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Sunday, June 24, 2018

US women’s soccer coach says sun was in Hope Solo’s eyes during early goals

Allowing two goals in the first half of a match is not something that happens to US Women’s soccer goalie Hope Solo very often. Solo is widely considered to be one of the best — if not the best — goalies in the world. The Americans found themselves trailing 2-0 to France in London on Wednesday after only 14 minutes of play. Fortunately, Alex Morgan was able to score two goals and the US came back to win 4-2. But how did that happen to Hope? Her coach blames the sun.

“(Solo) played better in the second half,” Pia Sundhage said according to USA TODAY. “I think the sun was a little bit bothering to her according to (goalkeeper coach) Paul Rogers, who has been working with her for a long time. Right now she’s really good. I think she was a little bit unlucky in the first half but she played with confidence in the second half. It will be interesting to follow her in the coming games.”

Naturally, Solo made no excuses and certainly wasn’t about to play the sun card.

“There are going to be nerves,” Solo said. “There are going to be unpredictable things that do happen, but that’s what keeps it interesting. … Was the sun a factor, as coach Pia said? I will never use that as an excuse (laughing). There was definitely a glare. It’s a factor, but so is rain and wind. It’s the Olympics and I won’t use it as an excuse.”

There’s also going to be raunchy distractions in the Olympic Village as Solo so kindly shared with the world, but those can’t be used as an excuse either. Sun or no sun, the important thing was the US was able to quickly climb back into the game and remain focused. I’d be surprised if they find themselves trailing by two goals early in the second half many times during the tournament.

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