Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Holy crap, it happened!

Greg Ryan got fired! [OK it happened two days but I only heard about it this morning because 1) I've been busy; 2) I was unusually out of touch with the internet yesterday--see #1; and 3) how much coverage was the firing of a women's soccer coach really going to get in the midst of football season and right before the World Series?]
I cannot figure out if I am truly surprised. I think I am only because a major change less than a year before the national team heads to the Olympics and the reigning gold medal winners would seem to cause more unease than not. But given the high profile controversy Ryan (with the help of Hope Solo) sparked at the World Cup, maybe this is an attempt to make that go away, leave the collective memory, in enough time for the team to adjust.
I have to say, as I have said before, that I do not think Ryan was a great coach--certainly not compared to past US national team coaches. Whether it would have been as obvious if the Solo/Scurry situation had not happened, or had been handled differently, we will never know. But even before the game with Brazil, I didn't like the guy. I thought he was making bad decisions throughout the World Cup and that the team was not prepared for what they encountered in China.
The article linked above mentions the formation of a committee to find a new coach which will have in the next month or so. The only names people seem to be putting out there right now seem to be the team's former coaches. Given current UNC coach Anson Dorrance's recent (and not-so-recent) legal troubles due to his use of sexual harassment as a coaching technique, I would think US Soccer would stay away from him. I wouldn't be surprised to see Tony DiCicco back at the helm. Going back to the familiar after a controversy like this would seem to ease a lot of minds quickly and time is of the essence.

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