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Breaking News: Solo Will Not Play

Hope Solo was not allowed to practice with the U.S. team today in Shanghai and will not be in uniform at Sunday's third-place game against Norway. The final decision was made by Coach Greg Ryan, who said he received input from the veterans following a players' meeting. Essentially, the players don't want her around right now.

Click here for details.....

By Steve Goff  |  September 29, 2007; 2:47 AM ET
Categories:  Women  
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Next: Matchday 27: Toronto FC at DCU


Thanks to Greg Ryan and the USSF for being carefull in how they responded. Hope Solo's non-apology apology on MySpace didn't cut it. We get enough of those from the NFL/NBA/MLB, etc. One of the reasons people enjoy the womans national team is because they liked them personally. Hope Solo is a very talented player, but not a likable person or a good teammate. She is the type of person who is in it for Hope Solo and, where she does have that right, I have the right to stop caring about the womans team if I stop liking them. I have plenty of soccer options to go to that are much more entertaining if I am going to have to deal with the whole, "me, me, me" attitude. It is okay to be disappointed, but if you want to win, your primary concern has got to be the team. That takes a level of maturity that Hope doesn't have right now. I wish her well, but kudos to the woman of the team if they are the ones that decided to send her home. Hope needs to learn this lesson at a different team's expense.

Posted by: Good! | September 29, 2007 3:24 AM | Report abuse

Not a shock. Interesting that Ryan said this: "She knows that trust is hard to gain, easy to break and even more difficult to regain,..."
He should know because it was his dumb move in the first place that shattered the faith and trust the team had. He is the one who started the avalanche.

Did Hope go a bit far; probably. But it was literally minutes after a WC dream was shattered. Literally the heat of the moment. It would be much worse if it was 2 months from now in an off the cuff remark.
This was 4 years of hard work thrown into the toilet in one of the biggest, nonsensical moves in the history of ladies soccer.

This team is going to be shaken up BIG TIME. Between player retirements/changing of the guard and the obvious need to get a coach who knows how to win the big game.

Adios, Mr. Ryan.

Posted by: papa bear | September 29, 2007 4:55 AM | Report abuse

I just lost my respect for the USWNT. This latest moves reeks of Sunil Gulati. Ryan and the rest of the team are just puppets not players.
If they were really a team, they would still let Solo dress.

I hope they lose - they just made a bad decision worse. Leadership on the team is pathetic starting with Gulati down to Ryan and now the veterans.

My 8 year olds could teach these puppets many valuable lessons.

Posted by: Bodie | September 29, 2007 5:10 AM | Report abuse

I think we will see a parallel between the Nowak/Adu and Ryan/Solo spats. The head coach is "allowed" to take "other opportunities," and the player is dispatched to the hinterlands. In Adu's case it was much worse because he had to spend time in SLC, and Solo may end up playing in Sweden.

Posted by: Vladimir | September 29, 2007 5:19 AM | Report abuse

Unlike others, this move has absolutely nothing to do with Gulati, but more of the group think that surrounds the USWNT where the "founders" opinions are given great weight within the USSF and the media. Let's face it, these "founders" did well in the sport at its infancy. The ingredients for a winning formula was a winning recipe then, but doesn't now as the women's game has gotten more skilled and technical which the USA lacks. Harmony in the locker room or team chemistry has little to do with performance if everyone has the desire to win.

I have no problem to be proven wrong by Foudy or Chastian if they want to be the next USWNT head coach for the next WCF.

Posted by: Vladimir | September 29, 2007 5:33 AM | Report abuse

This decision doesn't surprise me, but it does cement my contempt for those who lead the USWNT. Specifically Ryan, but more broadly those who allowed him to go unchallenged on his viciously wrongheaded decision and manner of implementing it. Ms. Solo's comments were not nearly as damaging to the team, or as self-centered, as the actions and words of Mr. Ryan. Or have his apologists, those who would preposterously claim this is Hope's fault, decided to forget Ryan saying that it was "no concern" to him how the last minute bringing in of Bri would affect Hope's confidence? Or his "If this turns out to be a mistake I can live with it"? Of course followed, by the obvious stench of his mistake, by his putting the blame on Osborne? By his applauding the quality of Bri's game when at least two goals were eminently stoppable? And now by his covering himself in the mantle of the team he betrayed in order to help set up Solo as the fall guy? [those "veterans" mentioned, would Bri and friends of Bri be the case? Precious stuff, Mr. Ryan].
I have not been so disgusted by a US manager since Sampson, and actually I do believe Steve had more integrity and character than Greg is revealing.

Posted by: nautilogos | September 29, 2007 5:43 AM | Report abuse

This vote, to banish the only person with the guts to speak up and tell the truth, highlights one of the differences between the genders that title IX can't fix. Women will always be women. Gang up on the pretty one.

These ladies just got slaughtered and they have the gall to banish the only player to speak up. Hey, how about a meeting where you craft a statement explaining to all the little girls in America why you didn't show up in the world cup. The outfield was the problem, not the goal tender.

Compared to the damage created by the 14 silent players on the field Thursday, Solo's comments were nothing.

Posted by: Tommie | September 29, 2007 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Added forward Abby Wambach: "It just goes to show you have to be professional all the time and you have to watch what you say. We, as a team, want to look as quickly as possible forward to Norway because this tournament isn't over. That's the most unfortunate part about it ... I am so very proud of the way how we've handled this because [it was] not easy. This is uncharted territory for us."

Memo to Abby: The tournament IS over. The game tomorrow is a friendly.

Another example of how this team resides in a "Truman Show" bubble.

One could only imagine what "motor-mouthed" Wambach would have to say if she had been left off the team sheet for "tactical reasons".

