Friday, September 28, 2007

Ryan Speaks

Anyone who even marginally follows the U.S. WNT, or perhaps owns a computer, is aware of comments made by U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo following the loss to Brazil. U.S. head coach Greg Ryan met with the media today and spoke about the situation. To hear some quotes, you can log onto the podcast on


Ruby said...

This sucks for the U.S. team. There's so much drama going on right now and this could possibly affect the teams mentality again.

At this point the team needs to get together, figure out the cracks and where they went wrong. The team needs to reconcile and put aside the differences and come to terms with what happened.

This is the greatest team and what makes it even more special is the team chemistry. If they rebuild it and lift their heads up, I have no doubt that the US will be able to win Sundays match against Norway and even the Olympics.


soccerfan said...

I thought Coach Ryan spoke highly of ALL his players even when the door was open for him to be critical. He set an example of how others should respond and how to be a professional. If sports indeed reveal our character then we have seen his true colors and those of Hope Solo as well. Let's face it, the better team won. The world is catching up and that is great for the game. The Women's game will get more attention and it will create more opportunities for all women. Regroup for Sunday.

Soccerfanze said...

Solo spoke her mind, but it was a low blow to what had already happened. Looking back on it, maybe she will regret her comments. I hope she does. It was just another tantrum by an unhappy athlete, which is too common in the world of sports. I just didn't expect that it would come from a member of the USWNT. They've always handled themselves with dignity and respect, which is what makes them great role models, especially for young girls. It was poor sportsmanship by Solo and Scurry didn't deserve to be labeled as a "has been". At this point, I'd rather see Scurry at goal this Sunday, so she can prove why she's one of the greatest. GO USA!!!

asiankp said...

Solo's comments cast an uneccessary negative cloud over the US women's team and the players. They will have an even bigger hurdle to overcome now that controversy surrounds the team. I hope the players can finish the tournament on a win, get back to the States in one piece and figure out how to salvage their disappointing run.

Richard said...

Ryan's benching of Hope Solo for Scurry was the worst move in U.S. soccer history.

He has destroyed the chemistry of the team and lost all credibility. He says they will do anything for each other. But he has destroyed that.

I can see the youngsters now being alienated from the veterans. Look at Lilly. I love her for what she has done for U.S. Soccer. However, it's been painfully obvious for the last year that time has taken its toll. She lakes the speed and quickness to take on world class defenders. I can sympathize with Tarpley who should have played more. What motivation do the youngsters now have to sacrifice for the good of the older players.

Ryan cites the "own" goal as our downfall. But that was probably caused by Scurry's rustiness. In the first few minutes she came out to get a cross and missed. If the defense saw that and lost confidence, then they might have been forced to do things they should not have.

U.S. Soccer has a history of its coaches making dumb moves in world cups. Look at the Men in France when the were made to play a system they had never played until game time, or the last men's world cup when Donovan and Beasley were made to play out of position.

Those two coaches were fired and Ryan must be also.

Every day that Ryan stays will lessen the cohesiveness and the team's willingness to sacrifice for each other until finally it will be lost and it will take a long time for it ever to come back. Maybe a quick infusion of Dicicco or Heinricks is needed.

soccer4meLB said...

I don’t mean to make an argument but one thing needs to be said.

This is for Richard who posted a comment on September 28, 2007 at 1:23 PM…

Dude, be mad at Ryan. That’s fine. I could care less. But don’t drag Lilly into this by saying “it's been painfully obvious for the last year that time has taken its toll.” That’s just a load of crap. She might have an off day once in a while but so what? Every athlete does! But if you have actually watched any of the WNT games this year (or any other year), you would know that she is just as good as she use to be! Maybe even better.

smileonadog said...

Having watched the team practice and listened to Coach Ryan speak I am not surprised by this latest issue. He is a my way or the highway kind of coach who relies on rational, seemingly objective means for making decisions. To think that this level or these individuals could be treated in this way is too naive. Although winning is important and an ultimate goal he lacked the understanding of a more complete picture, namely that all Brazil had to do was play with 3 defenders and one dropped deeper to beat our one-dimensional attack. He was not able to see things from Brazil's perspective and recognize their ability to adapt.

