Former U.S. women’s soccer team member Heather O’Reilly responded Tuesday to comments her former teammate Hope Solo made about coach Jill Ellis.
O’Reilly, who is an analyst for FOX Sports, was teammates with Solo when the pair were playing under Ellis during the 2015 Women’s World Cup. She told Fox News the U.S. team has shown they are “not perfect.”
“I think all teams go through highs and lows in a tournament and I like to keep anything that goes on in the team in-house,” O’Reilly said. “I am very private about the good times and the bad times of things that happened throughout national team.”
She added: “I think the national team has shown they are not perfect, Jill Ellis is not perfect, coaching staff is not perfect, the team is not always perfect but they have a really high standard of excellence and I think that is what we should focus on and that’s what we should appreciate.”
Solo told a BBC podcast that Ellis was a poor leader and someone who “cracks under pressure.”
Ellis on Monday downplayed her former goalkeeper’s remarks, saying: “comments are comments.”
“For me, personally, I feel over the past five years I've made a lot of important decisions and I have processes to make those decisions, and I own those processes,” Ellis said. “At this point, everything and every focus is about this group of players that are here and now. Pundits, out there, that's part of it. And part of the message is always to make sure that the focus is on the internal part of the game. And that's where we are.”
Current U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and midfielder Julie Ertz also downplayed the comments as they tried to drown out the noise heading into their opening World Cup match against Thailand.
The U.S. and Thailand kickoff at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Fox News’ Lucia Suarez Sang and the Associated Press contributed to this report.