Women's World Cup: Hope Solo believes USWNT fears England

Solo called the semifinal matchup England's "best chance to beat the USA" as she predicted it will be an intense game in Lyon.


Hope Solo has won both the Women's World Cup and the Olympic gold medal with the United States Women's football team.   -  Getty Images

Former USA goalkeeper Hope Solo believes the U.S. women's national team fears facing England in the semifinal on Tuesday, which is unprecedented as the Lionesses weren't a threat in 2015. 

The two teams have met 16 times and the USA has won 10 of those matchups, including a 3-0 victory in 2007 when the two faced each other in the World Cup for the first time.

“This summer, after victories over Scotland, Argentina, Japan, Cameroon and Norway to reach the last four, there might be a small sense of fear from the United States for this England team. And that’s not how the US have ever operated previously – we simply do not fear teams,” Solo, who is working as an analyst for BBC, wrote in a column published Tuesday.

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“There’s a sense of arrogance in the fact that we like to instill fear in others, and we don’t operate with fear ourselves. This American team won’t admit it, but the Lionesses can instill a tiny bit of fear in Jill Ellis’ defending champions.”

She also took another jab at U.S. coach Jill Ellis, as she wrote England's Phil Neville is the "better manager, tactically."

“Player for player, the American team is the stronger side and you have to think they will get through – but England have the better manager, tactically,” Solo added. “We’re going to see tactics come into play in this game more than in any other match in this tournament so far, which is why I’m excited to see what Phil Neville has in store.”

Solo called the semifinal matchup England's "best chance to beat the USA" as she predicted it will be an intense game in Lyon in front of a sold-out crowd. But she still thinks the U.S. will pull off the win and advance to the finals.

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"These Lionesses are fitter than I've seen them in past tournaments, but the US are still more experienced and have greater endurance. Because of that, things are edging more in the way of the USA, so I think they're going to just come out on top and reach Sunday's final against either the Netherlands or Sweden," Solo wrote.

"It comes down to tactics. England have to play a smarter game than the USA. And that's why, ultimately, this will come down to Neville."