The United States takes on North Korea in its Women’s World Cup opener today (11:45 a.m., ESPN), and the center of attention is in the nets.
Perhaps the most memorable moment in U.S. women’s soccer since the 1999 World Cup was Solo being dropped in China after lashing out at then-coach Greg Ryan, who had benched her for a semifinal match the Americans would lose to Brazil.
Solo hasn’t backed off her claims, but more recently has been dealing with a more challenging obstacle as she recovers from serious shoulder injury.
ESPN.com’s Jeff Carlisle details her comeback. Love it that Solo takes issue with the label of “outspoken.”
Because of this, is Solo an example of a woman athlete being punished for her blunt nature, when male athletes don’t face the same scrutiny? In The Post Game, Eric Adelson makes the case that this is the case:
“Yani Tseng is deserving of our attention not just because she plays the game with such power and precision, but also because we in the media were barking up the wrong tree for years. I was part of a media brigade that fell in love with Michelle Wie’s golf swing and charisma, and prematurely anointed Hawaii’s darling as the future of golf. Meanwhile, Tseng was the player who knocked Wie off her perch at the 2004 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, when they were both 14 years old, and hasn’t stopped knocking competitors down since.
“If we were looking for the next great star who hit the ball so far it drew comparisons with the men, it was Yani, not Michelle. If we were looking for the next great star who would attack majors with a fire and hunger, it was Yani, not Michelle. If we were looking for the next great star unafraid to make history, it was Yani, not Michelle.”
Remembering the Babe
Donald Van Natta of The New York Times has recaptured the spirit and personality of one of the greatest golfing and women’s sports legends in his new biography of Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who would have turned 100 on Sunday. An interview with NPR, and an excerpt from “Wonder Girl:”
“She would show up and say, you know, who’s going to come in second today, Babe is here! And that over-confidence — really, she was a pain in the neck — I think intimidated many of her opponents throughout her career and really worked in her favor.”
Hope Solo, you’ve met your match.