Posted by: BS detector | September 29, 2007 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Off topic:

Since no one has mentioned this (what with the Post putting Dan on Agent Zero duty), I figure there are United fans that might not have seen this tidbit:

Chivas fired Chepo de la Torre yesterday due to the below-par start to the season. I can't help but grin at the thought that we are partially responsible. Hopefully, they fall into some disarray and we can take advantage in Guadalajara.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 29, 2007 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Disgraceful. Abby and the rest of these spoiled, pampered prima donna's need to grow up and wake up. Looks like the 'veterans', i.e. Bri and the rest of her underperforming, over-the-hill clique, are quick to talk about teamwork while happily throwing a WC rookie and likely team MVP overboard. I too have lost all respect for the USWNT and will be rooting heartily for a Norway win. A THOROUGH housecleaning is in order - starting with Gulati and Ryan and extending to 2/3 of this soft, lumbering, lethargic 'team'.

Posted by: Hmmmm | September 29, 2007 7:09 AM | Report abuse

USWNT: Dead to me.

Posted by: Esky | September 29, 2007 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Fire Sunil Gulati Now!

Posted by: Greg Ryan | September 29, 2007 7:50 AM | Report abuse

A few comments:

It wasn't fair to Solo that the press went to her after the team's biggest-ever loss.

That said, Solo should have clammed up.

However, I have yet to hear Ryan take ownership of a very weird, if not stupid, decision that humiliated his starting keeper and now seems to be causing the unravelling of the team.

This looks like a sorry end to Lilly's glorious career.

Analysis / criticism of Ryan's decision is being deflected by Solo's comments and that is unfortunate. I hope he resigns when he gets back on US soil. What a devastating blow to the USWNT.

Posted by: John in CT | September 29, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Boycott everything WNT until Ryan is fired!

Posted by: DarrylSoccer | September 29, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of right or wrong, this sounds like really harsh punishment to me. They are not even allowing her inside the stadium? Wow. I can understand benching her after she went off on the coach and a player but not allowing your #1 keeper into the stadium seems a bit much. That's like Joe Gibbs deactivating Clinton Portis because he spoke out of turn.

Hope Solo was wrong but at least that was in the heat of the moment. It was right after a loss in a BIG game. This just sounds like the end of her national career. At least until Ryan is fired.

Posted by: Bart | September 29, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

The tournament isn't over. This is soccer, the 3rd place match is not a formality. The winner gets a medal (and cash). So it's not over. And if Abby can score enough goals, she can still win the golden boot. Or maybe Kristin Lily will razzle dazzle and win the golden ball.

Posted by: Bart | September 29, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Although she did not play, her demeanor on the bench did leave a lot to be desired during the Brazil match. Speak against the coach in any sport and you sit. Not allowing them in the stadium is a little extreme, but I can't say I blame them.

Posted by: sitruc | September 29, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Even less reason to wake up early tomorrow morning. Hope Solo has now been made the scapegoat of this entire fiasco. I thought that Ryan should have been able to finish this tournament. If anyone should be banned from the stadium, it should be him. This is ridiculous and if anything, the players should come to Solo's support, not the other way around. Like someone posted above, there is no reason to respect this team any longer.

Posted by: Falc | September 29, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

It's probably the right thing to do; there have to be repercussions for saying things like that. BUT; it's his fault in the first place for making such a stupid move and for apparently having absolutely no tactical clue.

He really needs to go.

And I really wish Brandi Chastain would shut up. She has an axe to grind and now she's doing it. She just sounds like a spoiled baby.

What a total bummer of a tournament.

Posted by: Hacksaw | September 29, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The Solo banishment is a predictable development in a situation where the "Captain Queeg" clique (Ryan and Gulati) need to keep escalating punishments (read - scapegoating) to deflect criticism of a bankrupt coach and system. Who coached and developed a virtually immobile and woefully lacking in skill team? Apparently Hope Solo and anyone else who criticizes the inept and bizarre performance of Ryan and Gulati.

Initially, I thought Bruce Arena was classless and vindictive when he spoke his mind about Gulati after the last World Cup. Seems that I owe Arena an apology, maybe he was speaking the truth. Oh well, at least we'll get to see the Gulati clone Bob Bradley commit a similar Ryanesque implosion in South Africa in 2010. Maybe Bob will bring Tony Meola back into net at the start of the tournament because he "was really good in 1990."

Posted by: griffin1108 | September 29, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Now if someone can please find a midfield.

Posted by: morph | September 29, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Good luck, Norway. Please put an end to this charade and demonstrate to the rock-headed Ryan and Gulati that that they are galloping incompetents. And Norway: get 2-5 goals past Scurry while you are at it, Bri could have nipped this whole thing in the bud by telling Ryan he idea to start her ice-cold against a riproaring Brazil was nuts.

Posted by: Jeannie1132 | September 29, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

While I can see needing to punish Hope for speaking out of turn, I'd hardly call this reconciliation. It's more like marooning someone on a remote island a la some 18th century pirate ship.

As for the person who decried Hope's "non apology", WTF do you want from her? She's now equally if not more upset by her dismissal. After getting herself in trouble by getting in front of a tv crew and a live mic, you want her to do make the same mistake twice?

I thought her statement said exactly what I hope(d) her sentiments were when she made her initial comments. She was questioning a terrible coaching decision and was trying to make her case as the best choice to be in goal for the semi-final game, not trying to throw Briana under the bus. While she's sorry for airing things in public and and offense she caused Briana, she still stands by her beliefs that benching her was a bad decision.

Until her actions show otherwise, I respect her for sticking by her convictions and actually taking full responsibility for her actions. I'd encourage Greg Ryan to do the same and recuse himself from the USWNT (hopefully permanently) as well.


Posted by: EaglesFan | September 29, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Now I hope that we can add the USWNT to the ash heap of history. This defeat completely let the air of their tires, demonstrating that the sense of magic and invulnerability that once surrounded the team is completely gone. It is a shame that this defeat comes at a time when they are about to try to start a new women's league. I hope Solo can get on with her life and put the team behind her.

