It would look more prophetic if I had posted it earlier, but it doesn't surprise me that there wasn't much outcry against the women's team at their game in St. Louis.
I have to disagree with some of the posters who mentioned here that they believed the majority of the women's fans were up in arms over how the team was treating Hope Solo. I think a number of fans were bothered, but I'm skeptical about it being a significant percentage, frankly.
As I mentioned before, the image-makers at the US Soccer federation have a vested interest in marketing the squad as ideal role models. From the start of this, they've positioned the other players as the wronged party, and Solo as the destroyer of team codes, norms and ideals. Many people bought that scenario. They've condemned Hope, and don't believe the team was out of line in how they reacted.
To a certain extent, I do think societal norms come into play here. The pressure on females to be seen and not heard is one that persists.
This is seen in how many people agree with what Solo said, but not that she said it, which still baffles me.
Those bringing their daughters to soccer games, however, don't neccesarily have time to parse those nuances out. Women's soccer fans in the U.S. are still an evolving bunch, and they're often not the most knowledgeable. I was talking to a female player once (not Hope) who played in Sweden and she said the great thing about performing there was how well the fans understood the game.
"You don't see crowds in the U.S. cheering a great defensive move, because they don't usually realize that's a great play. They cheer the most at the introductions and when a goal is scored. But the crowds in Sweden were great - they'd pay attention and cheer all the good little things. Great pass sequences sometimes get boos here, because people want to see shots. Over there, the fans go nuts when we possess the ball well, because they know that takes a lot of skill."
So, with a fan base more invested in what they hope the team represents (nice, good girls) than how they actually play, and a snow job by the fed to blame one person (Solo), not to mention the prevelant opinion that a women speaking up is trouble of some kind, it's not a surprise to me that there were only isolated, scattered pockets of protest.
Actually, I think it's a significant step that there was any visible reaction at all. Most people who got turned off by the entire situation simply boycotted the match, or never planned to go in the first place.
Honestly, I have to admit that I also believe there's an element at play here that never liked the women's national team and is reveling in the scandal now for that reason as well. These aren't fans the USWNT has lost - it never had them in the first place.
Though I don't think it's a large number, I do feel badly for the fans that were true, aware and appreciative supporters of the squad for the quality of their play. This was the group disturbed at the limited nature of the direct play the team employed, one that questioned Greg Ryan's tactics long before the goalkeeper switch. They wanted to see more young players given opportunities, and more creative tactics. They cared less about how players act off the field and more about how they play on it. They were probably even slightly cynical about the "We are Family" theme music blaring through the rationale to ostracize Solo.
It's these fans that might be turning on the USWNT. They're not satisfied with the excuses given for the loss to Brazil. They're not buying the distraction that Solo's words became. They're dismayed at how a player vocalizing a relevant opinion is punished by her own teammates.
The quality of these fans is much higher, I think, than their quantity.