Thursday, August 21, 2008

Leaving it behind

Once in awhile you get a situation in sports where somebody is playing for vindication. A big contract for an aging slugger- the golfer with the reputation for choking - or more currently, the whole Brett Favre mania. In all these cases, that player comes out to prove he or she's still got it, deserves to be there, is truly the best. There's a vindication story playing out right now in China, in the women's gold medal match between the US and A and Brazil, and she who may be vindicated is Hope Solo.

You have to be a real soccer fan to be really into this, I guess, but the Hope Solo story broke out into the mainstream last year. She's the US goalkeeper who played great all the way through the World Cup, then got benched for the semi-final, and Brazil cleaned our clock with Briana Scurry in the net. Solo was the better player at the time, Scurry's best games were well behind her, and just about everybody who follows the game thought it was a dumb mistake by the coach. Solo broke ranks after and said she would have made those saves, that she was wronged. For that bit of truth, she was ostracized. It was cold comfort that the numbskull coach got fired a little later.

Now (it's in the 79th minute) she's got a gold medal shutout working against big bad Brazil. Brazil is still the better team, but even if they take the win, Solo will be cleansed. I hope it goes to a shootout and she makes the winning save. She deserves it.


bbobbo said...

fyi, solo got benched in a semifinal game of the world cup, not the finals.

Barry Martin said...

Thanks bbobbo for the reminder, I corrected the mistake in the original post.

And by the way, the USA went on to win 1-0 in extra time, and Solo had a look on her face like a weight had been lifted. Great moment.