Posted by: DC Boy | September 29, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Ok, so it was the "veterans" who provided the input leading to Solo's suspension (and make no mistake, that's what this is). However, it is interesting that I saw ZERO veteran input Thursday on the field.

Once again, people are just playing CYA and looking for a scapegoat. It's time for Gulati, Ryan and all the sycophants to get the shove out the door they deserve and start over with new blood.

Posted by: Throwin | September 29, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Ryan, Gulati, et al,

We now know what it takes to make BSPN cover soccer regularly.

Posted by: B.A. | September 29, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

any chance of another dc united post this season? Thank you payne for the editorial today explaining that dcunited still plays at rfk and still bad without goff around the post has forgotten about the team

Posted by: southeasterner | September 29, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Ryan is pathetic and should be fired.

Posted by: Paul | September 29, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

This is Washington. Hereafter, this affair will be called "Keepergate."

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 29, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Did you miss the article on Clyde Simms today?

I for one commend Hope Solo for standing by her statements and not bending to the pressure to apologize. It takes a lot of guts to do that in which by now must be a pretty uncomfortable environment.

Posted by: Chico | September 29, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

For those looking, here's the dead-tree edition of today's United article, focusing on Clyde Simms. It's by Paul Tenorio (guess Dan's a little tied up).

Posted by: Throwin | September 29, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

She got dogged by the coach and the USSf propaganda machine. Kudos to Hope for sticking to her guns.

Her teammates are now a joke off the field, too. Ryan screwed up by not taking them to the PanAmerican games in Brazil where they would have had a cold slap of reality on how good Brazil was.

Whatever. We still don't know who you are WNT and now we don't care!

Posted by: John | September 29, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Even Freddy Adu, at 16 years old, knew how to say something like "It was the coach's decision. I can't say anything more about it." That's the profession athlete's way of saying "I'm pissed. I don't agree with the decision. I'm saying it this way to avoid pissing off the rest of the team and generating a worldwide backlash against me, my team and my coach."

Posted by: Beaker | September 29, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Greg Ryan was surprisingly called up to coach the United States women's team after a mediocre small-college coaching career (Colorado College, 40-28).

He took probably the best-funded, best-equipped, probably most-hyped (thanks, Nike!) USWNT edition ever and led it through what now stands exposed as a miserably misleading unbeaten string in a series of friendlies and games against inadequate opponents. Does anybody else think of boxers whose streak of victories has been inflated by the ancient tactic of matching them against a series of bums and tomato cans?

In this latest controversy Greg Ryan has behaved like the biggest child of all--unfortunately a child who has learned how to be sanctimonious and hypocritical.

The goalkeeper wasn't alone in losing this game. The team was comprehensively outplayed in every area, and then SPANKED for good measure. The Brazilian gals were probably laughing out loud about them in the locker room. Forget about the semis; this team could have plausibly failed to make it out of its group to begin with.

It's more obvious than ever that outside of his legal ability to bench or play different athletes at his whim, Ryan has very little control over the squad, and probably very little respect. An outburst like Hope Solo's, however much the reporter caught her at the absolute worst moment of her life, is a sign that the coach has lost the confidence of his outfit.

Did you note the way that Greg Ryan hid behind the skirts of certain "team leaders" in announcing his decision, thereby adding to the witch's brew of internal dissension and lamely trying to cover his butt in case anyone disagreed with this?

As for Lilly and especially Scurry--thanks for the memories, but Bill Clinton's been out of office for quite a while now and it's time for you to retire as well.

Posted by: Anthony | September 29, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday I was defending the team to what I thought was an over reaction to the loss against Brasil. No I hope they get slaughtered in every match they play as long as Ryan is the coach and the "leaders" remain on the team. Nothing Solo said or did was so serious as to treat her this way. The National team just lost one long time fan.

Posted by: roger | September 29, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Awesome! Hope's comments were pathetic and this is exactly what she had coming. I said it before but I don't care how frustrated you are (and she had every right to be) you don't go off on your coach and your team in the media.

Hopefully she learns her lesson and keeps her mouth shut from now on.

Posted by: Todd H. | September 29, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse


Your comments make me want to throw my laptop off my balcony. You really think that this punishment fits the crime? Do you really think Greg Ryan is blameless in all of this? Do you really think the USWNT/US Soccer Federation looks good/is doing the right thing here?


Posted by: EaglesFan | September 29, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Thankfully, I didnt miss anything at all. Who the heck pays attention to Womens soccer anyhow? It makes for a nice tournament and free trips for reporters, thats about it.

Until these neo-con people controlling everything in this world get their heads out of their asstronauts, Womens soccer in America will be nothing more than an afterthought. I fully expect the new womens league to fail once again. I wont waste my money there. MLS is the league for American soccer, we dont need other leagues pulling revenue and fans away.

Posted by: shirteesdotnet | September 29, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse


If you haven't thrown your laptop out and are still reading this, I think this is a very appropriate punishment. As I've stated before, I disagree strongly with Ryan's decision to play Scurry. I think he cost the team dearly, but he made a coaching decision.

At the same time, Hope Solo is supposed to be a professional athlete, not a three year old. Noone is above the team but she tried to elevate herself in front of it. At no point should anyone in a team sport come out in the media in the pathetic manner that she did.

It's clear that the coach and the team wanted this as evidenced by Ryan conferring with the veterans on the squad. What would you have done after one of your players just called out her teammates like Solo did?

Posted by: Todd H. | September 29, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Todd, I'm with Adam on this one. She called out the coach, and deservedly so. Sadly, there was a little collateral damage to Scurry, but this suspension completes the demolition of this team. The coaches reaction seems to be more petulant than Solo's, IMHO.

