Thursday, October 11, 2007

Team effort

If I had to pick a Player of the Tournament for the U.S. at the World Cup, I'd have to go with the tiny sparkplug in midfield, Lori Chalupny. Besides scoring the winning goal against Nigeria, she was a contributer all during the competition, pesky on defending and able to deliver decent passes for opportunities on offense.

Today I called her for an interview and we talked about the World Cup. Most of that is going into a preview piece I'm writing for tonight.

One thing Chalupny said surprised me a little.

Before the Norway game, this is the quote that AP had from Lori Chalupny.

"That stuff in the media, I don't think it really filters into the team," Chalupny said. "We've known Hope for years and years and I just think she got caught up in the heat of the moment. It's nothing that impacts our team. She's a competitive person and wants to play.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the exact quote in front of me when we talked (we'd been playing phone tag for a little while) and I just referred to the quote in general terms. "You had a quote come out at the World Cup about how what Hope said wasn't a big deal - or that it didn't really affect the team."

Anyway, Lori said that she thought she had been misunderstood, that in fact, what Hope said was a big deal, and that it was something that the entire team decided needed to be handled together, internally and behind closed doors.

Quote added for clarity. Here's what Lori said.

"I think the quote that you're referring to was when I was saying that Greg's decision to play Briana wasn't as big a deal to the team as what it was made out to be. As far as Hope's comments, I think they were actually a big deal. We're dealing with that within our team and trying to get over that."

The closed-door comment came up later, in response to a different Solo-related question.


Anonymous said...

Good reporting. That first quote made me think there was still some common sense left on the USWNT. Thanks for following up and revealing that was the wrong conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Misunderstood!? What? WOW!

The plot continues to thicken to this soap opera.

Her first quote made complete sense from a caring teammate so why is she backtracking from that now?

More in your piece tonight I trust?

Anonymous said...

It is too bad you didn't have the quote in front of you. How she thinks that quote was "misunderstood" would have been an interesting point.

Did you ask her about the "shunning"?

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested to hear/see what she thought about the continued commentary by Wambach and Lilly on Hope Solo as well as what she thought about Ryan's statements after the game (re: the own goal).

Well, she probably wouldn't have much to say given most of these seem to stay in house...

Der FuƟballhund said...

I agree with your assessment of Chalupny as a player. She brought a lot of fire onto the pitch.

I'm confused, though, with what she said. Misunderstood or misquoted? I'm having a hard time finding an alternate interpretation to her original statement. It certainly seems pretty straight forward. I dunno...

Anonymous said...

And just when I was thinking that the 'shunning twenty' couldn't fall any lower in my estimation.

Let's hire a decent coach, clean house and start over from scratch - using a merit-based system.

FC Uptown said...

"Like the sands in the hourglass, these are the Days of Our Lives..."

Anonymous said...

Clearly she's been reprimanded for saying it was no big deal and now has to toe the company line.


Anonymous said...

Kool Aid drinker all the way.

A.C. said...

Actually, I reviewed my tape and I think I figured out what Lori meant.

She was saying that the quote was taken from earlier, when the switch in goalkeepers was announced.

So I think she said her original quote in response to the press telling her that the media were scandalized by the switch and that Hope didn't seem happy about it.

The AP reporter could have had the quote from earlier and just used it in a later story.

After all, I thought it was weird that the entire team as silent on the subject and just this one quote slipped out.

Now it makes more sense.

East River said...

I have a hard time believing all 20 people on that team decided to banished Solo. I mean 20 people all decided that it was a "big deal"? No way they can all have the same opinion on this matter.

Also now since Solo is back on the roster. How do they approach her after they have treated her so harshly? I mean are they going to continue to not eat with her on this road trip? Is she going to have seperate flights for these 2 games? Do they expect to have broken her and she should now know her place? So many questions.

Anonymous said...


Do you think Lori had/has any hint - any inkling - of how angry and disappointed (some, I would say most) USWNT fans are at the (perceived) shunning/mistreatment of Hope Solo?

Anonymous said...

Dear AC,

Please re-write your article. Perhaps you could put a time line on these quotes. I don't remember there being any quotes in the media from Solo after the goalkeeper switch but before the game. There was not a lot of time.

A.C. said...

Solo was interviewed prior to the game. You can look up those articles. Here are a couple of quotes related to that, from the New York Times article.

Solo said she knew what was coming.

''The moment I got tapped on the shoulder saying I need to meet with you, I had a pit in my stomach and I knew what it was,'' said Solo who has given up only two goals in four games -- and none in almost 300 minutes.

''I was very taken aback, but that's the nature of sports and it happens,'' Solo said. ''He has his reasons.''

Joan said...

How were Hope's pre-game comments in the heat of the moment?

Not that I'd accuse Lori of falsehoods, but... it lightly smacks of rewriting history.

Anonymous said...

Oh My

I just read a USA Today article quoting Lori Chalupny and it is crystal clear, these girls just don't get it!

I sent her an email yesterday, asking her how the Team could treat Hope as they have, asking her to step up & be a leader, to grab the opportunity.



Anonymous said...

Oh, A.C., Joan is absolutely right, in the heat of the moment would only apply to the interview after the Brazil semi-final.

Anonymous said...

These girls are either great actors or totally clueless. I just do not think they realise how much support solo has. God i wish the game was televised just so i could see their faces when they look out on a sea of #18s

Anonymous said...

Have any of these players, especially the "old guard", commented on the similar comments Ms. Scurry made that could be taken as a slight of Siri Mullenix? Seems like Scurry is getting a pass on this. . .

Anonymous said...

Lori C. quotes, I'm feeling sicker every passing moment!

"I know she was upset the night before, two nights before, when she found out she wasn't going to be starting," Chalupny said. "She was definitely upset.

"But I think it's those times of adversity that I think show people's character and she just didn't, I think, show her best side that day."

"We kind of want to set the precedent that this isn't going to be acceptable for this team, regardless of whether it happens on other teams or not," Chalupny said. "I hope we get over it as soon as we can, and I'm looking forward to this game."

"We really kind of just went our separate ways after the World Cup," Chalupny said. "I don't know what's in store, I don't know what's going to happen."

"I think it's a chance to play for our fans, get back to the States and say thanks to the people who supported us while we were over in China," Chalupny said. "Hopefully we'll play some good soccer and let them enjoy it."

"It was just the way the team responded and we really came together and had so much fun that last game," Chalupny said. "After that game, just kind of huddling with the team and being able to look those guys in the eyes, it was just a good feeling."


In Hope We Trust!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and my vote would go to none other then

Hope Solo

for her amazing Goaltending to help get them to the semi-final AND for her incredible strength and resilience!

Anonymous said...

You know if you terrorize a team mate with that kind of censure, no playing, no uniform, no admittance to the stadium (or your family presumably), no attending the award ceremony, eating alone, rooming alone, flying alone...tell the world that "nothing" like this has ever occured before, the "code" has been violated, then informing her we would like to think that we would like to forgive you, and your private and public apologies are not anyone likely to contradict these "team leaders" and risk the same harsh sentence? They all hid behind Solo's comments for their own personal reasons. It is too much. I can't tell if this is better or worse than all the greed in the Euro men's leagues. But it sure does stink. And we all have the responsibility to keep the Federations feet to the fire. Lest we decide to censure them?

Charlton Heston said...

Fire Sunil Gulati