Hope Solo's infamous criticism of her coach got her booted from practice and competition at the end of last year's World Cup, and depression almost kept the 26-year-old from returning to soccer at all. But now the US team has a new coach, a rejuvenated Solo, and a fresh plan for winning in Beijing, Sports Illustrated reports.
Pia Sundhage's approach eschews both the old kick-and-run strategy and the belief that a team must be close off the pitch to be successful on it. "You don't have to like each other, but once you cross that line, if you can like each other for at least 90 minutes, then I think you can be successful," explains forward Abby Wambach. But for her part, Solo has found "Time has really been the great healer. I'm genuinely enjoying my teammates again, which I never thought was possible."