The United States women's soccer team has been one of the most dominant teams in any sport at the Olympic Games in London thus far. In just two games, the U.S. has scored seven goals, comeback from a 2-0 deficit against a strong French team, and secured a spot in the quarterfinals.
Alex Morgan has continued her spectacular play, and Megan Rapinoe has reemerged as a key player for the U.S. team. With all the talent on the field and bench, head coach Pia Sundhage has a lot for which to be proud. After a heartbreaking loss to Japan in the 2011 World Cup final, the U.S. squad looks ready to take on the best and win gold.
Following a 3-0 win against Colombia however, news surrounding a Twitter rant made headlines rather than the team's spectacular play.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo criticized former player and commentator Brandi Chastain via Twitter on Saturday for comments made during the broadcast of the game.
During the game, Chastain noted the expected duties of a defender: "Defend. Win the ball. And then keep possession. And that's something that Rachel Buehler actually needs to, I think, improve on in this tournament."
Chastain has won two World Cup titles, two Olympic gold medals, and one Olympic silver medal. She played in 192 international games from 1988-2004 and is best known for taking off her jersey to celebrate her decisive penalty kick in shootout victory over China in the World Cup.
Known as one of the most outspoken players on the U.S. team, Solo was not pleased with Chastain's criticism of her teammate during the NBC telecast, and showcased four tweets about Chastain after the game.
"Its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game," Solo tweeted.
Solo also added that "the game has changed from a decade ago" and therefore Chastain should "lay off commentating about defending" and goalkeeping "until you get more educated."
She further criticized Chastain's commentating by tweeting: "I feel bad 4 our fans that have 2 push mute."
Though Chastain did not take to Twitter to respond, she commented on the matter in an e-mail saying, "I'm here to do my job, which is to be an honest and objective analyst at the Olympics."
Former U.S. midfielder and team captain Julie Foudy also commented on the incident.
"I am sad the current team will have to deal with this unnecessary distraction rather than talk about its first two wins and a great Olympic experience. I am sad... that what should have been kept as a private conversation between former teammates becomes a public discussion," Foudy wrote in an ESPN opinion piece.
"A quarterfinal game against North Korea awaits. Let's get back to that, and let the playing do the talking," the two time Olympic gold medalist added.
On Monday, reporters questioned Solo about the Twitter comments.
"You can take it or leave it, to be honest, so it's my opinion, and I think analysts and commentators should bring energy and excitement and passion for the game, and a lot of knowledge, and I think it's important to help build the game, and I don't think Brandi has that," she said according to ESPN.
"It's just my opinion, and nothing else really matters, to be honest. What matters is tomorrow's game against North Korea, playing at Old Trafford. ... I don't really care to answer any other questions about Brandi," she added.
The Tweets and subsequent media attention led to a meeting with Solo, coach Sundhage and the team captains, regarding the team's image and the need to cut out distractions and focus on the next game.
The U.S. will take on North Korea on Tuesday in their final game of the first round at the home stadium of Manchester United.