey @hopesolo: respect you for defending a teammate, but you look foolish criticizing @brandichastain’s knowledge of playing defense

    Going to have to check in on the ESPN talkers tomorrow to see how far this goes.

  13. @Jennifer: Her tweet from January is still there: http://twitter.com/hopesolo/status/160607390570528768

    @Beau: Her play in 2010 probably had to do with the fact that she was playing on a torn shoulder.

    How much of the discussion about how this incident will affect team chemistry and focus is projection? Nobody here has any access to the players currently, and you could speculate any direction you want.

    A lot of this seems to be the media rallying behind one of its own –their reaction has been much more negative overall towards Hope than the general fan of the National Team. How much of this reaction is because Brandi was media friendly as a player –which allowed her to get a job as a commentator- whereas Hope isn’t (if I’m wrong about Hope, do say so)?

    And something about 2007.

  14. Ah, thanks for that Wear. Didn’t realize it was an @reply, forgot Twitter filters those on verified accounts if you don’t change the default setting.

  15. Just updating without further comment:

    1. Pia Sundhage and company have addressed the issue, surprisingly without a “my glass is half full” quote: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/olympics/2012/07/29/hope-solo-brandi-chastain-twitter.ap/index.html?sct=sc_t2_a6#

    2. At espnW, Julie Foudy is sad: http://espn.go.com/olympics/summer/2012/espnw/story/_/id/8211631/2012-olympics-julie-foudy-reaction-hope-solo-tweets-sadness

    3. Also at espnW, Kate Fagan is mad: http://espn.go.com/olympics/summer/2012/espnw/story/_/id/8212040/2012-london-summer-olympics-hope-solo-shows-lack-leadership

    4. At BigSoccer, Bill Archer has reproduced what we think is the offending comment: http://www.bigsoccer.com/soccer/bill-archer/2012/07/29/hope-springs-a-leak/

    (There’s also a school of thought that the offending comment referred to Heather Mitts.)

    Clearly some disconnect between the columnists and the twitter/commentsphere.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s