Hope Solo Says She Apologized to Swedish Captain After 'Cowards' Comment

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2016

FRISCO, TX - FEBRUARY 10:  Goalkeeper Hope Solo of USA before a match against Costa Rica during the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying at Toyota Stadium on February 10, 2016 in Frisco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

United States women's goalkeeper Hope Solo said during an appearance on a Swedish talk show that she has apologized for her comments about the Swedish women's soccer team during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. 

Per ESPN.com news services, Solo told Skavlan what she said to team captain Lotta Schelin right after the Americans' quarterfinal loss:

I said to her, "You know, Lotta, I said something. I used the word cowards when talking about you guys, and I didn't mean that, I'm so sorry." And she was like, "Oh, I know you, don't worry about it. Don't worry about it."

And she's like, "Look, the American team has been in the last five championship games in the Olympics." Five championships! And she's like, "For us to beat a better-skilled team like Brazil and like America, we had to drop back defensively."

[...]

I wasn't enraged, I wasn't emotional, I wasn't angry.

Solo went on to say that Schelin accepted her apology, adding she "didn't even think I needed to apologize."

The U.S. was eliminated from medal contention after falling to Sweden 4-3 on penalty kicks. Immediately following the loss, Solo said the Americans "played a bunch of cowards" and that "the best team did not win today," per Andy Clayton of the New York Daily News.

During her interview with Skavlan, Solo said she "didn't mean to come across that the players were cowards or the coach was a coward. I meant that the style of play was not very Olympic-spirited."

Solo's comments caused quite a stir, leading to her being suspended by the U.S. women's soccer team for six months and having her contract with the national team terminated. 

At 35 years old, Solo is one of the most decorated soccer players in U.S. history. She has won two Olympic gold medals, one FIFA world championship and is the only goalie in history to record at least 100 shutouts in international play.