I'm practicing my guitar today. That reminded me that I mentioned once to Greg Ryan that I'm learning guitar. The coach plays (I've never heard him myself) guitar, sometimes bringing the instrument along to team events and playing for a while in the background.
I mention this because as much as I disagree with Ryan's choices in certain situations, I like a lot of things about him. He's always been unfailingly polite and articulate to the media. That's a professional courtesy some coaches don't bother with.
This article by the acting executive director of the players' union pretty much takes Ryan and the USSF to task for the USWNT's performance at the Women's World Cup.
The thing that goes unmentioned in the piece is that not being the federation's first choice is par for the course for U.S. soccer coaches. Bruce Arena wasn't the fed's first choice when he took the helm. Neither was Bob Bradley. Bradley was named interim coach first, as was Ryan. Unbeaten records for both men is a big part of what led the federation to name them as permanent coaches.
Ryan led the U.S. team to an impressive Algarve Cup victory in 2005, where they defeated Germany in the final (note how Ryan was praising Solo back then). Like Germany did in this World Cup, the U.S. didn't yield a single goal at that Algarve. That was an impressive accomplishment, and it's not hard to see how that could have convinced Bob Contigulia to hire Ryan. Also, at the time, when I interviewed a few of the players about the appointment, they seemed all for it. Abby Wambach especially emphasized that he knew the players and how they liked to play.
Then Ryan simply didn't lose, and it is hard to ever dismiss a coach who wins all the time.
Besides that detail, I understand the bias in this article is towards the players, but in the defense of Solo that is offered, nothing is said of how her teammates have turned on her. Also, I'm honestly not sure I buy the argument that the fed is responsible for the results of the team. Financially, the support the U.S. players get from the federation is substantial, especially when compared to what other countries' players get.
No, it's not millionare money, but I don't see the U.S. team having to work outside jobs like waitressing, as some on the Australian national team do. The Brazilians would love to have the support from their fed that the U.S. women enjoy. That said, it could always be better.
Obviously, the fed picks the coach, who then picks the players, so I guess the blaming of the fed isn't off completely, but it seems a stretch, especially since the present President didn't pick the coach.