Clearly it was a poor choice by U.S. National team coach Greg Ryan to bench Hope Solo and start Briana Scurry.
From there it gotten even worse with the own goal which should have been cleared by the defenders feet. The red card to Shannon Boxx was the killing blow. Yet irregardless I don’t believe the U.S. were going to get by Brazil (more on that in my Sunday Houston Chronicle column).
I can clearly understand the shock and disappoinment of Solo but I thought that she made a grand and youthful mistake at this point to air here laundry publicly at this stage.
“There is no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves,” she said. “The fact of the matter it is not 2004 anymore.”
Now Solo to me seemed a bit like a perturbed youth or college player. By not reacting emotionally it was there for all to see that Ryan had made a poor choice. Why make changes when you came off a good result against England. I believe he made the change out of fear of Brazil.
In the end the U.S. Women are getting more publicity for this controversy then they ever would have most likely if they won the Cup.
It’s also reminds us of the 1998 World Cup debacle with the U.S. mens team with John Harkes airing his laundry out back in the states while the team was overseas while coach Steve Sampson who was clearly in over his head tried to keep a broken team together that include a few players that thought they were more important than they really were.
Tony DiCicco was dusting off his resume during the ESPN broadcast and clearly wants the job again to run the women. Former womens players are weighing in and this could turn into an agenda driven mistake.
Lets also not forget all was not rosy under April Heinrichs at the last World Cup which incidentally the women did not win. Many claimed the players were treated like college players under the autocratic Heinrichs. Ryan was her assistant at the time.
A poor player selection choice in Ryan’s first loss in charge of the U.S. Women but in the end I don’t think it would have mattered. This was Brazil’s day.
And a day U.S. soccer can learn lots of lessons.