Posted by: JkR | September 29, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I guess Lilly and Wambach are petulant, too?

It's sad that athletes crying in the media has so commonplace that some people have begun to accept it.

Posted by: Todd H. | September 29, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It's more obvious than ever that outside of his legal ability to bench or play different athletes at his whim, Ryan has very little control over the squad, and probably very little respect.
Agreed, Anthony, but that seems like quite an "outside of" to me. If you're willing to kick your once-starting GK out of the stadium altogether, then I guess I'm not surprised you've got a cadre of players willing to line up behind your decision and join the scapegoating fiesta. What might the coach/dictator do to you if you happened to express support for Solo (who is very aptly named in this lonely role)? If you happened to give voice to your view that this was the one of the top ten blunders in the history of coaching? If you happened to think that Greg Ryan was engaged in a massive exercise in changing the subject from his team's poor performance and his own stupid decision to Hope Solo, for heaven's sake. One must not forget the sheer power of the coach over the players.

That said, I wonder who leaked news of the switch, thus obviating the tactical surprise of the announcement of Scurry an hour before the game? Does Ryan think it was Solo? That would begin to account for the harshness of this non-suspension suspension.

Posted by: dcca | September 29, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Who the heck pays attention to Womens soccer anyhow?"

This remark is unintentionally funny, appearing in a blog in which hundreds and hundreds of comments related to women's soccer have appeared in recent days. I am reminded of the statement, attributed to Yogi Berra, that no one goes to a certain restaurant anymore because it's always too crowded.

Posted by: Section 410 | September 29, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Banning Solo from the stadium just makes this so much worse especially since Ryan didn't own up to being a moron or even make the decision himself. He let some team leaders (Lilly) make the decision. Of course the older leaders are going to side with Scurry, she is one of them. The appropriate punishment would have been to put Solo in street clothes in the stands and for Ryan to be fired immediately with him having to pay for his own ticket home.

Posted by: Jared | September 29, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Fire Ryan he's a disgrace and needs to admit he made many mistakes.
I have no sympathy for Solo but the punishment seems harsh. Solo would have so many more people behind her if she took the high road during the tournament. If she wants to speak her peace so be it, but a be a professional and wait till a better time.

Posted by: quakes fan | September 29, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe this link to a story in today's dead-tree Post has yet been posted:

Posted by: Section 410 | September 29, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse


I think we're going to have to agree to disagree (a lot) on this one. Without a whole lot more supporting information, your conclusion that Hope Solo's comments were an attempt to "elevate herself in front of" the USWNT is extremely suspect. It seemed much more like extremely candid comments that were articulated poorly and unfortunately, very publicly. While I don't think Hope should get off scott free for saying what she said, shipping her off to Siberia and potentially ending her national team career over this is a gross overreaction which deserves its own punishment.

Since we're not privy to much of what is going on inside the team, I'm not going to engage in speculating on whether this decision was reached unanimously, by consensus, or unilaterally, but this isn't reconciliation, and it makes Greg Ryan and those who were saying that yesterday look, at best, ridiculous, and at worst, like two faced, lying weasels.


Posted by: EaglesFan | September 29, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Interesting . . . the way I read the info on the USSF site, one of those with authority to hire/fire Gulati AND Ryan is Kevin Payne. It's not even clear to me that Gulati is the main voice in coach selection, it looks like one of the other executives, COO or something has that responsibility. Does anyone know how this really works?

It just seems abundantly clear that Ryan has to go. It's a complete cop out to say the team decided Solo has to sit out. Did the team also decide that Scurry had to start?

about salaries -- it is no use to talk about what they were paid last time, because last time they went bankrupt. Marta is making a good living in Sweden.

Posted by: WNT fan | September 29, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Please, please, put this stupid FOOTBALL SOAP OPERA to rest.

Posted by: d | September 29, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"While I don't think Hope should get off scott free for saying what she said"

Clarification- this really should have read something like "While I don't think Hope should get off scott free for lashing out in such a public forum". Yeah, the phasing wasn't good, but I agree with the sentiments and that Hope should have a right to express them. It just would have been a whole lot better to do so behind closed doors, not in the heat of the moment.


Posted by: EaglesFan | September 29, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to a blog post by the person who interviewed Solo after the match. What's telling is the USSF's attempts at press control and the differences in Hope's and Bri's reaction to it.

Posted by: Alien | September 29, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Greg Ryan owes us an explanation, I think. And our excellent press man, Goff, owes us the tough questions. Are they being asked? Is Ryan stonewalling? We need to know why he thinks we lost and what affect he thinks his decisions and coaching have had on the team. If he won't answer, fine. That would be telling enough.

Posted by: marksman | September 29, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Please, please, put this stupid FOOTBALL SOAP OPERA to rest.

Posted by: d | September 29, 2007 12:08 PM

Perhaps you have forgotten, or were unaware of, the rules that Goff laid down early on: If you are not personally interested in the topic of a given thread, you are prefectly free to skip over it. Please do not attempt to dictate to the rest of us what we should or should be interested in, just as we do not attempt to dictate to you what you should or should not be interested in.

Posted by: Section 410 | September 29, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

It's women's soccer, who cares? And why would anyone care? Am I missing something? They are about as good as a pretty good men's high school team, how is this interesting or fun to watch?

The only cool part would be the team showers I guess and after looking at some of these gorillas I'm not really too into that either.

