Retired national team striker Abby Wambach was blunt in her assessment of controversial goalkeeper Hope Solo on Thursday, adding that she had "big problems" with the comments that got Solo fired by U.S. Soccer.

Wambach, who is promoting her new book, appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and made it clear she disagreed with Solo calling the Sweden team "a bunch of cowards" after the USWNT's exit from the Olympics.

"I had big problems with that," Wambach said. "You never call another team cowards after you've just been beaten. The rules in the game are the rules in the game and you don't want to be a sore loser -- not when you're the best team in the world. To me, that looks weak."

"That's like playground stuff. Be a professional. Stand up and say, 'You know what, they beat us at our own game. They played better than us today.' Call a spade a spade."


Solo was unceremoniously suspended for six months and terminated from the USWNT last month after she labeled Sweden cowards for their defensive-yet-effective style that beat the Americans in the Olympics quarterfinal. Solo and Wambach played together for several years and won the World Cup together last year.

Asked whether she liked having Solo as a teammate, Wambach replied, "That is a very pointed question," without directly answering the question.

"I think that I respected her ability on the field. Hope and I clashed a lot," Wambach continued. "... We found a way to manage and work with each other because throughout the time that I played, there was no better goalkeeper. And that's something Hope will always have, in my mind.

"But was she difficult to work with at times? Hell yeah. Was I? Probably. Because we're these big personalities."

Wambach, who has always been one of the most vocal players on the USWNT, has been more outspoken lately as she promotes her new book called "Forward: A Memoir." Earlier this week, she revealed that she struggled with substance abuse for years, including while she was playing for the USWNT.

Like Solo, Wambach has had her own controversies. She was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in April, an incident Wambach now credits with getting her to clean up her act. She also stirred controversy last year when she said she wasn't a fan of Jurgen Klinsmann relying on dual internationals, players she termed as "foreign guys."

15 Sep, 2016 7:00am
2 minutes to read
15 Sep, 2016 7:00am
3 minutes to read

With Solo's latest suspension, Wambach said it was nice to watch the drama unfold without being part of it, for once.

"When you know what it's like to have been there in those rooms, in those conversations, it was actually really nice to be at home this time," she said, laughing. "I was like, 'OK, this is interesting to be on the outside.'"