Even Hope Solo, whose had her fair share of celebrating big wins, thinks the USWNT took their celebrations too far when they crushed Thailand at the World Cup on Tuesday.
The former USWNT goalkeeper and two-time Olympic gold medalist echoed other critics, writing in a Wednesday column for The Guardian that she found it difficult to watch the American players celebrate each goal on their way to a record-setting 13-0 victory.
“Should the US have taken their foot off the pedal against Thailand? Absolutely not.”
But Solo said the US could have toned it down a little.
“You do want the game to be celebrated and you do want to see players having fun but at the same time I thought some of the celebrations were a little overboard,” Solo wrote. “A few seemed planned out and I do know some players spend a lot of time thinking about celebrations for the fans. It’s not always necessary.”
Solo said her heart went out to the Thailand players.
“I felt bad for the Thailand team in general, especially when I saw some players physically dejected and actually give up,” wrote Solo, the goalkeeper for the USWNT from 2000 to 2016. “That’s not good. By the end of the game they had nothing left and that was hard to see.”
She added that the celebrations might have been premature considering the US still has a ways to go before they can claim the World Cup champion title.
Jill Ellis, who coached the USNWT to win the World Cup in 2015, believes the team was respectful toward Thailand.
“I think to be respectful to opponents is to play hard against opponents,” Ellis told reporters.
“I respect Thailand. I celebrate that they’re here. For us, the players are excited and I said afterward when you go into a World Cup you can talk tactics, but it’s about mentality, it is also about confidence, and so getting off on the right foot is important.”
Solo did give props to US goalie Carli Lloyd, who consoled Thailand’s goalkeeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying after the lopsided match.
She called Lloyd’s actions “one of the classiest things I saw.”