My greatest concern for the team and the individual women on this team is that the my way or the highway, respect/accept the power and authority of the coach, and only rational forms of decision making will lead to winning big games is the message. And that women (athletes) who question these methods will not only be struck down by the coach (no playing time for you!), but by her teammates who have bought into this model hook, line and sinker. There is, I believe a way to not lose your self, your ethics/values, in team and to be afforded a safe and free space to question the authority of the coach. Our fear that such disputes reflect negatively is unfounded... I say it's an awesome display of the strength of these women and the need for more democratic sport models.

As for team chemistry. I think Hope alluded to it when she said this isn't the team of the past. First, previous team experienced sports very differently than the current team. There may have been a need for the "family like" quality because of the struggles that they faced. Those struggles are not the same for this team and these women. Second, it is noteworthy that Nike has not been successful in marketing the team as such (although subtle attempts were made). It just doesn't jive. It does feel right to me to make them out to be that way. There needs to be a new way of viewing this team that is equally as cool.

Go US Women's Soccer!

ron h said...

I hope that coach Ryan realizes the position that he put his goalies, his team, and his country in when he made the decision to play the number 2 goalie. It was as painful a game as I have experienced in 39 years of soccer. I feel so sorry for the players and the country. I think the team should have been given the best chance of winning and I think that coach Ryan took that opportunity away from his team. I can't imagine that he will be afforded the opportunity to keep coaching after humiliating the US soccer community as he did.

Photoquest1 said...

I find it really interesting how "everyone" talked about how the goalie situation was an issue. Not speaking about the remarks made, it may seem a bad move to put in Scurry.

But most have missed the real point to be learned here: that for two World Cups our women's team relied on kickball (and then being better athletes) to win games.

I predicted that Germany and Sweden would be in the final last time. Are you surprised at who made it this year? You shouldn't be. Possession sets up chances. In the game against Brazil we hardly put two passes together, at least in the second half. "We had to play long ball because we we're down a player". That is exactly why we needed to play possession and slow the game down, coordinate attacks! We simply kicked them the ball. You Hope Solo fans don't want to hear this but in doesn't matter who is in goal when you give them 20 or 30 extra chances by giving them the ball all the time. They are bound to score on percentages alone! Is this the soccer we are supposed to teach our young girls? And by the way Richard, calling for Heinricks wouldn't help either. She had no creativity as a coach. All she played was kickball too, and that with the legends still playing. It was hard to watch. (I'll leave my "why is Mac on the bench" comments out). “But we beat Norway recently.” Yes and how many chances did we create? Face it, we got a bit lucky to beat them 1-0. We have the skill to beat Brazil, Germany, or anyone but won’t until we play real soccer.

luvearth11 said...

I am heartbroken over this game and for our team who have worked so hard towards thier dreams. There is a team dynamic that Ryan clearly ignored in preperation of the Brazil game. I suspect it started prior to the world cup. I hope the players know that their fans remain proud of them as they are champions in everyway. GO USA!

Mary said...

richard - I think your harsh 'sentencing' of Coach Ryan is un-called for. True, he has made mistakes, but aren't we all, as mortal beings, capable of making mistakes, big and small? I'm not sure why some people like yourself have become so upset at Ryan. Maybe I'm not understanding the situation deep enough, but I've always thought that a 51 winning streak is a good record in itself, so that one possible, though 'fatal', mistake should never be a decisive factor in ousting someone like Ryan. Perhaps you or someone can reveal some 'hidden facts' that are unbeknown to most of us fans? Afterall, soccer is just a game, and while we all respect the game and always play it at the highest possible level, it should be a means to achieve a higher goal - to bring the world together, to build teams, to inspire especially the young ones to work together and not against each other through fair competitions...and so on.

Greatest sport in the world said...

Yes, Greg Ryan made a huge mistake, but if he were coaching the previous USWNT, any of those players would have handled the situation with class,maturity, and togetherness. Hope acted like a spoiled rotten brat. Yes, she's a good goalkeeper, but she would not have stopped those goals and she is replaceable. Hope showed a complete lack of respect and class. Brianna should play on Sunday.

Dawn //Milwaukee WI said...

Hope Solo needs to apologize to her teammates, coaches and the US fans. She needs to grow up. Did she have her parents call and complain to the coach too? Maybe she will sue the coach. Hope, take off all of your eyeliner and stop being such a DIVA.

jeff said...

In June 2007, when the US beat Brasil 2-0, Briana Scurry was the goal-keeper and made four crucial saves.

