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American Goalkeeper Hope Solo will not be allowed to attend Sunday's bronze medal game. ((Ronald Martinez/Getty Images))

Goalkeeper Hope Solo will not be in the starting lineup when the United States takes on Norway Sunday in the bronze medal game of the FIFA Women's World Cup in China (CBC, 4:45 a.m. ET).

In fact, Hope won't even be sitting on the bench, as American coach Greg Ryan said the goalkeeper will not be allowed to attend the game with the rest of her teammates.

Ryan made the announcement at a news conference in Shanghai on Saturday, just two days after Hope publicly criticized him for benching her in the Americans' 4-0 loss to Brazil in the semifinals on Thursday.

Ryan said he made the decision to bar Hope from attending the Norway game after meeting with several of the team's veteran players.

"We have moved forward with 20 players who have stood by each other, who have battled for each other," Ryan told reporters Saturday.

"And when the hard times came — and the Brazil game was a hard time — they stood strong. Now it's the 20 who have stuck together who will be ready to go out and compete against Norway."

"This has been a distraction for the team and our focus is now on Norway. It's your losses and defeats in life that reveal your character," Ryan added.

The U.S., No. 1 in the FIFA world rankings heading into the World Cup, cruised through the first four games of the tournament, with Solo, 26, registering three shutouts and conceding just two goals.

But Ryan opted in the semifinal to start veteran Briana Scurry, 36, who was undefeated in 12 previous games against the Brazilians, including the gold medal game at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The goalkeeping switch backfired, though, as Scurry looked rusty between the posts and was at fault on Brazil's second goal, after being beaten by a harmless shot from Marta.

An angry Solo vented her frustration after the game in an interview with CBC Sports.

"It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that," Solo said. "There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves.

"And the fact of the matter is, it's not 2004 anymore … it's 2007, and I think you have to live in the present."

"It doesn't matter what somebody did in an Olympic gold medal game in the Olympics three years ago, now is what matters … ," she added.

U.S. captain Kristine Lilly and star striker Abby Wambach said Solo apologized at a team meeting and the goalkeeper issued a statement on her Myspace website, saying she did not mean to criticize Scurry, while maintaining Ryan's decision was wrong.

Scurry will start on goal against Norway Sunday.