Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Like it's 1998

Greg Ryan may deny it, but at least one person thinks there are definite corrolations between the men's team in 1998 and the women's team this year.

That's Eric Wynalda, a key player on the Steve Sampson's World Cup squad.

I've got more of his views in an article coming out tomorrow, but here's a sampling:

"There are a lot of similarities to 1998."
"Solo was absolutely right. She’s getting all this heat for pointing out what was obvious to anyone in soccer. The story has become about her when she didn’t even play."

"I don’t believe the players on this team when they say that the goalkeeper switch wasn’t a distraction. I played on the team when the starting goalkeeper role was a toss-up between Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel, and it was definitely a distraction."

"I played in Germany, and it was pretty typical there for players to criticize each other and coaches as well. Players would bring that to the national team as well. That’s competitive sports. People have opinions. What’s done on the field is what matters most of all, not what’s said off the field."


Anonymous said...

Wow great excerp. I especially like how he points out the players are not being honest about how they felt about the switch and the point that what really matter is what happends on the field. And what matter the most is what happens on the field and in this case, Solo was one of the few players who had a GOOD world cup. Any suggestion she is the source of the problem or that she shouldnt play is just more of this double standard bs.


Bill V said...

It's interesting that Wynalda sees similarities, because I think there is a critical difference. The '98 veterans were very vocal in their displeasure with Sampson. Steve Sampson saw the veterans as a threat where Greg Ryan hid behind the women's team veterans and let them call the shots in dealing with Hope Solo. The women's team this year believed that any sort of questioning of decisions was a threat to unity. I suspect that Solo was not able to vent her anger to anyone on the team, so she vented it to the press after the game. The team leaders came down hard on her while Ryan stood by. If the team leaders had acknowledged Solo's anger and disappointment she probably would have kept it all in house. They showed that their unity was a brittle one. Ryan demonstrated that he was over his head as a coach and leader.

ghostwriter said...

Interesting. Have you all been following the running battle between Arsenal GK Jens Lehmann and his coach Arsene Wenger? Wenger benched the German keeper for a run of play gaff.

Lehmann has since called out his coach in the press, warned him not to "humiliate" his players for too long and further commented he expected he'd be back in before too long since his backup hadn't shown the ability to win Championships and he didn't think he could handle the task mentally.

On the USWNT that conduct would be grounds, apparently, for well, I dunno, what's worse than shunning? Excommunication?

We'll look forward to the full article AC.

JT (Chicago) said...

Ghostwriter, after the gaffe by Schalke's keeper, Lehmann could easily get his wish to return to Germany during the transfer window.

jason said...

Wynalda is certainly right about German tolerance for dissent, which I find extends beyond sport.

While living there, I was impressed by the ability to cooperate even after they have shared their dissagreements. (This is a component of their stereotypical efficiency.)

Kurt Vonnegut accused Americans of finding almost all dissagreements impolite. That is an exaggeration but it seems we have a little more trouble than the Germans do.

Doesn't this just show that the Women's team will improve once there is a league that provides a variety of coaches and gives players some independence from a single coach?

The next coach will also demand all dissent be kept private if there are no exit options for players.