U.S. women's national team members have faced plenty of criticism for their enthusiastic celebrations during a 13-0 victory over Thailand in the World Cup Tuesday.
Former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo thinks some of the celebrations went too far. In a column on Wednesday in The Guardian, Solo wrote "it was tough for me to watch some of the US goal celebrations … considering the scoreline."
"Should the US have taken their foot off the pedal against Thailand? Absolutely not," Solo wrote.
"You do want the game to be celebrated and you do want to see players having fun but at the same time I thought some of the celebrations were a little overboard. A few seemed planned out and I do know some players spend a lot of time thinking about celebrations for the fans. It's not always necessary."
USWNT star Megan Rapinoe defended the team's celebrations, saying it's not fair to criticize the players, given it worked for years to reach the World Cup. But some critics contend the team could have been a bit more subdued given the score.
"I felt bad for the Thailand team in general, especially when I saw some players physically dejected and actually give up," Solo wrote. "That’s not good. By the end of the game they had nothing left and that was hard to see."
It would be easy to think Solo has an axe to grind, given the way her USWNT career ended. Solo played for the team from 2000 until 2016, and was a part of two gold-medal-winning Olympic squads and two World Cup winners. But her career ended after the USWNT suspended her in August 2016 after she referred to the Sweden team as “a bunch of cowards” following its defeat of the U.S. in the quarterfinals of the Rio Olympics. Solo endured her own criticism regarding sportsmanship at the time.
But Solo did praise U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd for something she did after Tuesday's game.
"One of the classiest things I saw was Carli Lloyd going directly to Sukanya Chor Charoenying, Thailand’s goalkeeper, after the game," Solo wrote. "Carli put her arm around her and supported her as they walked off the field. Thirteen goals on a goalkeeper has to be incredibly tough. As a goalkeeper, I don’t know how you deal with that many goals."
"I’ve had five scored past me and that was a heavy blow. I never wanted to feel that way again and it took me a long time to get over it. It is something that I have never forgotten."
The USWNT faces Chile on Sunday at noon ET in a Group F match.
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