Hope Solo: My team hated me in '07
Today, U.S. women's national team keeper Hope Solo is a national icon, an ambassador of women's soccer.
But five years ago, she was a pariah after criticizing then-coach Greg Ryan after being benched in favor of then-35-year-old Brianna Scurry in the semifinal of the 2007 Women's World Cup against Brazil. Scurry shipped four goals as Team USA lost 4-0.
Solo reminisced about that in an excerpt of her memoir, "SOLO: A Memoir of Hope," printed by ESPN Monday.
At the time, Solo told reporters, "[Starting Scurry] was the wrong decision ... it's not 2004 anymore." The public backlash was swift - she was essentially banned from the team for its third-place game against Norway.
But in private, the vitriol against Solo was even worse. The 31-year-old recalled being called for a meeting with some of the players, and defender Kate Markgraf telling her "I can't even f---ing look at you. Who the f--- do you think you are?"
Solo has come a long way since then in teammates' eyes - to the point where Abby Wambach - one of the players she remembers receiving her with "hostility and anger" - told reporters that Solo "saved the day" in the team's gold medal win over Japan last Thursday.