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Goalkeeper Hope Solo vents again after women's soccer match, criticizes referee and league

We all remember Hope Solo's diatribe against then USA coach Greg Ryan at the 2007 Women's World Cup in China, an outburst on Canadian TV that drew mainstream attention, banishment from the squad, and fractured the American team after a semifinal embarrassment against Brazil.

You might have also read her Twitter comments in August about fans in Boston -- accusations that were later found to be credible.

Now, the national team's outstanding goalkeeper is taking aim at officiating in Women's Professional Soccer and the league itself. Following her club's 1-0 loss to the Washington Freedom on Saturday, the Atlanta Beat goalie used Twitter to rip referee Kari Seitz and accuse the league of bias. (WPS spokesman Rob Penner confirmed that Solo's account is authentic.)

Both teams had goals disallowed in the second half, but not surprisingly, Solo wrote only about Atlanta's apparent score. That said, the decision against the Beat was the more mysterious.

"The head ref calls it a goal!!!! It even goes up on the scoreboard!!! Than no explanation! Its a joke!!!! An absolute joke! Multiple choice question...why did the refs call back our goal? Is it A. Free kick taken before the whistle. B. Indirect not direct. C. Offsides. D. Foul on unknown player. Those are all the reasons we heard, so I think E is the only one that really makes sense ... E. We just want washington to win regardless."

She also wrote:

"Its official, the refs are straight bad. Its clear the league wanted dc in playoffs. I have truly never seen anything like this. Its sad. ... I am done playing in a league where the game is no longer in control of the players."

For more.....

Setting aside the controversial calls -- Atlanta's disallowed goal came off a free kick, Washington's on an offside ruling; a Beat player was sent off for two yellow cards -- Solo's conspiracy theory about WPS wanting the Freedom in the playoffs is a) just a bit odd; b) downright ludicrous; c) absurd; d) preposterous; e) loony.

How does the league benefit from Washington, instead of defending champion Sky Blue, playing Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs? It's not like WPS gains an attendance bump or increase in TV audience because Abby Wambach is on the field instead of U.S. teammate Heather O'Reilly. No matter the visiting team, the number of traveling fans would be scant. Perhaps Solo believes the league needs to satisfy Washington's investors more so than Sky Blue's? (In the end, the result of the Freedom-Beat game in the regular season finale didn't matter; Washington maintained its lead in the standings over Sky Blue, which tied Boston in a match that it had to win.)

Said Penner: "As with all public comments about officiating by any player each week, the league disciplinary committee will review the statements in its weekly meeting."

Solo also targeted a Freedom communications staffer:

"Nice spin on the game report brunson. The little old 7th place team from atlanta ran the show last night. was your head dizzy watching"

Video from Saturday's match at Maryland SoccerPlex:

By Steve Goff  |  September 13, 2010; 11:31 AM ET
Categories:  Freedom , Women  | Tags: Hope Solo, WPS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Monday kickaround: WPS commissioner's departure is official, D.C. United awaits Simms injury update, video of Rossi goals for Villarreal
Next: MLS weekend flashback: Playoff race


Well, it's cool that she's passionate about the team and the game. But, she needs to get a grip.

Athletes and twitter just dont mix.

Posted by: hacksaw | September 13, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

that was 140 characters? No Way!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 13, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Hope says she's "done" with WPS. I spoke with her after the game and she didn't mention she's retiring, or heading to Germany. Interesting...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 13, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

preach it, sister!

Posted by: nairbsod | September 13, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

From the beer garden on Saturday night, it was not clear why the goal was disallowed. In that video, two opposing players come together and go down before the ball goes into the net. That appears to be the only unusual incident. What I don't understand is why the AR in that half continues running toward the end line, and only after the goal is scored does the AR retreat to what appears to be the spot of the infraction and raise the flag.

If it was a foul, shouldn't the flag go up immediately?

Posted by: DCU_Rick | September 13, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Hope that I don't see what was wrong with Atlanta's goal. I understand her frustration, especially as it seems there's no adequate explanation for the ref's call (see USMNT at the recent WC). Bad officiating does ruin the game.

