When Hope Solo exploded onto the scene five years ago, she came almost perfectly pre-packaged for superstardom. These days, though, that package is showing signs of wear.
Solo has always had the talent, first and foremost, and she's wielded it at a world-class level for years.
As a goalkeeper, she plays a glamorous position that often lends itself to creating stars. And as an American, she comes from a place that gives her both a competitive advantage in the women's game and the opportunity to cross over into the mainstream.
But after the high point of beating Japan, gaining redemption and claiming another gold medal, Solo has taken a turn to the bizarre and self-parodying.
It's all thanks to Solo's new book, Solo: A Memoir of Hope.
Among other allegations in the book, Solo charges that former U.S. coach Greg Ryan shoved her during the 2007 World Cup. As you may recall, that was the World Cup during which Solo reacted angrily over being left on the bench for the final.
This allegation is completely false. I did not shove or push Hope as I've been accused in her book. I would have been terminated immediately by USA Soccer had this allegation been true. I have openly discussed the contents of the meeting and this is the first time that this accusation has been brought to light.
Those are strong words, and they stand up to basic reasoning. If Ryan really did shove Solo, it seems likely that somebody with the U.S. team would have reported Ryan for it.
In other words, are we to believe Solo kept all this bottled up while she was busy delivering her famous World Cup Final rant about the very same man?
Unfortunately, the questions over Solo's new book don't end there.
Like Ryan, Chmerkovskiy has denied the accusations. Unlike Ryan, he is threatening legal action, according to the Huffington Post.
That would be sad, and not by any fault of Chmerkovskiy's. If Solo's book contains false information about Chmerkovskiy, he would be well within his rights to sue the American soccer star.
But the saddest part is that it's come to this at all.
But Solo continues to instigate and antagonize, starting new feuds with old friends and reheating quarrels long forgotten.
Do you like Hope Solo?
There's nothing wrong with Solo enjoying her celebrity, nothing wrong with her being herself or cashing in on her Olympic success. And there's nothing at all wrong with Solo being in the news for things other than soccer.
Even when this sort of stuff was going on during the Olympics, it was easy to look past it. Solo is that good.
But it's all becoming too much.
Hope Solo should seriously consider toning down her antics before she becomes a walking, talking parody of herself.