Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ryan out as U.S. women's coach

Two words: Go Figure!

After trying to look like some sort of genius, Greg Ryan failed miserably when replacing starting keeper Hope Solo (Han's sister) with aging veteran (and newly signed Taya Talent keeper) Brianna Scurry.

Yeah, well I guess that backfired--fired being the key there.

Here's the story from the AP wire:

Ryan out as U.S. women's coach
Associated Press

Greg Ryan is out as the U.S. women's soccer coach less than a month after his top-ranked team lost in the World Cup semifinals following a contentious goalie switch.

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said on a conference call Monday that Ryan's contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the year. The squad does not play any more games in 2007.

"I'm not going to point to any one factor or one individual decision," Gulati said. "Obviously, coaches' decisions impact games. All that was weighed in."

Gulati, U.S. Soccer secretary general Dan Flynn and retired star Mia Hamm will form the search committee. Gulati expected to make a hire in the next 30-45 days, with the team set to resume training in January, with the Beijing Olympics the major event on next year's schedule.

He said they will seek a candidate with experience coaching in international events who is familiar with American soccer.

Ryan was 45-1-9 since taking over in early 2005, but that one loss -- in his only major tournament -- overshadowed the rest of his tenure.

"The expectation is to compete for a gold medal virtually every time we're in competition," Gulati said.

With the Americans favored to win their third World Cup, Ryan decided before their match with Brazil to make a change in goal, replacing Hope Solo with veteran Briana Scurry. Solo had allowed two goals in four World Cup starts and had a shutout string of nearly 300 minutes. Scurry, the goalie for the 1999 World Cup champs, had beaten Brazil two straight times.

The U.S. lost 4-0 and had to settle for third place, and Solo ripped Ryan for the move.

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