Posted by: Brokenbil | September 13, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

That was a helluva shot from Wambach. I thought live that Solo froze but she came hard and got big, Abby just had the golden touch.

Hope should be ripping her defenders for letting Abby in behind that easy.

I have no thought on the disallowed Atlanta goal, the Freedom goal in replay was clearly offside. The red card not in the highlights. There were several plays in the box in the 1st half that could have resulted in PKs awarded to Washington. Can't see that Hope has a legitimate beef here.

Does Twitter serve any useful purpose for a professional athlete?

Posted by: OWNTF | September 13, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

You are incorrect in writing that Solo's claims about racist remarks from the stands in Boston "were found to be credible." No one other than Solo claimed to have heard any such remarks. The team agreed to accept her account as a way of putting the matter behind them. See for more information.

Posted by: mskenny1 | September 13, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Hope Solo takes off on another Solo mission.

I am guessing it was an international crime syndicate out to win billions of dollars in the high stakes world of lucrative WPS betting.

Posted by: csd1 | September 13, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Hope Solo is straight awesome

Posted by: popopo | September 13, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

It's not like Kari Seitz is a baboon either. She has to be one of the most experienced, if not the most experienced, ref in the womens game.

Doesn't mean she didn't make any bad calls, but what reason would she have to favor Washington?

Posted by: OWNTF | September 13, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game in Sec. 108, had a pretty good vantage point for the disallowed Atlanta goal. It all happened pretty quickly, but I think when the ref saw the Freedom defender go to ground after being tangled up with the Atlanta player (who also went down), she concluded a foul had occurred. Clearly Harris in goal was expecting her defender to head the ball away and was unprepared for the high bounce.

Was it the right call? I'm not sure even now watching the replay. But that call gets made 90% of the time in the 6-yard box. So Solo shouldn't be surprised.

And to be honest, I cannot see (then or now) how the disallowed Freedom goal was offside. If anyone should be upset it was the Freedom. Obvious make-up call.

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | September 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE twitter.

mskenny, didn't they suspend a couple of STHs for that? Hardly sounds like they went along with it to get it to go away to me.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | September 13, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Re: my comment about the "make-up" call...let me clarify no make-up call was necessary (actually it never is, but you get my drift). The first disallowance was correct, the second was not.

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | September 13, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Look at the tape. At 1:01 when the ball is played in, Allie Long is inside the box and all the Beat defenders are outside the box. Seems like a correct call to me.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 13, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Hope Solo has a right to disagree with calls- the WPS refs can get iffy sometimes. Instead of sounding like a whiny kid who's brother stole the last ice cream sandwich, she should discuss the play (to the extent that she can) with the referees, US Soccer, and the league as a whole.

Her twitrants are just obnoxious and immature. As much as I am a fan of what she does in goal for the US, as a WPS fan (a Breakers & Freedom fan, as well- she must REALLY hate me), I'm absolutely disgusted by her off-the-field behavior. She needs to find a more productive way of channelling her anger, or take a break from the high-stress situation that pro sports are.

I follow several USMNT players on twitter, and after the Slovenia game, there was no long, whiny, rants. In a higher stakes environment, they were able to deal with the disappointment of the phantom call-back and move on. Hope needs to take some lessons from them. And maybe close her twitter account.

Posted by: revsfanindc | September 13, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Certainly Kari Seitz is the most experienced female official in the U.S. today. As mentioned above that's not to say she won't make some mistakes, but it's not like this was some rookie out there. She's been to World Cups and every other major competition out there. To question her integrity and accuse her of bias is beyond the pale as far as I am concerned.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 13, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame Santino Quaranta is married. They'd make a handsome, though explosive, couple.

Posted by: rcdwriting | September 13, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Amidst all the Hope-la, I wish to point out that the keeper on the other end, Solo's former back-up in St. Louis, had a damn fine game. Harris stoned the Beat on a 1v1 breakaway in the 1st half that would have been a game-changer.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 13, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta goal disallowed: Abby Wambach was looking to head the ball away when she was taken down by a Beat defender. I was on the far sideline right in front of the play.