In this Word Cup semi-final, in front of a mostly partisan Chinese crowd that was barracking for Brasil, and because of a few unexpected and unfortunate events that went against the US (own goal, questionable send-off), the US were uncharacteristically unsettled and never found their rhythm.

Hope Solo MAY have saved the second goal but it's highly unlikely that she would have done better than Briana in the case of the other goals, including the own goal.

By saving the second goal, it's possible that the US would have been less panicky.

Bottom line: too many ifs, maybes.

Brasil was technically far superior and deserved to win. In the quarter-final, Australia played better than the US against Brasil (the score was 3-2. Australia trailed 0-2, following the loss of their injured Captain, one of the world's All-Stars, and a questionable penalty ).

At the beginning of the US-Brasil game, the US were throwing their weight around and fouling Brasil.

The first goal could have come from a penalty against the US. The US relied on their usual physical and not very skillful style.

Hope Solo should have kept quiet.

When the TV camera focused on her several times during the match, her face and body language spoke volumes.

She did not have to say anything. Playing the part of the scorned goal-keeper would have been the much smarter decision.

pat.willard said...

OK, Hope Solo should have followed US WNT standard practice of not criticizing Scurry (by claiming she, Hope, would have stopped all of the scoring balls that Briana missed). And perhaps she should not publicly question the coach. Everyone would assume that she was frustrated, as one could plainly see when TV showed her sitting on the bench. Enough said. I can forgive her, as I am sure her teammates will.

For the past two years, honestly, I have been waiting to see if coach Ryan learned anything from April Heinrichs' biggest mistake. Alas, he did not. Heinrichs sat an extremely hot, productive Mia Hamm for one game in the middle of the last World Cup, and cooled her off. Rather than learning the lesson "If it ain't broke don't fix it," Ryan pulls a similar bonehead move.

In his comments to the press, Ryan said that Scurry has quicker reflexes. So what! Solo got us there, and was in the flow. And as Foudy noted, the keeper also has to be sharp (through game minutes) in communicating with the back line (which she might well have done telling the defender to leave the ball for her rather than make a desparate, diving header that wound up in our own net).

It's called "Game Ready," Coach! You screwed up!

Adelbert said...

Ditto Richard... I'd like to add that the press saying Brazil has surpassed the U.S. team are really jumping the gun. Our women are the BEST team as evidenced (for example) by losing when playing direct and pulling themselves up by their boot straps with possession with less than half a game to go. People feel they could have done better on their own. To be blunt, Ryan's failure is amplified by the HEIGHT from which this team fell.

Oh,about Solo. Work your butt off for 2+ years. Start every game that matters then have this happen to you. She deserves to be pissed...

angie said...

i can not help, everytime i think of the us team i get sad just thinking that the media is pushing all these negative thoughts onto everyone. We all need to move on. I keep watching old video of the team laughing and enjoying themselves to help ease the negative. We all have to remember that we have a game on Sunday and we need to focus on that. GO USA, go out with your heads held high!

Island Girl said...

Team Chemistry is one thing but one player doesn't change it that much. If 3 different players then we'll take chemistry.
I can honestly say that these women are professional athletes and if they can't handle a keeper change than they don't belong on this team. I'm not talking about AYSO youth or high school team, I'm talking professional team. If Hopeless was hurt and Bri was put in and lost do you think we would still hear all this flack? At this level, they should be able to handle more than a keeper change.

Bri should be in the goal tomorrow to redeem herself. She deserves it after all the trash talking. The defense got juked and left her alone to defend the net.

Hope will have her BAD day against Marta and I can put money that Bri will have the class and not say a word but give her a hug of encouragement. Something Hope should've done but took the low road instead.

I luv these women and hope it all comes together on Sunday.

ssminnow said...

I agree with Richard. By announcing his decision to use Scurry a day or so before the big game completely destroyed the team's mind set. Their confidence was not in Scurry -- who would think it could be after Solo's performance in the previous games!

