Sunday, September 30, 2007


I just wanted to write you a note to let you know that I think you've been spot on in your US WWC team commentary both on the blog and on Soccernet.

I especially agree with your comments on their concept of 'unity.' I guess unity to them now means appearing in a press conference the way they did on the field this entire tournament: weak and scared. They (the coach, the players, the USSF) threw away a golden opportunity to make the team seem truly great. They could have said they would stand behind both their player and their coach, poor decisions on and off the field, and that they came to China as a team of 21 and would leave China as a team of 21. But instead I suppose they decided to be a "true friend" to Hope Solo and stab her in the front.

Twice over the past three years, I drove over 600 miles one way to see United States National soccer teams play a match. Once for the men and once for the women. 600 miles for events which last around two hours. 600 miles home. Many of those miles by myself. $80 for each ticket, plus lodging and fuel. All using money I had saved on the budget of a college student and waitress. I didn't regret it for a second. Today I sincerely doubt if I will ever do something like that again.

I didn't have the high and lofty expectations for this team that some had, but it makes me terribly sad to think that I will look back on this World Cup and feel nothing but shame. Maybe that's dramatic, but that's what happens when you care about something this much.

If you hear a faucet running, that's just me trying to get the acrid taste of a team I once loved out of my mouth.

So what do you think of the US mess? Where is hope

when you need it?

I'm not a traditional Christian, but one of the golden
rules comes to mind when thinking about this debacle:

Ryan makes a strange desicion and loses the game.

He is a coach who has 50 unbeaten games under his belt
so you turn the other cheeck and stick by him.

What happens? Hope solo does the opposite and
publicly critizises him and a fellow teammate

So what do you do? You show your maturity and turn
the other cheeck. You smile at Solo's comments and
keep her, a least until the end of the tournament.
Furthermore, bonus for being mature, the controversy

What does Ryan do? Exactly the opposite. He kicks
her off the team! Claims that it is an unspoken rule
that US women soccer sticks together. Then what the
heck is he doing then? Hypocrite! Furthermore, the
controversy heightens!


This clown, Hope Solo, not only failed to stick with her team (a team
that has represented this nation and the sport of soccer with grace and
excellence) in criticizing the head coach, Greg Ryan (who's record
speaks for itself). She actually made the ridiculous claim that she would
have made the saves necessary to keep it at a 0-0 tie.

The real joke is the media that acts as if Solo has any leg to stand
upon. I have heard stories about her hurt feelings. I have heard
stories about a woman scurned. This is an American athlete representing our
nation and showing a very high level of disloyalty and selfishness. She
actually does need to toe the company line. This is the USNT!!! This
woman is the worst example of a team player. A goalie is supposed to be
a leader. There is no way that any team can follow this woman.
Michael Vick has a stronger opportunity to return from federal prison and
lead a team than Solo has of leading any group of athletes in a team


Soledad said...

This story is fairly boring to me, it's a total molehill.

Stories about the bad teammate are usually just used to reinforce the myriad of bigoted beliefs out there; in this case it's the "women are catty bitches, reason #642 why they shouldn't be playing sports" belief.

Am I really up at this time commenting about this?

East River said...

Dear second writer,

Solo has 2 very strong legs to stand on. Everything she said is spot on. Ryan stated that Scurry could make those saves but she clearly couldn't make 4 of them. So Ryan's justifications were completely false. Saying you could have made the saves is not attacking the other players but contradicts the coach's theory.

Whats worst about all this is this "unspoken rule" and the stupidness that a player be punsihed for violated a rule that doesn't exist. If one has not broken an actual rule then one has not done anything wrong. One surely doesn't need to be punished. Instead they are sadly using her hurt as a ralling cry to play better. The team turned their back on her in the name of unity, thats speaks to some members character or lack their of.

A.C. said...

I think you mean the third writer?

East River said...

Yeah the 3rd writer.

Anonymous said...

Dear East River,

I find it hard for you to believe that there are no "unspoken rules" in sports. Just because it's not written down, doesn't mean it does not exist and it is generally understood by the players.

Solo was worng in publically critizing a fellow team member and should have just limited her comments to Ryan. However, she said what she said and as a result, she has to deal with the consequences. I'm sure there are plenty of teammates who agreed with her, and maybe they fought for her, but nobody knows for sure but those women on the team.

I believe it was the right decision not to have her at the game. Look at the media circus before and after the Brazil game. I think the team just wanted to get back to playing soccer and they would not have been able to with Solo there. With the media smelling blood, they would have done everything they could to keep the story alive.

This is no way an endorsement of Ryan's decision to play Scurry against Brazil. I think it was a horrible decision and Ryan should be let go as soon as the team returns from China.

A.C. said...

Yeah, hiding the problem child away from sight is a great solution for the U.S. Soccer family. Or rather, the lesson to all in U.S. soccer - step out of line even once and you're excommunicated.

Solo spoke on Ryan's decision and criticized his reasoning for the decision. She didn't attack Scurry directly. People are interpreting it that way as an excuse to attack Solo.