Monday, October 22, 2007

Greg Ryan status

I'm on hold for the USSF conference call. They're playing peppy swing/big band music. I'm not sure if that's a sign.

It's now officially time for this shindig to start, but the band is still playing. It could be victory music - it could be the last song on the Titanic.
Greg Ryan is out as coach.

Sunil Gulati made it official in his opening statement. No replacement coach is named yet. A search committee has been set up - Mia Hamm is part of it. A coach will be picked in about a month.

Grant Wahl has the first question - Gulati answered it generally about the entire program needing evaluation and review.

Christine Brennan asked about the impact of the goalkeeper decision - Sunil doesn't want to point to one event. Sunil says some female candidates are in the running, but won't promise that a woman will get the job.

Filip Bondy asks, given Ryan's record, why it wasn't considered good enough. Sunil answered that there are different expectations for this team as compared to the men, compared to the past record of success. He acknowledged the excellence of Ryan's record, but he said that the World Cup performances were concerning.

Sunil says he has talked with members of the team, but won't say that Ryan ever "lost the team".

Sunil acknowledges that Brazil is ahead of the U.S., at least technically. He maintains that the U.S. hasn't so much fallen off as many other teams have caught up.

Bonnie Ford wants to know about Sunil's reaction to Solo's being ostracized by her team. He says he believes that some people involved in the situation might do things differently if they could. Sunil says both men's and women's teams have had issues in the past, but they have been handled internally.

Sunil says he will consider foreign candidates for the coaching job. He does point out that they're looking for someone who knows American players and has coached at a high level, because the Olympics are around the corner. He stresses the time issue.

Steve Goff wants to know about Tony DiCicco as a possibility. Sunil says that he doesn't want to discuss specific candidates yet, given some have job status issues with other teams.

Sunil says Mia was picked to represent the players on the decision committee. She was at the top of the list and agreed "enthusiastically" when asked.

Representing the LA crew, Grahame Jones, asked about Ryan's reaction. Dan Flynn takes this one, says Ryan was disappointed.

Sunil says that Solo is not suspended from the team in any way. The USSF has no issues with her, but it will be up to the new coach to decide in what goalkeeping direction to go.

Steve Davis asked about the timing. Sunil answers that it had to be decided quickly, because the Olympics is coming up soon.

Mike Woitalla asks about how most of the coaches at the World Cup were female.

I'm up.

Here's part of what Sunil says to my question.

"The ultimate job of a coach is to give us the best opportunity to succeed."

"Secondly, we need to see progress."

Can anyone guess what I asked?

Anyway, no more updates. I have to drop out of the call, but the entire thing will be podcast on the US Soccer site later.


Anonymous said...

Cross your fingers people.

Anonymous said...


Good work A.C.

We're waiting!


Anonymous said...

lalala, dumdeedumdum

tapping fingers on desk!


Anonymous said...

And...he's fired!

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

“At the conclusion of each world championship cycle, every national team's performance is closely analyzed,” said Gulati in making the announcement. “There are many factors considered in this analysis, and it certainly isn't just about one loss or one particular coaching decision. In this case, after looking closely at the last six weeks and the team's performance at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, we have made a decision to change leadership of the U.S. Women’s National Team. I want to thank Greg Ryan and his staff for their work over the last two-plus years. We look forward to the continued development of our National Team as one of the best in the world.”

Thank You!!!


Anonymous said...

Dearest Hope!

You indeed didn't win the battle but you indeed HAVE won the WAR!


JT (Chicago) said...

Hamm's involved?
Oh-oh. Looks like Gabarra will get the interim nod.

Anonymous said...

Mia Hamm is a good choice for player input.

As long as it's balanced from young & "older". :)


pate said...

Great job with this A.C., both tracking the issue up to this point and providing the running commentary on the conference call.

Anonymous said...

Excellent job A.C.!

Thank you!

Uhmmm, I'll take a stab at your ?

What are you looking for from your next coach and where do you feel Greg Ryan failed the WNT?


RosyBlue said...

I agree--well done and thank you on behalf of the patience-impaired.

