Evoking memories of the 1998 World Cup debacle that rightfully focused on then U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Steve Sampson, pressure on U.S. Women’s Coach Greg Ryan is intensifying in the wake of the humiliating 4-0 loss to Brazil.
Even though Hope Solo backtracked on any perceived criticism of backup Briana Scurry on her MySpace page (click on the “2007worldcup” link for her statement) after her angry words in the wake of the Brazil game, Solo pointedly did not express any regrets in regard to Ryan.
Fans have the knives out.
Over on BigSoccer.com they’re discussing potential successors.
There’s also a poll asking when (not if) Ryan will be fired.
And Nike’s World Cup advertising campaign around its “the greatest team you’ve never heard of” slogan (am I the only one who found those ads incredibly annoying?) isn’t immune either from general derision.
Meanwhile, former U.S. Women’s National Team stars are also calling for Ryan’s head.
As usual, the outspoken Brandi Chastain was particularly damning in her assessment:
People say this is a step back, but I think Greg Ryan has put us three steps back all the way to the starting gate,” said Chastain, the 1999 World Cup hero who watched Thursday’s loss from her home in Northern California. “He lacks the ability to communicate and is not in tune with his players, and he’s obviously not a tactician or he wouldn’t have made the decisions he did.
For what it’s worth, I e-mailed U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati for his view. No, I haven’t heard back, but if I do, I’ll post the response here.
Updated 4:45 p.m.: Sunil got back to me via e-mail, gave me a quote, then told me it wasn’t for use. So, to ensure the president of U.S. Soccer does talk to me again I’ll respect his request and won’t use it for publication.
I’ll say this though, Ryan is in trouble. (I can read between the lines).