Dear Greg Ryan,
Congratulations on taking the US Women’s Soccer team, better known as the Best Team You’ve Never Heard Of, to the World Cup semi-finals. However, it is my belief that you’re also insane.
Nate Ballance, US Soccer Fan
So what if Brianna Scurry was 12-0 against Brazil? THIS IS SOCCER, NOT BASEBALL. In baseball, you can pinch-hit a right-handed batter against a lefty pitcher to gain an advantage. As a soccer goalie, you’re either going to stop the shots, or you’re not.
Scurry used to be good. Real good. But she’s 36 now. She was good. Not anymore.
To quote Ms. Solo,
“It’s not 2004 anymore. It’s not 2004. It’s 2007 and I think you have to live in the present and you can’t live by big names, you can’t live in the past. It doesn’t matter what somebody did in an Olympic Gold Medal game three years ago. Now is what matters, and that’s what I think.”
And she’s absolutely right. Solo got the team to the World Cup, and hadn’t allowed a goal in the tournament. How do you bench a player that’s been perfect?
So, here’s the point. The USA team lost 4-0. Scurry looked absolutely lost on a cross and missed both of Marta’s shots. Shots she easily saves five years ago, and Solo makes now. And let’s not even talk about about the own goal. Or we can. Leslie Osbourne headed a Brazil corner right past a stunned Scurry. Why so surprised Scurry? Oh yeah, you forgot to let Osbourne know that no one from Brazil was near the ball, and you were getting ready to catch it? My goodness.
Really bad decision that I don’t understand at all. It’s like the Russians pulling Tretiak or Grady Little not pulling Pedro. The US ladies can still take home a medal (given, the bronze) but even if they win the consolation match, that’s all it is. A consolation