United States women's soccer coach Greg Ryan has criticized his own goaltender for comments made in an impromptu interview with CBC Sports after the team's stunning defeat in the semifinals of the FIFA Women's World Cup.
Hope Solo broke a code by criticizing the coach's decision to replace her with veteran Briana Scurry, Ryan said in a news conference in Shanghai Friday.
"Players have the right to say whatever they want to say," Ryan said. "You want to go out in front of everybody and stand together."
Ryan vacillated, saying reconciliation with Solo was possible, but also making the cryptic comment that the country had a deep pool of goaltenders for future international play.
Longtime U.S. player Julie Foudy, now a commentator,was more pointed in her criticism.
"You don't say what she did," Foudy told the Los Angeles Times. "When I saw that quote it was like a dagger to the heart. Bri [Scurry] didn't make that decision."
The U.S., No. 1 in the FIFA world rankings heading into China, cruised through the first four games of the tournament, with Solo registering three shutouts and conceding just two goals.
Ryan opted in the semifinal to start Scurry, 36, who was undefeated in 12 previous games against the Brazilians.
The goalkeeping switch backfired and helped lead to a 4-0 defeat. 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 to Erin Paul of CBC Sports.
"It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that," Solo told Paul. "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.
The end was stunning for the Americans, winners of the event in 1991 and 1999, and undefeated in 50 games under Ryan.
The U.S. will play Norway in the bronze medal game on Sunday (CBC 4:45 a.m. ET), followed by Germany against Brazil for the gold.
Both games will also streamed at CBCSports.ca.