Friday, December 7, 2007

Hope Solo Mending Fences with U.S. Women's Team

Associated Press has an informative interview with Hope Solo, the U.S. women's keeper banished from the team following her abrasive comments after the U.S.'s 4-0 loss to Brazil in the World Cup semifinals.

Solo's story has been hashed and re-hashed. She spouted off after Ryan's head-scratcher of a roster move, inserting ancient Brianna Scurry between the posts in the semifinal in favor of Solo; not to mention the fact that the U.S. had not been beaten in 50 matches. Scurry was abysmal, the U.S. was equally pathetic, and excused from the World Cup. Not surprisingly, Ryan did not survive his blunder, despite his stellar record.

Solo's father had died in June and she wanted desperately to win the World Cup for him. It's a sad tale especially after the U.S. gets so far on Solo's goalkeeping, and she was snatched away just as things were getting good. The rest of the interview covers her attempts to mend fences with her teammates and re-establish herself as the U.S.'s No. 1 keeper as it tries to secure a spot in the Olympics.

All well and good, but the interview I want to read is with Greg Ryan. Now that a few months have passed and he's had time to reflect on the mess he made, perhaps he'd care to reflect on the biggest coaching mistake in football history? Yes, that's not hyperbole; I think it's the biggest blunder of all time when you consider the stakes. If it were the men's World Cup, we'd still be talking about it.

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