U.S. Women's World Cup fortunes declined quickly in rout by Brazil.
Solo dropped from team before World Cup third-place match with Norway.
| Hope Solo was dropped from the U.S. women's roster for the Women's World Cup third-place match roster after speaking about her disappointment of being benched for the semifinal against Brazil.
-- My Space photo --
SHANGHAI, China (Saturday, September 29, 2007) -- Goalkeeper Hope Solo has been dropped from the United States women's team that will compete Sunday against Norway for third place in the Women's World Cup.
The 5 a.m. (ET) match will be broadcast by ESPN2.
Despite recording three straight shutouts, Solo was replaced in goal by Briana Scurry, whose performance was shaky in a 4-0 semifinal loss to Brazil Thursday.
U.S. coach Greg Ryan said Solo would not be in attendance at the U.S.-Norway match. One report, quoting anonymous U.S. Soccer Federation officials, said though Solo would not be at the Sunday's game, she would travel home from China with the team.
Ryan said the decision to drop Solo came after meeting with "team leaders." "We have moved forward with 20 players who have stood by each other, who have battled for each other," he said. "And when the hard times came -- and the Brazil game was a hard time -- they stood strong. Now it's the 20 who have stuck together who will be ready to go out and compete against Norway."
After the Brazil loss, Solo, starting in her first World Cup, criticized the switch to Scurry, 36, a starter in three World Cups, including the 1999 championship, and for the 2004 Summer Olympics gold-medal team.
The move to Scurry "was the wrong decision and I think anyone who knows anything about the game knows that. There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves,' Solo, 26, said. "The fact of the matter is it's not 2004 anymore, and 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 in the Olympics three years ago. Now is what matters and that's what I think."
Captain Kristine Lilly and star striker Abby Wambach said Solo apologized at a team meeting. Though Solo maintained on her My Space page said she did not intend criticize Scurry, she stood by her opinion Ryan's was wrong in his decision to bench her.
"I am not proud or happy the way things have come out," Solo wrote. "Although I stand strong in everything I said, the true disheartening moment for me was realizing it could look as though I was taking a direct shot at my own teammate. I would never throw such a low blow. Never."
Lilly and Wambach were both critical of Solo, if in an oblique way.
"It just goes to show you have to be professional all the time and you have to watch what you say," Wambach said.
"The circumstance that happened and her going public has affected the whole group," said Lilly, the 36-year-old forward playing in a record fifth World Cup. "And having her with us would still be a distraction."
Still, the Americans would like to save face and walk away with third-place, which would also mean a $10,000 bonus for each player, as part of their contract with the USSF.
"This is our chance to get back on the field and show our country and our fans how we can play soccer," Lilly said. "That's really what's important for this group right now."
Whether Solo will be allowed to return to the U.S. women in the future must be in question, as suddenly so is the future of coach Greg Ryan, despite his record of 43-1-7 (.912).
Sunil Gulati, USSF president, told The Associated Press today Ryan's contract was up at the end and would not say that Ryan would coach the team in next year's Beijing Olympics.
"In all events like this. . . we do a pretty quick analysis of what's happened; what's gone well, what's not gone well," Gulati said. "That will happen even more quickly in this case. We'll analyze this situation after tomorrow (Sunday). We've already starting analyzing it."
If Ryan remains at the helm, he would not preclude Solo's return, if not quickly. "Everybody has a potential to have a future with this team," Ryan said. "I think what's got to occur is reconciliation and that is a very slow process. (Solo's) made a mistake and she knows that. Believe me, I've made a tons of mistakes in my life -- bigger than Hope's."
The U.S. Women's World Cup roster:
Goalkeepers (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.).
Defenders (6): Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Catherine Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.).
Midfielders (7): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Marci Jobson (St. Charles, Ill.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wisc.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.).
Forwards (5): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawai'i), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).
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