Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cities
Savana Welch, First Place
Grade 6, Intermediate Division
Mrs. VanArtsdalen, Grover Heights School
“It was the wrong decision and I think that anybody who knows any-
thing about the game knows that. Umm….there’s no doubt in my
mind I would have made those saves and the fact of the matter is it’s
not 2004 anymore. It’s not 2004 and it’s 2007 and I think you have to
live in the present and you can’t live by big names. You can’t live in
the past. It doesn’t matter what somebody did in an Olympic gold
medal game in the Olympics 3 years ago. Now is what matters and
that’s what I think.” These were U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo’s words
of anger after being benched in the 2007 Women’s World Cup semi-
final soccer game against Brazil. The U.S. lost this semi-final game
4-0 and Hope was angry. Benching Hope was a controversial move
by the coach as she had been the starting goalkeeper for the last few
years and had been playing great in the World Cup. I sat watching at
home confused about how somebody could say something like that
about her teammate and coach. I know this was bad news for Hope
and her teammates.
When I was told about the 4-Way Test, I kept thinking about this
incident. Then I realized it was a total 4-way explosion! I say this
because it was not the truth (well maybe part of it was), it would defi-
nitely not build better friendship and good will, it was not fair, and it
was not beneficial to all concerned.
Hope Solo’s comments about her teammate, Briana Scurry, and
coach were probably not true as how can she be sure she would
have stopped the goals. But even if her statement were true and she
would have done better than her teammate, it was the wrong thing to
say at the wrong time. It was a huge putdown and very unprofes-
sional for an athlete in her important position to say. Being truthful is
very important because if you don’t tell the truth, it will come back to
hurt you in some way. One way Hope could have handled the situa-
tion better would have been to tell her coach her feelings privately
rather than announce them to the media. Her coach probably would
have understood her feelings and her teammate, Briana, and the rest
of the team would not have been hurt.
It is very important to know how to build good will and friendships.
These are extremely important skills as well for members of a team.
When team members are good friends and they care for each other,
the team is stronger. The Women’s National Team was strong in this
way until Hope spoke out in public. She broke an unwritten code that
you don’t do this to your teammates and coach. Her comments hurt
the other goalkeeper, her teammates, the coach, the fans and even
Hope in the end.
Hope Solo’s public comments were definitely unfair to her whole
team. It would take some serious healing to get through that and it
would be difficult for the team to play their best the next day. Her
words brought the whole team down and caused divisions among her
teammates and coaches. It was also unfair to her team, as they
could not focus on soccer because they were distracted by the con-
troversy. Fairness is very valuable and Hope learned that lesson the
Talking negatively like Hope did about people is definitely not bene-
ficial to everybody concerned. It makes people feel bad and stirs up
all sorts of trouble. Hope was only thinking about herself and her own
feelings so she was unable to see how she was hurting and not bene-
In the end Hope Solo publicly and privately apologized to Briana
Scurry, her teammates, coach and the public for her poor behavior.
She also received some punishments from her coach. From her be-
havior since the incident, it seems she learned it is better to be truth-
ful with kindness, to cherish and protect friendships, to be careful
about speaking unfair comments, and to think more about benefiting
others and less about herself. If Hope had applied the 4-way test to
her thoughts before she spoke out angrily, she would have saved her-
self and others a lot of problems and heart ache.