Ryan needs to think more about the team's best interests and not his own -- which this didn't turn out to be. The US needed a strong offense coming into this game. What happened with the subs? Where were the aggressive players up front -- Kai, Tarpley -- goals, buddy, goals! Algarve Cup this was not!!!! Get back to CA and rethink this whole thing before the Olympics come around in '08 -- same venue -- shades of this visit need not recur!

gobigred75 said...

solo's allowed to say what she needs to say. it sounded like it at the time, but i'm pretty positive it wasn't directed at scurry. she has since apologized, and for what it's worth, that's good enough for me (because that's not easy to do).

i've got full confidence that the team will recover for sunday and next year. it's unfortunate that it had to end this way, but it's times like this that really bring out their strength. i'm still looking forward to seeing how badly we'll destroy norway, and by the time they get to the olympics theyre going to be ready for revenge.

hmadass said...


Again, I'm dubious regarding the possibility that yall see these comments, and honestly there are some that I hope you never see.

I don't know what the feeling is. I'd be an idiot to guess because I'm sure the emotions are all over the spectrum right now.

I don't want to patronize you or insult you when I say that sincerely hope that you come out guns blazing.

I know a great majority of the media commentary is harsh and cynical and they all expect you to fold up like rented tents on a windy day.

I hope with all my heart that yall come out playing like somebody lit a fire under you.

I suppose that some of you might be disappointed in third place and some of you are dying to prove in this game that third place is the new first place so I hope that whatever the mixed feelings, if there are any, it all gets buried like you can bury Norway.

Take it to them. Ignore the outside because it's ultimately got no bearing on the 90+ minutes you'll play. The fans love you and everyone else is being a cow so stay focused and bring yourselves back to us in one piece with a mind to turn it around and give the world the shock of their lives. In a good way.

And now, the motivational speech ends.

Go get em.

Dustin said...

So the teams decision was to have Hope Solo sit out the Norway game because she would have been a distraction? That's just a great decision. Honestly how petty do you have to be to think that's wise? Let me ask you something, do you guys want the US team to be the best in the world? Then play the best players that you have. If you don't, than why are we bothering to watch you?

MiamiGirl said...

Not only will Hope not present at the game tomorrow, neither will I. I'm not dragging my but out of bed at 5am after what you just did. If you are such a great team, why would you dump one off for saying something that even if you disagree, was in the heat of the moment? I am so disappointed in all of you.

Impedient said...

I personally think that it is indeed a good decision not to have Hope in training because of what has happened. That would put the team's distraction away on this and focus on tomorrow's game against Norway but I feel that Hope should just attend and watch the match but maybe not sit with the team but somewhere in the stands or in the VIP box kind of thing? That would not distract the team that bad, wouldn't it?

With that, I would want to wish all the best for tomorrow's game and yea, GO USA!! You have us behind your backs cheering you all the way from everywhere!

Bob from NJ said...

After the match Coach Ryan cited the own goal as a major reason for defeat. In a way he indirectly shifted blame a player. I think his decision making was horrible and added to the poor showing in the entire tournament and particularly the Brazil Match. He complained about Brazil's aggressiveness in the previous match and wanted a referee who would call a strict match. The ref called it close and unfortunately called a tough one on S. Boxx but did the ref feel pressure to call a close match due to his complaining. I'm sure that B. Scurry has a great record against almost every team we would play. However, chemistry is impacted by these major changes. Possibly the own goal could have been a result of a new keeper; as Scurry's instincts could differ from Solo's and communications could have also differed or been lacking. Coach Ryan's subbing also smacked of panic. Why man mark Marta once we are down by two or three goals? Where were our attacking players? To train for 2 plus year's to play at a mediocre level on the largest stage is unbelievable. Many nations have shown improvement in their skills and quality of play( Nigeria, Norway, PRK, Australia). The U.S. has not. Hope Solo has probably saved Coach Ryan's job by deflecting attention from his decisions. I "HOPE" U.S. Soccer thoroughly looks at how the team performed against tough competition in a pressure packed environment, when evaluating Coach Ryan's future.

Jay said...

Although I think Solo made a mistake when it came to her comments that related to Scurry, I hope (no punn intended) that she gets a second chance to be a part of the team in the future. I think that in terms of reconciliation it would have been better to let her sit with the team at the game against Norway even if she didn't play.

Stan Sloan said...

Not only did Ryan cost the US. team the game but I hope he doesn't ruin Solo,s career because she spoke out about what millions of people expressed across the Globe.Brianna has been a brilliant keeper and served well but the true statement by Solo you can't go back and think about past games ,I bet the whole team feels the same as Solo they showed it on the pitch but just haven't the guts to speak out , Rayn blew it and the world knows it.