Posted by: Ted | September 29, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"Since we're not privy to much of what is going on inside the team, I'm not going to engage in speculating on whether this decision was reached unanimously, by consensus, or unilaterally"

EXACTLY. Outside of two quotes, nobody on this forum has any idea of who said what, voted what, etc. Veteran players include Rampone, Margraff, Boxx, etc as well as Lilly and Abby so it's interesting that posters immediately go to those two.
As far as the idiot who said something like "gang up on the pretty one", get out of a forum that is discussing SPORTS.
It is a harsh punishment, she should be allowed to attend the game, but above all

Posted by: givemeabreak | September 29, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I had my tremendous respect for Lily diminished by how she has not handled this episode. She's the team's Captain and inspiration and yet -- nothing. Doesn't idicate strong leadership in my book, but then again, nobody reads my book! :)

Fire Ryan, cheatin' bob, gulati and get rid of the excessively amateur infrastructure of the Fed [pay the players - remember?]. Until then, more mediocrity awaits.

Posted by: GrillMaster | September 29, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

What I find most pathetic about this is that there are few posters who actually acknowledge that Brasil was so much better than the U.S.

Solo is another petulant noob who deserves any punishment she gets. Another self-centered athlete putting herself above the team. Great.

Posted by: d | September 29, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

""Please do not attempt to dictate to the rest of us what we should or should be interested in""

The fact that you care so much about this is sad, I mean there's great football going on all over the world today, last week, this weekend and all we hear is Solo/Ryan.

Give it up. IT's a joke.

Posted by: Blah, blah, blah | September 29, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"It's women's soccer, who cares? And why would anyone care? Am I missing something? They are about as good as a pretty good men's high school team, how is this interesting or fun to watch?"

A deaf person could say the same thing about concerts, IPods, etc. If it doesn't interest you, you are perfectly welcome to butt out.

Posted by: Section 410 | September 29, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Uh, by the way DC UNITED plays today.

Posted by: Section 411 | September 29, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Clint Dempsey just broke John Terry's face!!

Posted by: Section 411 | September 29, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Uh, by the way DC UNITED plays today.

Posted by: Section 411 | September 29, 2007 01:21 PM

And I can just hear millions of followers of EPL, La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga, etc. asking: "Who cares? And why would anyone care? Am I missing something?"

Posted by: Section 410 | September 29, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

ryan threw the team under the bus and set scurry up as a scapegoat, he completely betrayed them

bastard was chuckling on the sidelines after leaving the team for dead using his subs for defensive players, he should have thrown all the meat on the grill and give his team a chance, but he had already shaken their confidence by putting scurry in, who in the opening minutes mishandled a ball, cuz well shes not that good with her hands, she was way rusty perhaps old

his excuse to use her cuz she played well against them 3 years ago is retarded, marta wasnt even around then, and anyone could see Brazil was playing different since then

if he indeed talked to scurry way before about this why did she not get/demand more games? why did she not let hope know? was ryan try to keep this from the team? if so why? most likely cuz he is a moron

hope has had a rough year, she was dedicating this WC to her dad and this prick goes and does this? I would not only criticize him but Id punch him in the face

sure the US hadnt been playing great, but they sure didnt deserve the coach embarrassing them

as for Hopes comments, I dont think she was trying to hurt scurry's feelings but if scurry really thinks she was matchfit, then she is lying to herself or being selfish for a chance to shine, her 1st step was off, she wasnt commanding the backline, esp in the own goal and she lacks the long ball strength Hope has that helps the US out a lot, theres a reason she was #1

theres times when you let veterans go and let the youth take over however there is a catch 22 here as the youth system is being worked over by incompetent management, and not helping the youth be more creative, play possession, short pass ball

1st Sunil must be fired, then Ryan and probably Bradley as well, youth system needs to be reworked so that the top teams get better/overcome by new forces

I hope somehow a ball will be deflected hard enough towards Ryan to hit his face and break his nose, it wont be hard hes always sitting in the same spot...

Posted by: inflames | September 29, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Bad Decision by Ryan to bench Solo. His decision caused a distraction to the team that manifested itself in a poor performance. Nothing against Scurry, however Ryan's decision interfered with the team's momentum and specifically with Solo's. Ryan's tenure is coming to a fast close and Solo had every right to call him out!

Posted by: Victor | September 29, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The only cool part would be the team showers I guess and after looking at some of these gorillas I'm not really too into that either.

Posted by: Ted | September 29, 2007 01:01 PM


Well, thanks for the input, Ted. It's always good to see a comprehensive, well thought out argument added to the mix. Don't forget to put your bearskin on before you leave the cave, it's cold outside...

Posted by: Throwin | September 29, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Banished from the stadium? That's a little harsh. No way she should play, and probably shouldn't suit up and sit on the bench - especially if she's going to pout and glower like she did during the Brazil game. But that's a little over the top. Sitting in the stands in street clothes would have been enough, and the media could've gone nuts over that. Hey, wait. Maybe THAT'S why the decision was made - to keep the cameras focused on the field, not in the stands. Personally, I would like to watch a game, not close-ups of whatever controversial or celebrity face is in attendance.

Posted by: sam | September 29, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Todd H. on this.

It is in fact possible to disagree with Ryan's move *and* think that Solo still should have kept her mouth shut.

Let's face it. We don't know what any of these other women are thinking. We just know what Hope Solo is thinking, thanks to her unprofessional outburst.

What I do know now, thanks to her outburst and her juvenile and petty behavior during the semifinal, is that she is no choice to be the #1 for this team for the time being.

Yes, she may be the best GK technically, but aside from the captain, the GK needs to be the leader of the team, and she failed that requirement spectacularly.

Solo is 26, only one year younger than the "veteran" Wambach who so many of you are pillorying today for supposedly undermining the program. Solo has been on the team since 2004 -- Athens Olympics. Why are we cutting her so much slack for attacking her own team?

As a GK, I find her notion that she could have single-handedly changed the outcome of the game implausible, given how thoroughly the U.S. was beaten.

And "apologizing" on MySpace? Come on. Suck it up to the press officer and send out a proper statement. This is the national team we're talking about, not high school.

