From Joy To Sorrow, and Now No “Hope” for Tomorrow for the USA Women’s Soccer Team

Hope Solo

This time, Hope was no help. In sports and in life, usually hope springs eternal and we fight to keep hope alive. But not in the 2016 Olympics for USA Women’s soccer. For Team USA, Hope Solo did not help the Soccer Sisters when they needed her help the most, and then things went from bad to worse after the whistle sounded.

For the first time in its distinguished history, the U.S. women’s soccer team has failed to advance to the semifinals of a major tournament.  The four-time Olympic gold medalists were upset by Sweden on penalty kicks, 4-3, following a 1-1 draw Friday at Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia.

The top-ranked Americans had gotten past the quarterfinals in seven World Cups and earned no worse than silver in five previous Olympics. But on this day, Sweden, guided by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, prevailed in the tiebreaker to claim a semifinal slot against Brazil or Australia on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro. And when the game was over, the post-game propaganda war began.

After the game, Hope Solo was very unsportsmanlike as she downed the team and the coach that beat them in blunt terms:

“I thought that we played a courageous game,” she told reporters. “I thought we had many opportunities on goal. I think we showed a lot of heart. … But I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I strongly believe that.”

Asked to explain her criticism of the Swedes, Solo said: “They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer. It was a combative game, a physical game. Exactly what they wanted and exactly what their game plan was. … I don’t think they’re going to make it far in the tournament. I think it was very cowardly. But they won. They’re moving on, and we’re going home.”

I have been a poor sport more than once, and you have too. And in case you’ve forgotten how to be a sourpuss and fussbudget and a cry baby, Hope Solo just gave us a rancid reminder. Hope showed us, once again, how to be a poor sport. And it’s a lesson we all need to take heed.

A poor sport is “a person who becomes unnecessarily emotional after being defeated at some sort of contest, regardless of the contests’ significance. Also could be described as a “cry baby.” 

And once again, I turn to Washington Post sports reporter Sally Jenkins to tell the story:

 RIO DE JANEIRO — “It’s called composure, and Hope Solo’s never been overburdened with a lot of that, or grace either. The U.S. women’s soccer team had their temperaments tested by a savvy, conservative Sweden in the Olympic quarterfinals and lost. Solo has spent years undermining their collective equilibrium, and this one’s on her.

She’s a chronically rattled and rattling soul, the American goalkeeper. Let’s face it: For every shiny marketing moment and big victory she’s been a part of, she’s given the U.S. a nasty unwanted drama. The victories usually smoothed over her behavior. Not this time. This time she went pure loser and lout.

After giving up the winning penalty kick to Sweden, Solo called her opponents “a bunch of cowards” for their conservative game plan. Now, who is the real coward here? Solo gave up three regulation goals in the past two games, between a draw with Colombia and this loss. She tried to ice Lisa Dahlkvist on the final kick by changing her gloves, and then couldn’t lay a hand on the ball. And she couldn’t take responsibility for any of it; she could only lash out.

Sweden’s calculatedly frustrating game plan worked because the designer of that plan, Pia Sundhage, knew exactly whom she was dealing with, having coached the U.S. from 2008 to 2012. Told of Solo’s remarks in the postgame mixed zone, Sundhage said, “I don’t give a crap. I’m going to Rio, and she’s going home.”

Hope Solo 2016 Olympics

Solo’s sore, hot-head remarks were personally aimed at Sundhage, who has made it clear just how much she had to put up with in Solo as the U.S. coach. There was always some trouble following Solo, stemming either from her irradiated blot-out-the-sun ego, or her temper.”

So let’s learn the lesson. Let’s learn how to win humbly and lose graciously, all the time.

Revenge Is Sweet

Carli Lloyd_

You don’t take revenge, you get revenge. Revenge is given to you, not taken from someone.  


For all of the heart aches and heart breaks and missed moments and lost luck and down days and sleepless nights, you will gain revenge. If you let God get it for you. That’s the spiritual side. The natural side played out yet again yesterday in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.

The USA Women’s National Soccer team experienced a devastating World Cup loss to Japan in 2011, ending their hopes for a cup in penalty kicks. It was a bitter and biting, caustic and gnostic letdown of a loss that could have derailed the soccer program and set them back for years. Hope Solo and Abby Wambach and Ali Krieger and Alex Morgan and all of the rest of that 2011 team teetered on the brink of disaster. But not so. Disaster did not come.  Yes they suffered a suffocating loss in 2011. But that was then. And this is now.

Carli Lloyd emerged as the super star of the show and scored three times in the first sixteen minutes, the first hat-trick in a women’s final, to lead the United States to an overwhelming victory. “I’m so proud and so zapped at the same time,” Lloyd said. “It doesn’t feel real. We just made history.” Lloyd indeed was the star of stars Sunday, and throughout the tournament. On Sunday, she scored in the third, fifth and 16th minutes of play, leaving the 2011 champions stunned.

It was her third goal that summed up her spectacular play in the do-or-die matches in this Cup. Lloyd took a pass at the halfway line and deftly touched the ball around a lunging defender. Lloyd looked downfield and decided to let fly. From 55 yards out.

It should be impossible to score from that far. But as 53,341 fans watched the ball sailing through the air, Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori desperately retreated and stabbed at the ball. Even the post couldn’t deny Lloyd her history and the ball danced across the line.

And the rest is history. The final: 5-2, and it wasn’t that close. The score was 4-1 at the half, as the women decided and determined to avenge themselves and get revenge for that humbling loss four years ago.


Naturally speaking, many have the mind to take action on those who have done them wrong. But don’t you do it. DON’T! You’ll only make things worse. We must not give in and give up. Especially to evil. God will avenge us of our adversaries. He will. Because He’s a righteous God and He is the righteous Judge. And the righteous Judge will do right.

So what about you? What loss or what losses do you need to get revenge for? What have you squandered that you need to get back to “even” and from where have you wandered that you have come back to eventually? I’ve had my share of bad, sad days, but like these gals, I’ve decided and determined to get revenge.

And God is the one who will get it for me.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:19-21, KJV

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.
Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.

If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

New Living Translation