Saturday, September 29, 2007

Solo Stands Alone

Embattled Team USA goalkeeper Hope Solo will not be with her teammates when they play Norway Sunday in the Women's World Cup third-place match. Idiot coach Greg Ryan has determined that Solo did not stand strong by her teammates during the "hard time" that was the US 4-0 blanking at the hands of Brazil in the semi-final and that she does not belong with her team on Sunday as a result.

This is a childish move by a coach who ruined his squad's chance at a World Cup title and is trying to deflect the blame and spotlight away from himself. Ryan said he came to this decision after meeting with "team leaders". To be fair, some of the vets on the team are publicly siding with their coach on this one. Striker Kristine Lilly went as far to say that having Solo with the team against Norway would be a distraction. Apparently then, not having her in goal against Brazil wasn't a distraction so maybe the team needs to step up and take the heat for getting humiliated by Brazil.

Beyond not allowing Hope to be with the team on Sunday, Ryan and some of his players have called into question whether she still has a future with the team. First, no player should be commenting on anything even close to that. That is a complete joke. Second, Ryan should be worrying about his own future more than Solo's. United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati is already starting to position himself to send Ryan packing, either by simply not offering him a new contract at the end of the year or by letting him go sooner. Either way Ryan should never have anything to do with USA Soccer again after this week's disaster.

As for Hope, she has apologized and said that she did not intend her comments to come across as a criticism of fellow keeper Brianna Scurry, and I believe her there. She does still maintain that coach Ryan made the wrong decision by not playing her against Brazil. Again, couldn't agree more. Solo is taking some heat for her comments, but she said what needed to be said and I think a lot more people are supporting her than are vilifying her. My guess would be that she has gained at least twice as many fans as she has lost. The bottom line is that she was right and hopefully (no pun intended) we haven't seen the last of Hope Solo in goal for Team USA.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One thing that appears to be missing in the analysis of Ryan's coaching was his substituting 2 defensive players in the 2nd half!! It is as though he knew he had blown it and he wanted to reduce the probability of a rout (6+ to 0) being on Scurry's record. Not that the US would have won if he hadn't made such coaching blunders like switching goalies and subbing defenders. He really blew it that day!!