Toddzilla said...

Thanks for the info about the call, A.C. Good stuff.

I assume you asked him what he was looking for with the next coach.

A.C. said...

C., you (and a few others) pretty much nailed it. I asked, without going into specifics about what Sunil felt lacked in Ryan's tenure (he'd told us he wouldn't give details on the rationale), could he explain what he expects from whoever is eventually chosen.

Anonymous said...

A. C.

Now that Ryan is gone, I wonder if you could "dig" up anything from any of the players about the whole "shunning" incident?

Thanks for staying on top of this.

ghostwriter said...

Well, that's step one.

Kudos to AC's coverage and to Mark Ziegler's 10/3/07 "blame it on the Fed" article for getting this one right all the way back then.

In that article he suggested that Pia Sundhage was the team favorite when April Heinrichs was being replaced and Mr. Gulati's predecessor gave them Ryan. With Mia on the committee, might Sundhage again be the leading contender? Did anybody hear if she quit the China gig? It was reported her decision was due on that today as well.

So shame on me for my earlier pessimism. One main wish down and two to go.....

Anonymous said...

ditto about details and the shunning. I think the comment about "some of the people" would do things differently if they had a chance.

Anonymous said...

edit my last post:

i was saying i found the comment about some players doing things differently if they could was very interesting. Are only some regretting their conduct or were only some the few team leaders who made the decision even though they suggest the whole team decideed

Anonymous said...

"What do you expect from the next Coach?"


artnsue said...

With Sunil now in motion looking for another Nat' team coach I guess it will be 6 months to a year until we hear anything. He won't "come to terms" with anyone, hire Mia to be interim coach, they will set on an 8 game win streak and Mia will then have her "interim" title dropped......
Can Sunil really, as they said in 2000, not "waffle" and really make a steadfast decision?

bdure said...

So was anyone still listening when I asked my question?

Nick Green asked a doozy of a follow-up. Basically, we both questioned whether the residency program was adequate prep. I asked specifically whether the players might have been better off with European clubs.

Looking ahead to next year, though, that's impossible.

Anonymous said...

Hey A.C.,

What's up with "L.B." treading onto WNT territory?

Things slow in his world? lol


A.C. said...

Hey, Bdure, I did hear Nick's question - I was getting ready to hang up, but I stuck around for that. I do think residency is an unnamed culprit in this whole situation, but I also think of it as something of a necessary evil at this point. I'm not surprised that it's not changing.

Anonymous said...

I listened to the media conference call podcast.

Good stuff except for the lack of an adequate explanation for the way Hope has been treated, other then to say "I think that most of the participants in that issue, if they could do it all over again, would have done it differently". I guess that will have to do for now. Interesting.

Anyways, I like to think everybody who sent a message to Sunil & USSF (I think I sent 7?) made a difference in all this.

A.C., thanks again for your efforts. This issue meant a lot to me for various "hit close to home" reasons and apparently many others too. I haven't been this emotionally involved in something for some time! lol

Hey, I came across Sideline Views in all this too. That is a highlight!

Things should now fall into place for Hope & the WNT. I am convinced that whoever they choose as your new Head Coach, that all will be well.

Go Canada & USWNT! Gold & Silver (in either order! lol) Hope Canada gets the World Cup for 2011 too, that would be awesum & the games would actually be at a decent hour!

C. = Coach

Eos said...

A question: before the 2007 semifinal, when was the last time any American players had faced Marta on the field? The 2004 gold medal game? Ever?

This would seem to be argument enough for the USSF to suspend the residency program and instead buy plane tickets for the entire national team pool, with the instruction: "don't come home until you've played at least a dozen games."

If the federation were really creative, they might set up a bunch of Fellowships for the Furtherance of Football on Foreign Frontiers, where the Fellows just happen to be national-team level players and their centers of study just happen to be Swedish or German or English clubs. This way the USSF would save some money on player expenses (even if the fed is still paying much of the players' salaries, the ancillary expenses of residency would presumably be smaller), the European clubs would get the best American players at affordable prices, and the players themselves would get the needed experience without taking too much of a financial hit.