Hope Solo explains her ‘cowards’ comment on Swedish talk show

John David Mercer/John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

After Hope Solo stirred controversy by calling Sweden “a bunch of cowards” for their defensive style of play in the Olympics, she's gone out of her way to try to explain her comments to Americans. But there was one more audience she hadn't yet faced, and that's was the people of Sweden.

Solo will appear on the Swedish talk show Skavlan tonight where she will explain the comments that got her suspended from U.S. Soccer after Sweden knocked the U.S. out of the Olympics this summer.

 

“If anyone actually listened to the interview, and I'm not sure if you have, I wasn't enraged, I wasn't emotional, I wasn't angry. I Just had this conversation with the journalists in the room,” Solo says. “… I didn't mean to come across that the players were cowards or the coach was a coward. I meant the style of play wasn't very Olympic-spirited.”

Whether that explanation helps her with Swedish fans remains to be seen. In this clip, none of the other guests or the host say anything, so it's hard to know what they are thinking, but some of them look a bit incredulous.

Solo did expand on her friendship with Lotta Schelin, the Swedish striker who Solo says she was disappointed didn't attack more. Solo tells Skavlan that she told Schelin what she said after the Olympics quarterfinal match, and the Swede said it wasn't a big deal.

 

Solo's comments were the impetus for a six-month suspension that factored in other problems she has caused for U.S. Soccer in the past. Additionally, Solo's contract with the federation was terminated.

U.S. women's national team coach Jill Ellis was asked last weekend at the NWSL championship about whether Solo would return to the team after her suspension and Ellis said: “I haven’t thought about it, to be honest. I haven’t thought about it.”

In addition to using her time off to appear on Swedish talk shows, Solo also had surgery on her shoulder so she can raise her arm above her head “for the first time in years.”

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