Washington goal disallowed: Freeze the highlight reel at 1:01. The ball is coming in from the right to a Freedom player inside the 6-yard line while the two closest defenders are outside it. Good call.

As for "spin," the Atlanta Beat press release on a 6-1 drubbing they experienced was headlined "Beat score in fourth straight."

Posted by: kevinwparker | September 13, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"From the beer garden on Saturday night, it was not clear..."

Heh, heh, I bet....

I love me some Hope Solo. But I am exhausted of all outrage for footie this year...

Posted by: JkR- | September 13, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I was on the far sideline right in front of the play.

If you were amongst the drummers and chanters, I salute you!

Posted by: OWNTF | September 13, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

If you were next to the bagpiper, I salute you!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 13, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The Atlanta goal should not have been disallowed. The ATL forward had run just behind Wambach, Wambach the taller player starts to pull up short to head ball, and Wambach trips over the trailing foot of ATL forward. It was at best incidental contact and if anyone was at fault it was Wambach. Goal should have counted.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 13, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Brad Friedel just let 2 goals past him as Stoke City beat Aston Villa 2-1.


Hope Solo would have saved them.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 13, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Hope Solo: total nutjob. And we'd all totally do her.

Posted by: very_clever_username | September 13, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I bet Hope is the type of woman that needs total control in the bedroom.

Nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 13, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, let's see. Hope got pwn3d on the Freedom goal on exactly the same kind of mistake she makes exactly once in every single game she plays, and she had to watch Brianna Scurry get a whole boatload of loving at the end of the game in her retirement ceremony.

Nah, I can't imagine why she'd be upset.

Posted by: Landru | September 13, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

To which I should add, in fairness, that Solo was applauding during and after the Scurry highlights video, which I thought was reasonably mature of her.

Posted by: Landru | September 13, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

WPS (and MLS for that matter) need more characters who show the raw emotions like Solo. Who isn't tired of the same old bland interviews you get from 99% of the athletes who have endured "media training" and communications handlers? Keep it real, and if you make a mistake and say something you don't really mean, just own up and apologize. If people don't see an honest slip for what it is, that's their problem. Always keep it fresh and original, please please no more cliched snoozefest interviews/tweets/etc. Remember pro sports is part of the entertainment industry and if you don't keep your fans entertained, you won't be around long.

Posted by: Pedalada | September 13, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Heather O'Reilly, who is she?

I think Seiñor Goff forgot the amazing Kai!

Posted by: Barracudas | September 14, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Heather O'Reilly, who is she?

I think Seiñor Goff forgot the amazing Kai!

Posted by: Barracudas | September 14, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Solo is an excellent GK, perhaps the best GK in the WPS and the world for that matter. I don't think there is any great consipricy a she has suggested that the league wanted to put the FREEDOM in the play-offs. The FREEDOM won all by themselves and had a great game. They won w/o the benefit of Bompastor,Mykialand and Huffman. The FREEDOOM and played hard all game long. Wambach's goal was super, and she clearly out-foxed Solo. The refs are far from perfect. They should have given the player that tackled Wambach in the box a card. Marshall was also fouled several times without the ref calling these fouls. I like Solo as a GK and wish her well, but don't agree with her. If anything the refs missed more fouls committed against FREEDOM players than the opponent.In any event the FREEDOM made it to the play offs. I hope to see them win against Philly this Sat. FYI the FREEDOM have rented a bus to take fans to and from the game in Philly- $50 gets you a ticket and round trip transportation. Go to the team website to order tickets with or w/o round trip transportation. Kick of is at 2:30 pm.See you there-GO FREEDOM!!!

Posted by: soccerhead | September 14, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Thing is, in other sports, criticizing officials results in fines of tens of thousands of dollars (see Ochocinco, Chad; Stewart, Tony; Piniella, Louis; and Cuban, Mark). Thing is, there aren't that many dollars available in WPS for the kangaroo court.

Posted by: bs2004 | September 14, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

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