Hope Solo: US Goalkeeper Needs to Focus on Playing, Not Criticism

Connor MuldowneyCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2012

SANDY, UT - JUNE 30: Goalkeeper Hope Solo #1 of the USA takes a drink during a game against Canada during the second half of the women's Olympic send-off soccer match June 30, 2012 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.  The USA beat Canada 2-1.  (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey/Getty Images

Hope Solo is known for creating controversy in the soccer world. She is an outspoken member of the United States women's soccer team and created a bit of controversy on Saturday.

Following a 3-0 victory against Colombia on Saturday, Solo took to the Twitter wire and openly criticized former U.S. women's soccer hero and current NBC soccer analyst, Brandi Chastain. Solo was frustrated at the former soccer star because she offered some advice for Solo's teammate and defender Rachel Buehler.

Chastain added a comment during the game, saying that Buehler needs to improve on her defense in this Olympic tournament field. This was apparently enough for Solo to take to Twitter and publicly humiliate Chastain.

This is not something that Solo needs to involve herself in and this isn't the type of attention she nor the United States' women need. They are arguably the strongest women's soccer team in the tournament and gold medal favorites.

Although Solo had the right to criticize Chastain after she spoke out frankly against her teammate, Chastain's statement didn't deserve such a response.

As a journalist, it is Chastain's duty to be objective and present her observations to the public. To be criticized for doing so is nothing short of a mistake.

Solo needs to stop commenting on how the former U.S. women soccer players are afraid that the new age soccer players are going to eclipse their legacy. She is a very talented goalkeeper and quite possibly one of the best in the world, but sometimes she needs to worry more about the game than the comments that analysts make.

Worrying about criticism of herself or her teammates will leave Solo's head out of the game, something the U.S. doesn't need during group play. The U.S. team is one of the most high-powered attacks in the world and they have teams fearing them, and even throwing punches at them, just like Colombian player Lady Andrade did to Abby Wambach during Saturday's match.

With the growing target on the U.S. women's back, the last thing they need is a distraction off the field with one of their own. Brandi Chastain is a former U.S. player and now she is an objective journalist giving her opinion on a matter that doesn't change anything.

Solo needs to be less concerned about the media and more concerned about the playing field. She is far too talented to worry about what anyone says about her or the entire U.S. women's soccer team during the London Olympics. If she can just focus on the field and not worry about anything off the field, except her birthday today, she will help lead the United States to a gold medal that they deserve after a heartbreaking World Cup Final last year.

Look for her to take these steps in ensuring her team stays distraction-free and becomes gold medal-bearing.