U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced the firing Monday of U.S. Women’s National Team Coach Greg Ryan.
Ryan was informed of the move Sunday morning by U.S. Soccer Executive Director Dan Flynn, the day after the last game of a three-match series against Mexico.
“We want to move in a different direction,” Gulati said, adding that Ryan’s player management in relation to the Hope Solo debacle played a role in the move. “I’m not going to point to any one factor or any one individual decision. Obviously, coach’s decisions impact games and all of that was weighed in.”
Gulati said a three-person search committee – consisting of himself, Flynn and soccer great Mia Hamm – would make a decision on a new coach within 30-45 days.
The new coach could be American or foreign, male or female, but must have experience at the highest level of the game and familiarity with the U.S. team given that Olympic qualifying begins in February, Gulati said.
In addition, Solo remains part of the national team pool and is not suspended, Gulati said.
“My guess is a number of participants … if they could do it all over again would do it differently,” he said of that situation. “I’m not sure the decision was made to ostracize (Solo).”
Ryan was appointed national team coach in January 2005 and led the U.S. to unprecedented success before the World Cup, but the team’s humiliating performance in China convinced Gulati to oust Ryan.
Ryan finished with a 45-1-9 record.
I’ll have more on Ryan’s firing in Tuesday’s column in the Daily News and Daily Breeze.