Posted by: Amy W. | September 29, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

People, why respond to posts like Ted's inane comment about the shower? You're only encouraging them. It's a sad sad thing.
Ignore them, and come up with a plan to make sure Ryan never sets foot on the field with the WNT again after this.

Posted by: no distractions | September 29, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

While names are being tossed out as to who should be the next coach, how about who WANTS to be the next coach? Are there any coaches out there clamoring for the job? Is Ryan the coach because that's the pool we had to pull from? Heinrich's lousy staff?
She used to be my pick for worst coach of the WNT. That honor now belongs to Ryan.

Posted by: disgusted | September 29, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea how Bob Bradley got brought into this, but it's just silly. I see people want this discussion to stay on topic, but no one seems to mind discussion of firing a man who had absolutely nothing to do with this fiasco.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 29, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

It's is tragically shortsighted to let this keeper drama deflect focus from the real issue: the WNT has lacked a capable coach since Heinrichs was hired, and now the world has caught up to us. If Ryan or his ilk stay at the helm, by 2011 we'll also be losing to Australia and England. Germany and Brazil are a foregone conclusion.

Our talented players - both those on the team, and those who could join in the next few years - need a skillful coach and league experience. Look at all the younger players who never had WUSA time - Osborne, Tarpley, O'Reilly, Kai, Lloyd etc. They've all both showed talent and made the kind of mistakes that result from lack of match experience. The new league will be here in 2009; now we need a WNT coach who will guide them to a higher level.

Jerry Smith, Pia Sundhage, Mark Krikorian and Tom Stone are all viable options that emerged before Ryan was hired. They all have worked with some of these players and could take over relatively smoothly. Get one of them at the helm of the team, pronto.

Posted by: leftcoaster | September 29, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I've seen excerpts from interviews by Ryan, Lilly, and Wambach in this paper and others, but there are more extensive transcripts on

If you wanted to truly assess what was said, instead of reacting to "pullquotes" run by various sites, go read them there.

Posted by: get the full story | September 29, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line here is that pretty much everyone involved, with the possible exception of Scurry, has behaved badly thoughout this whole incident.

Ryan's coaching has been exposed as tactically inept, and he's responded to the failure against Brazil by focusing as much attention as possible on the player he benched so as to distract the media from his coaching failures and the inadequacy of the midfielders that he put on the field. While Solo should have been on the field against Brazil, she should also have behaved more professionally.

Beaker's comment about Adu hit the nail on the head: keep your mouth shut in the media (at least until after the tournament), move on, and play well when given the chance. If Solo had kept quiet, she would have found herself back in her starting role soon enough, and certainly would have outlasted Ryan, whose days as USWNT coach have to be numbered.

I think it's a disappointing decision, whether truly made by the team leaders or by Ryan who's just using that as an excuse, to banish Solo for the final game. It's elevated the whole mess from a simple screw-up by a naive coach and some bad public behavior by a player into a crisis that threatens the health of the entire USWNT program. Way to go, coach...

Posted by: DCUinMA | September 29, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I encourage everyone to read Beulah's match analysis on her website. She is simply the best observer of the women's game out there.

Are you listening, Sunil Gulati?

Posted by: beulah fan | September 29, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

So now Solo is being scapegoated for speaking very obvious truths. This decision was a disaster. True. She would have made those saves. True. She never mentioned Scurry by name, any more than Ryan mentioned Solo by name when he said Scurry would make reaction saves.

I was at the Brazil tune-up game in June and it was painfully obvious that Brianna Scurry, though as fit as she has ever been in her career, doesn't have the range, the kicking ability, the agile feet, or the power of Solo. The decision to replace an in-form keeper with her old backup was a disaster (why was Scurry on the team in the first place? Ryan was happy to run Brandi Chastain off, why did he let Scurry come back from quitting the team).

I am sorry that the team doesn't have the guts to point out the real villain here. Ryan is a fool and should be fired immediately. He let his ego derail three years of hard work by dozens of people.

Posted by: truth | September 29, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Beulah fan, thanks for that link. That is a great commentary on this whole situation. I also particularly like this quote, and i post it for those who are too new to the fan base to know the contribution of Scurry to the women's game and have taken more than an insulting tone to her role in this:

"Now, what is truly disturbing me about this from a Bri standpoint is the comments I'm hearing and reading about Bri's legacy. I asked my rabid soccer fan friends about this yesterday as well. And I find it befuddling that people think this is going to tarnish her legacy. Come on, this was a ridiculous decision by a coach who has been so clearly in over his head from the moment he got to China. It doesn't reflect on Bri or her storied spot in the history of the US National Team program at all. Don't let anyone tell you anything different. It's just a shame she's been put in the position she has. Hope's not the only one who deserved better than this from the head coach, Bri did too."

Posted by: old time fan | September 29, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Beulah has been writing tremendously smart stuff about this team for years. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Amy W. | September 29, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

A lot of the Ryan-bashing sounds like a typical post-defeat witch hunt to me. Do I agree with his decision to bench Solo for Scurry? No. I think it was a calculated risk, and I think it backfired in spectacular fashion. Do I think Ryan is the Arsene Wenger of women's football? No. But on the other hand, an unbeaten streak of 50 games is rare at any level, and merits at least some recognition. Is he the man to lead the US into the future? Definitely not now. Probably not even a week ago. The dour, long-ball style displayed by the US at this World Cup is cause for concern. It is consistent with a team that had plateaued in growth and reached a level of complacency in its style of play. Is the dearth of talent in the US midfield a concern? Of course. An unbalanced team is always vulnerable and will ultimately be exposed.
Was Solo's reaction professional? Absolutely not. It was evident to everyone Ryan made the wrong decision. Solo's comments turned the situation into a sh*tstorm.
Part of me seriously questions whether Solo would be enjoying such overwhelming popular support if she weren't the most attractive active member of the women's team. It's a cynical reaction, but it's definitely a question worth asking. If Solo looked like one of the Indigo Girls, would she be championed for stating the obvious: it was a bad coaching decision?
Bottom line: I think the poor performance of the women's national team against Brazil hints at some far deeper issues than a simple coaching decision, personnel change, or. Blaming one person or element for a bad result or string of results only prevents careful and constructive analysis of the situation.

