Friday, September 28, 2007

They Are Still Your Teammates

The US Women's Soccer Team has a semifinal match against Brazil on Thursday for the Women's World Cup (in China). They lost, 4-0. Days before the game, the coach decided to bench his starting goalie, Hope Solo, who had played almost every minute in every game up until that point. Solo had never played a match against Brazil and the coach decided to go with Brianna Scurry, a veteran of the National Team who has many matches against Brazil. Critics thought it was a bold move, but that if it worked, he would be considered a genius. Well, it didn't work. And now Solo has come out publicly against her coach and her teammates. Here's what she had to say:

"It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that. There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves. ... You have to live in the present. And you can't live by big names. You can't live in the past."

Shut the f* up. You are on the National Soccer Team, which is an honor, not a right. Sure, you can question your coach's decision, but do so privately. Don't go around telling the world that your coach made a wrong crucial decision and that you could have made the saves your teammate didn't. You don't know that for a fact.

I say kick Solo off the team. There are plenty of other goalies out there with equal skill and more respect for the team and the sport.

Update: Turns out the Brazilians didn't even care about the goalie change. What got them fired up and motivated to cream the US was comments earlier in the week by US Coach Ryan. In response to a friendly June game between the US and Brazil, Ryan said:

"Brazil’s primary tactic was fouling us to break our rhythm. We had more of the ball, and their response to that was just to foul. Brazil has tried to break our rhythm by chopping our players down. The last time we played Brazil, they didn’t even try to play football — they just kicked us from behind."

Ryan also requested a referee who would call those kinds of fouls for Thursday's semifinal match. Read more here.

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