Hope Solo discusses turbulent past

5:44 AM, Jul 16, 2012   |    comments
Hope Solo #1 of the USA catches the ball during the game against China at PPL Park on May 27, 2012 in Chester, Pennsylvania. USA won 4-1. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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For Hope Solo the past is prologue. And that is good news for fans of the U.S. Olympic soccer team.

Watching Solo play in the past four years it is hard to believe the goalkeeper was once labeled a team killer.

But in 2007, when she complained about being replaced in the championship game of the World Cup, she was ostracized by her teammates and made to travel home by herself.

Solo, speaking to Andrew Romano of Daily Beast, says while she considered quitting the game, "my passion was stripped" makes it clear she's a better player for the animosity she incurred.

"For a long time, I still didn't know if I wanted to fight the stupid popularity battles on the team," she finally says. "I just wanted to be an athlete and compete. 'If you don't like me, I don't give a (expletive). This is our job....' "

Of course winning an Olympic gold medal in 2008 and getting to the finals of the 2011 World Cup helped cure many ills if not all of them. And Solo says she's willing to shoulder some of the blame.

"Women athletes can be a bit sensitive and emotional, and my tone didn't always help," she says. "Now I kiss my defenders' (expletive) 90 percent of the time so they'll respond when I'm kicking their (expletive). I had to learn people's personalities, which was not easy for me."

By Reid Cherner

USA Today

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