Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Olympics Notes: Rapinoe Condemns Solo's Remarks about Sweden

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Olympics Notes: Rapinoe Condemns Solo's Remarks about Sweden

Article excerpt

Megan Rapinoe, one of the U.S. women's most senior soccer players, has criticized Hope Solo's disparaging comments about Sweden following the Americans' quarterfinals loss from the Rio Olympics.

Solo called the Swedes "a bunch of cowards" for focusing on defense rather than attacking the three-time champion U.S. team.

Rapinoe told NBC Sports on Thursday she was "really disappointed" about Solo's comments.

"Let's inspire, let's be badass, let's be fierce, let's be competitive. But we're gracious and we're humble, and we play the game a certain way, whether we win or lose," Rapinoe said. "And we've been on the winning side quite a bit, and when we find ourselves on the other side, we need to handle that graciously, and unfortunately that wasn't the case."

In Sweden's 4-3 win on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw against the U.S., coach Pia Sundhage's strategy was to play defensively and try to keep the offensively adept Americans from scoring.

The tactic worked, but it angered Solo, the goalkeeper.

Sundhage used the same tactic in a semifinal match against Brazil, again advancing 4-3 on penalties after a scoreless draw. Sweden plays Germany on Friday in the gold-medal match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio.

U.S. boxer reaches final * Shakur Stevenson will be the first American to box in a gold medal match since 2004, reaching the bantamweight final after his Russian semifinal opponent was unable to fight.

Stevenson won by walkover against Vladimir Nikitin, who sustained heavy damage in three consecutive brutal fights, clearing the way for Stevenson to advance to the final against Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba on Saturday.

"I always want to fight, but once I found out I wasn't fighting (Nikitin), I kind of liked it," Stevenson said. "I can use the extra days off."

Stevenson will secure gold or silver, something the United States hasn't accomplished since Andre Ward won gold in Athens in 2004. …

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