Posted by: Jamie | September 29, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

While I disagree with the low brow knuckledragger comments by some, I'll let the WNT Fans have your soap opera fun .. .

. . . as of Monday we won't have to hear diddly for another four years . . . .

Posted by: snooze | September 29, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

anyone know how to catch dcu tonight online? !?#@! comcast...

Posted by: fever | September 29, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's match can be heard on WMET, over the air on 1160 AM (but with a not terribly strong signal that emanates from Gaithersburg, I think) or at There is also Spanish-language coverage, but I don't know the specifics.

Posted by: Section 410 | September 29, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: fever | September 29, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

It is unfortunate that Ryan (and the U.S. soccer establishment) chose not to take the high road, after Solo failed to do so. Her failure was a fault of honesty, hurt feelings, and perhaps youth, and committed in the heat of the moment. Their's was an attempt to attract attention away from their abject failure to prepare the team properly. Solo may have been out of line, but her coach's decision to banish her only compounds the situation, a situation that he in part created when he said, prior to the match, that her reaction to being dropped was not "a concern." That she responded in kind should be no wonder.

Marta at this moment may be the best player in the world, man or woman. How fabulously she played! The U.S. team needs a player like her, someone whom the Europeans call a "fantasista."

Unfortunately, the U.S. soccer establishment seems incapable of finding or developing such fantasistas, sticking to the by-the-book corporate approach. Going by the book will rarely prevail over those whose cultures nurture the creative, the spontaneous, and the sublime. Here's hoping that soccer in the U.S. will become aware of the need to find and embody the romantic element of football, the quality that provides all of its charm and excitement.

They could also do with tactics that promote midfield play and the principle of holding the ball and carrying it forward on the ground, rather than these long-ball tactics that do not succeed against a good team.

Viva Marta, her teammates, and all that they represent.

Posted by: rjkaneda | September 29, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

As far as the idiot who said something like "gang up on the pretty one", get out of a forum that is discussing SPORTS.

Give me a break givemeabreak.

This topic has nothing to do with sports. It's about "can you believe what she said..".

If it were about sports it would be about how they played. I stand by what I said as much as it offends your sensibilities.

As a matter of fact, when I told my HS age daughter this morning, her first response was "typical girls team" as she shook her head.

If it were about sports the leaders of the team would not banish the best goal keeper from a game that they say they want to win.

BTW I'm not an idiot. Please don't use hate speech.

Posted by: Tommie | September 29, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting for 1 of the principles to act like an adult here.

Posted by: Matt | September 29, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Hope Solo is a revolutionary.

Finally we have a U.S. national teamer with some personality - and unafraid to speak their mind in the media.

All these depersonalized soccer stars in the States are so unmarketable and uninteresting its getting sickening (read: Mia Hamm and Landon Donovan).

Is it any suprise that the WWC finally has some interesting storylines for the rest of us casual observers to get on board with?

Posted by: Sebastian Vox | September 29, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Please, waiter, another serving of hypocrisy...

So they banish Hope for not "supporting" her teammates? Well, where is the support for HER?!? So she f-ed up in front of the press. A supposedly tight-knit and supportive group would come together, accept her mea culpa, and drive on.

What is incredibly disturbing is that Greg Ryan says he made the punishment choice after consulting with the players. What garbage is that? Perhaps he should have consulted them before making the GK change!!! Pure garbage. Coaches are not in the habit of democratic meetings, parliamentary procedures, and group consensus.

I think Ryan is not man enough to accept 100% accountability for his own actions (but Hope is woman enough too) and is hiding behind "players' input" to deflect criticism regarding the draconian punishment meted out to Hope Solo.

Scurry is the inferior keeper. Her old coach as even said so on previous occassions, in public, at keeper coaching courses. Scurry got by on her althleticism alone - that compensated for her shaky technique. At age 36, yes 36, that athleticism is a thing of the past.

What would Ryan think is Gulati had replaced him as coach on the plane ride to China? I would bet money Ryan would have a thing or two to say about the decision and timing.

USSF, Gulati, Ryan, and the USWNT for that matter should go get stuffed.

If there is some justice, Norway will crush the US and Solo signs a nice contract with a Norwegian club.

Posted by: Erick | September 29, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with Hope's post-match mentality. As a world class GK, she should be upset. As a goalkeeper, we train away from the rest of the team for a majority of practices and you are directly in competition with other GKs around you. You learn from and work with GK coaches, not the head coaches. You learn a completely different game from the field players. Goalkeepers are usually a bit crazy. You have to approach GKing with that kind of "I'm the best, and I will stop at nothing to be even better" mentality.

Greg Ryan made a "tactical" decision to bench her that he though was a "good decision". Would the GK coach have made the same decision? Would the team vets have made that decision? I doubt it. I'm sure Solo talked to SOMEONE about being benched at some point between the decision and the match, and I'm sure whoever it was agreed with her which gave her the confidence to vocalize her opinion to the media. Still a bad idea.

The problem was NOT her "non-team" mentality as some of the people here have been saying. She's not a spoiled brat. She's a competitor and a goalkeeper. Goalkeepers should have a selfish attitude, GK coaches teach us to think that way. If you think that she has a bad mentality, then you don't understand goalkeeping.

