Wrong time to suspend Hope Solo

One of the many peculiarities of covering women’s soccer is seeing something you’ve known about and discussed in public for a long time suddenly becoming “news” because someone with a platform suddenly noticed it. That was the case a couple of years ago, when one writer at a major publication wrote about Lori Chalupny’s predicament of being cleared to play in pro soccer but not cleared to play for the national team. Another major writer said he had been working on the same story. Women’s soccer reporters weren’t working on it because we all knew about it and talked about … Continue reading Wrong time to suspend Hope Solo

An offbeat proposal for NWSL 2015

We can’t be too surprised by this report: Equalizer Soccer – Documents: Canada to withhold players from NWSL before World Cup; Herdman stresses player health. We can get a good laugh over John Herdman’s complaint about players getting too many games on artificial turf when they’ll be playing the Cup on the fake stuff (hopefully better fake stuff than in most NWSL facilities), but the fact is we’re looking at a difficult scheduling question here. The World Cup runs from June 6 to July 5. Women’s national teams are even more insistent than men’s national teams when it comes to getting their … Continue reading An offbeat proposal for NWSL 2015

Women’s soccer, the new league and Hope Solo: Can’t we all just get along?

We got two fillings for THIS?

There’s three sides to every story — yours and mine and the cold, hard truth Don Henley

There’s blood in my mouth ’cause I’ve been biting my tongue all week Rilo Kiley

Jules: Yolanda, I thought you said you were gonna be cool. Now when you yell at me, it makes me nervous. And when I get nervous, I get scared. And when (bleepers) get scared, that’s when (bleepers) accidentally get shot.
Yolanda: You just know, you touch him, you die.
Jules: Well, that seems to be the situation. But I don’t want that. And you don’t want that. And Ringo here *definitely* doesn’t want that.Pulp Fiction

Maybe I’m reaching with the last one. Perhaps I should’ve skipped to the part where Jules says the Ezekiel verse one last time and says he’s trying real hard to be the shepherd. The U.S. women’s soccer community could use a shepherd.

As you know if you follow me on Twitter, I bought Hope Solo’s memoir, skimmed the personal parts and read the soccer parts. No offense intended to her personal story — I was just in a hurry to learn what she had said.

I mentioned a couple of things that surprised me. One was a quote that I thought could be taken the wrong way. Another was that she reiterated her racism accusations against Boston Breakers fans, accusations that most of us thought had been put to rest.

People were angry with me. A couple of them were people I respect and like, and we talked it out. A couple were people I don’t know as well who slung a few drive-by insults at me and declined to elaborate on what exactly I’d said.

The latter isn’t a surprise. Solo has a legion of fans who will mobilize against any alleged “hater,” even if she doesn’t ask them to do so. Just check out the reviews at Amazon, where the one person to say anything negative is marked with the dreaded “1 in 24 people found the following review helpful.” (To be sure, the review doesn’t say much. But some of the other reviews marked as “helpful” are simply insane.)

If anyone’s reading here wondering if I’m going to be a “hater,” you might be disappointed. I didn’t hate this book. Her story is well-written — co-writer Ann Killion is never one to mince words (ask Don Garber), and the book moves briskly. And though some people come across better than others, this book wasn’t written to settle grudges. It’s her story. She spends much more time talking about the truly important people in her life — family and a few supportive coaches — than she does about her conflicts. Plenty of people will find this book inspiring.

If you read the book, just remember the Don Henley quote here. There are multiple sides to every story.

Continue reading “Women’s soccer, the new league and Hope Solo: Can’t we all just get along?”