The 45-year-old Tony Gustafson now has a long time behind him as part of the US national team’s coaching staff.
Together with Pia Sundhage, he led the US to Olympic gold medal already in 2012. After staying home in Sweden as coach of Tyresö FF, Gustavsson returned to the USA in 2014 as assistant to national team captain Jill Ellis.
And Gustafsson still held that position.
Among the many stars Gustafson coached during his years in the United States is goalkeeper icon Hope Solo.
During the World Cup, Solo was in France, among other things in the role of columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian.
Hope Solo homage to Tony Gustafson
Hope Solo loves his former Swedish coach.
– I really respect Tony. Hope Solo told SportExpressen it had a big role in our 2015 World Cup gold victory.
Feel free to tell us more.
Take, for example, fixed parking lots. Tony is very creative when it comes to inventing new shapes. And it became critical in 2015.
– Tony was a godsend for the United States.
Oops, strong words. Do you mean that
– Yeah. Personally, I would have liked Tony to have taken over the main responsibility for our defense, because he is very good at defensive play. But … unfortunately, Jill Ellis wanted to take care of him.
How would you describe his position among the players?
– People love Tony – and people hate him.
Yes, but that’s a lot because Tony is such an emotional person. He can get angry easily at times. But for me, it’s just a sign of his interest, says Hope Solo.
Hope Solo on attack: “just be honest”
Current US captain Jill Ellis has been questioned severely on several occasions.
Not least is Hop Solo.
Just before the US premiere at the World Cup, Hope Solo was open in her criticism of Jill Ellis, which is a podcast. On the BBC.
“Jill is not the leader I want to be. She relies heavily on her assistant coaches and collapses under pressureSolo said after that.
It does not retreat from this opinion.
– I was just honest. Hope Solo says I’m someone I’ll always say exactly what I think of.
Should Tony Gustafson take over as captain after Ellis?
Well, I really don’t know, but it probably doesn’t happen anyway. He does a very good job in the position he now occupies.
Read more. Hope Solo breaks the silence – three years after the scandal scenes