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The Daily Dirt, August 13: Swallow My Pride

Some thoughts on Villalba and Hope Solo

Olympics: Football-Women's Team-Quarterfinal -USA vs SWE Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Last night in Tijuana, Xolos continued their strong play in the Liga MX season with a 2-0 win over León. Atlanta United’s Hector Villalba made the 18, but did not see action at the Estadio Caliente.

Xolos have a mid-week Copa MX match with Lobos BUAP on Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. It is fairly likely that Villalba will get the start in that match. They will be in league action next Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern when they travel to face Necaxa.

In other news, the fallout from the U.S. Women’s National Team’s defeat in the Olympic quarterfinals has been pretty intense. Hope Solo did herself no favors with her post-match comments calling the Swedish team “cowards” and taking a shot at the tactics of former USWNT manager Pia Sundhage.

First, over 90% of what Solo said is true. She correctly analyzed Sweden’s tactics in the match. She showed frustration over their lack of intent to play attacking soccer. What she said differs little from many post-game comments from Arsene Wenger or other managers who get frustrated with a team playing defensively against them. It happens across the world in this game. It is a successful tactic used by teams who cannot match their opponents for skill.

Where Solo gave her many critics ammunition was in using the term “cowards” to describe the Swedish team. It wasn’t necessary, it just looked bad. She could have made her points without it and been more effective. It added to the feeling of sour grapes.

Let’s get a few things out there though. Solo should not be held to a higher standard than any other professional athlete though. Many of her critics were upset because she was setting a poor example for little girls who watch the USWNT. Solo is a professional athlete, not a professional role model. I will always celebrate an athlete who does go out of their way to give back to kids and set an example. However, that is not part of their job. Every time a male athlete says something that is ill-advised, they are not told to think of the little boys who watch them. The same should go for professional female athletes.

Solo also should have been more tactful in her post-match comments. It is obvious that some people have it out for her, rightly or wrongly, based on her previous actions. Everything she says or does is going to be put under a microscope. These comments just gave members of the media, fans, and former teammates who didn’t like her ammunition.

The drumbeat has already started for the USWNT to move on from Solo. She is now 35 and will be 38 during the next major competition, the 2019 Women’s World Cup. It is likely that changes would have been made in the squad anyway, but Solo’s post-match comments yesterday could accelerate that process.


U.S. Women’s National Team crashes out of the Olympics in a surprising loss to Sweden in the quarterfinals (Stars and Stripes FC)

San Jose with a strong performance on the road to win 2-1 in Vancouver (Eighty Six Forever)

Montreal might have acquired a promising young Chilean midfielder under the radar and loaned him to Estudiantes in Argentina (Mount Royal Soccer)

Video assistant referees to be tested in USL matches this season (USL)

More on VAR, used for the first time at Red Bull Arena last night in a USL match (Once a Metro)

A deeper look at what ails the Chicago fire (US Soccer Players)

San Francisco Deltas season ticket holders will get to vote on the club’s kits (SF Deltas)

Dispute between owners of NWSL and MASL clubs in Kansas City getting ugly, read about the allegations and rebuttals (The Blue Testament)



Pochettino doesn’t trust other managers, keeping top young talent like American Cameron Carter-Vickers at Tottenham instead of loaning them out (Independent)

Matt Miazga likely go on loan from Chelsea to another Premier League club (Goal)

U.S. youth international Emerson Hyndman prepares for his Premier League debut (MLS)

Adnan Januzaj was probably not among David Moyes’ favorites at Manchester United (The Guardian)

Brazil defeats Australia in penalties to move on to the Olympic semifinals (NBC Olympics)


An update on the Falcons’ key position battles after the first preseason game (The Falcoholic)

Braves break losing streak in Washington, beat the Nationals 8-5 (Talking Chop)

Is poor branding to blame for Georgia Tech’s recruiting woes? (From the Rumble Seat)

The NBA schedule is out, here’s five must-see games at Philips Arena next season (Peachtree Hoops)

Maurice Smith’s transfer from Alabama to Georgia is approved (Dawg Sports)