“At the end of the day, none of it matters,” Wambach said. “Because what really does matter is the results.”
“I don’t punish people,” Sundhage said. “And I don’t know what’s right and wrong.”
Five years ago, Solo expressed an opinion that made her the recipient of the starkest punishment ever dealt to a U.S. women’s national team player. She was essentially kicked off the squad at the 2007 World Cup after she criticized then-coach Greg Ryan for benching her for the semifinals.
She made her way back onto the team to become arguably the best goalkeeper in team history, anchoring the gold-medal run at the 2008 Olympics and winning the golden glove award for top goalie at last year’s World Cup in Germany.
Now she’s a media superstar, highlighted by her appearance on “Dancing With the Stars” last fall, and she hasn’t stopped making waves. Three weeks ago, she had what is believed to be the first positive drug test in the history of the program, receiving a warning over the banned substance Canrenone. She said it resulted from a premenstrual medication prescribed by her doctor.
Solo was also one of several athletes quoted extensively in an ESPN The Magazine story about sex in the athletes village during the Beijing Olympics and has also been promoting her book “A Memoir of Hope,”scheduled for release two days after the London Games.
“Hope is different,” Sundhage said. “What I see is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. If you look back, she’s been dancing with the stars, she’d been in a lot of media, she’s done this and that, and you would think, ‘Well, will she ever come back to the game and will this be a distraction?’ If you look at the way she played the first two games, I would say no. She’s ready. She prepared. She wants to win, and she know what she needs to do.”