Ron's said...

so sad...drama on the team creates little creative play. Hope had the opportunity to take the high road or the low road....she sadly choose the low road. Not that it is remotely her fault that she didn't start but I highly doubt that even if she was in she would have stopped the mess the brazilian attack created.
Hope...take the high road and help your team. Ryan...probably will lose his job as a result of this poor decision before such a HUGE game.

Roland said...

I hope more players speak out against Ryan. I guess we'll see after the cup...

William Scott said...

Team team team is what the veterans (even ex players) are saying. The question is, where were these veteran leaders when Scurry was chosen over Solo? They say that the team decided... does that mean that it was a vote or basically that Lilly and Wambach decided and everyone else toed the line. The fact is that the coach basically created a schism between the old and new players by playing Scurry. If Scurry was the better goalie then why didn't she start the world cup. Solo was hurt by being stabbed in the back by her coach and by her team mates. It old vs. new. The team sided with the coach by denying Solo the chance to be at the Norway game. To be honest while I always like watching the US team, now I am hoping the Scurry gets lit up. And I don't like that feeling, but it is clearly there. The push to make a pariah out of Solo is obviously a ploy to deflect criticism on the Scurry choice against Brazil, not by the coach but by the next logical people to blame. The team Captains. Lilly and Wamback are to blame, make no mistake. If they are not then they have no business being leaders of that team.

Liz Wilk said...

I doubt that Hope's comments weren't meant to be an attack on Brianna. She was obviously upset and emotional. I can understand her frustration. Was it smart for her to speak to the media right then?? I don't think so. I would imagine she is remorseful, we all have made those types of blunders. What's more important to me is the ugly and ineffective style of soccer Greg Ryan has our very talented and skillful players doing. I know our girls can play possession style soccer and dominate, why on earth he has them playing that direct boomball is beyond me. Our midfield had no control over the game, the teams touches were off as well as their passes. They didn't use their wings, or needless to say, the width of the field. I was shocked and disgusted at the lack of style and creativity. Brazil proved that you can play the "beautiful game" and win. We need to play the game the right way. Greg Ryan needs to go, that was a horrible display of the game that is so revered around the world, he should show more respect for the US women and their abilities and for the game itself.

James said...

I agree with Richard.

Jeff said: "The US relied on their usual physical and not very skillful style. " This is Ryan's style. To imply that these women are not skillful is off mark. They have been trained to boot the ball to Wambach and to create set pieces. This "one note samba" couldn't hold against the "samba queens".

When we saw the friendly game against Finland in Carson CA. we were all shaking our heads and saying they don't look ready. They were not passing. They were booting the ball around. They did not seem to be working together as a team. The play seemed narrowly focused on set pieces. We thought they were tired, or saving their legs, or avoiding injury (though Wambach's toe was injured). But they did win. Then when we saw the game against North Korea unfold, it was the same style of play. We thought, oh it is a really unknown, unscouted opponent and torrential rain. But they did tie it in the end. But we soon came to learn that what we were watching was the world according to Greg Ryan. Gone was the strong mid field. Gone were the passes and presses forward. As the set piece strategy was thwarted time and time again, we yearned for the days when the team would shift tactics and stun us with their creativity and depth. We missed seeing Abby speed around the pitch, enlivening the game and energizing the whole team.

We love you USA....we love you Scurry. We love you Solo.
We are with you all the way.

But Mr. Ryan, you don't deserve another day with our national treasures.

Liz Wilk said...

I am commenting on my own post. It says that "I doubt Hope's comments weren't meant as an attack on Brianna" That is not what I meant to say, although I am almost positive I wrote it correctly the first time, I would appreciate it if you could correct it. I DO NOT, repeat DO NOT think Hope's comments were meant to attack Brianna. In other words, change the weren't to were in the sentence. Please and thank you

ducky2710 said...

I think that Hopes words were correct. I don't think she meant to attack Bri at all but tell coach Ryan what she thought. I think it was just very emotional for her and not knowing that if they did play Brazil that she would be benched for Scurry hurt her more. Dedicating a game for someone and not being able to actually dedicate it the way you want to hurts and thats where her emotions took over and got the best of her. Bri is a great and prob. the best goal keeper that the USA has ever had but she was not prepaired for the game and should have stayed on the bench.