Hope Solo: Breaking Down Her Performance for Team USA vs. France at the Olympics

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Hope Solo: Breaking Down Her Performance for Team USA vs. France at the Olympics
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Most teams at the Olympics—in either the men's tournament or the women's tournament—won't take any points from a game in which they concede the first two goals to the opposition. Luckily, the U.S. women's national team isn't like most teams.

Despite conceding two goals in the span of three minutes before the 15-minute mark to France, the U.S. women's national team roared back to equalize before halftime, and put the pressure on from the start of the second half to secure an impressive 4-2 win.

So how did Hope Solo do? Not too hot, actually.

Looking at the stats alone, France recorded only three shots on target all game long, and two of them went in. You never want to allow two-thirds of the shots you face as a goalkeeper to go into the back of the net.

Taking a closer look at the goals, it's hard to tell for sure, but it looks like Solo could've done more on France's first goal. Of course, it was terrible work by the team's defense to leave Gaetane Thiney in so much space—and Thiney did strike the ball well—but it did look like Solo got her fingers onto the ball.

Normally, we wouldn't criticize a goalkeeper on such a goal, but when you're Solo—often referred to as the best woman goalkeeper on the planet—you're held to a higher standard and are expected to be able to make the save when you get your fingers on the ball.

You can decide for yourself here.

The second goal was entirely the defense's fault. After being punished just a couple of minutes earlier, team USA's defenders should've been wary and alert, but unfortunately for Solo, they weren't.

After some scrappy play and another mistake by the defense, Marie-Laure Delie blasted the ball into the back of the net from close range, leaving Solo with no chance of making a save.

From there, the team picked up the slack and started playing defense.

The U.S. women's national team certainly won't pick up the gold medal if they're as unprepared defensively in future games. Still, against the sixth-best women's team in the world, 4-2 is not a bad scoreline.

Up next is Colombia, tied for 29th in the world, and North Korea, who follows at eight in the world. We'll have a much better idea of how Solo is doing once our sample size increases in the coming games.

 

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