The PROBLEM was that her statements were to the story-hungry media which puts the entire focus of the WWC on USWNT controversy. I'm sure the media doesn't go to the bench for post-match comments after every game. Gulani even said it himself "It's good that people actually read and care about this stuff". They can't keep her and bri at the stadium because there is obviously some bad blood that has to be sorted out, and Bri didn't do anything wrong, so Hope had to go. This keeps the media attention away from the team, and gives hope some cool off time.

She'll have her starting job back within a month.

Posted by: Adam | September 29, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know of any previous incidents involving Solo, going back to her college days or before? If not, it may be a bit of a stretch to characterize her as a poor team player, a spoiled brat, or anything else based on a single incident.

Posted by: Section 410 | September 29, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Adam - well said! thanks!

Posted by: Frederick, MD | September 29, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I think that the punishment does not fit the crime. I support Solo speaking out about Ryan, but she probably could have been more tactful in wording her response. To banish her completely from practicing on Saturday and from even attending the match on Sunday just seems petty. Bench her, but don't alienate her from the team.

I'm also pretty disappointed Solo's teammates haven't been more supportive of her. It's ironic that Scurry said something similar regarding Siri Mullinix after the 2000 Olympics. Scurry, like Solo, didn't mention the other keeper directly, but she maintained that she could have done a better job (even though she was badly out of shape and had taken a hiatus from the team). Scurry's statement was 4 years after the fact which in my mind is almost worse than Solo's comments. At least Solo was speaking out of sheer frustration and emotion.

See link

Posted by: Tara | September 29, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Scurry's statement was 4 years after the fact which in my mind is almost worse than Solo's comments.

But her statement did not affect an ongoing competition. Indeed, Mullinix was out of the WNT picture by that point, so that whether Scurry was right or wrong in her beliefs was purely academic. That makes all the difference.

Posted by: Section 410 | September 29, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I'm done with US women's soccer after this. What kind of coach banishes the #1 keeper then tries to say it was the "players'" decision. Ryan is a joke and a disgrace to women's soccer.

Posted by: Rex | September 29, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Hope Solo is the ONLY USA player who seems to have a pulse.

Sterile team and leadership (or lack of).

Posted by: Free | September 30, 2007 12:46 AM | Report abuse

This is bizarre from a professional athlete viewpoint.How many times has a player's complaint about PT,which is what this was, gets responded to by the coach just saying "I decide who plays, but I appreciate that all good competitors are angry when they do not."

Does Ryan and USSF think this is AYSO??

Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | September 30, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

It seems like there are a lot of very knowledgable women's soccer fans on this post. I am not. Soccer is not my sport but I watched the Brazil game and have listened to what has happened over the past few days. I think what has happened can be applied to every sport. What Ryan did was go with his veteran over a rookie. However, I think veterans get way too much respect than they deserve. If a rookie is better, play them. I don't care that in 2004, Scurry was awesome. Solo was their best keeper earlier this week, and is their best keeper now. However, Keeper is not what cost them in the Brazil match, how about the own goal. That's what started the negative snowball effect, seems like ESPN analysts have forgotten about that. Solo is the only one with the guts to voice her opinion, and she has every right to. Of course the veterans will say Solo was immature and Ryan has said "it is through losing that you see someone's character" or something similar to that. That is correct Ryan, you found out that Solo is a fighter and anyone that believes that she threw her teammate under the bus, doesn't know anything about sports. Solo HAS to believe she could have done better, if not, then she should mind as well quit. The veterans have thrown Solo under the bus and the U.S should respond by getting those old "veterans" off the team, fire Ryan, and keep Solo as keeper. This is not 2004 anymore.

Posted by: Tom | September 30, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

All of you bad mouthing Solo and supporting Ryan's decision apparently are fans of LOSING and having this country embarrassed. Solo had the guts to call out the coach for costing the team the game...and you crucify her for it. Losers.

Posted by: Sam | October 1, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse

From what I have been reading, it really does seem like some people on the team are pissed at Hope Solo. Plus, I hear she had been cautioned before the match (by other players) to keep her mouth shut. So here's what I think: if this had been an NBA player mouthing off about his coach and another player, would people be as supportive of him as we've been about Hope Solo? I mean almost every Wizards fan comes down against Haywood in his "fight" with Eddie Jordan.

Sometimes it really is better to just shut up and say nothing.

Posted by: Bart | October 1, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

``And I've always felt -- and I still feel -- that if I were playing, we would have won.''

Who said it?

Briana Scurry, in reference to the previous Olympics, where Suri Mullinix was in goal, rather than Scurry. Granted it was almost 4 years later, not right after the game, with the consolation game still to be played, but a pretty similar comment to Hope Solo's ""There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves" remark.

Posted by: Mike | October 1, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

It's my perception that the first post by "Good!" was either Liily or Abby. Next time pleae allow facts to obstruct your thinking.

And yes, fire Sunil Gulati and Coach Ryan.

Posted by: Charlton Heston | October 1, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Granted it was almost 4 years later, not right after the game, with the consolation game still to be played...

But that four years makes all the difference in the world. That is what Scurry understood and Solo did not.

Posted by: Section 410 | October 1, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Plus, I hear she had been cautioned before the match (by other players) to keep her mouth shut.

What is your source of information?

Posted by: Section 410 | October 1, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Solo had the guts to call out the coach for costing the team the game...and you crucify her for it.

But we called out the coach, too. The difference is that that is a proper role for us (and for journalists covering the competition), but not for Solo. People with kids know that you can discipline your own kids, but at the same time take umbrage when third parties presume to discipline your kids, even if they do exactly what you would have done.

Posted by: Section 410 | October 1, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Ryan is probably the sports worlds biggest horses rear end. Why would you even consider replacing a productive player like Solo with Scurry, who had took a year off and had limited playing time?

Ryan gave Brazil the game with his change of the goal keeper. He should have been fired upon his return to the states. You would have never seen anything like this happen under April Heinrichs.

Posted by: David | October 4, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

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