Author Topic: U.S. Women's World Cup campaign a bust  (Read 1077 times)

Offline David

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U.S. Women's World Cup campaign a bust
« on: September 28, 2007, 07:47:00 PM »
Soccer in this country doesn't get much publicity from the media or fan attention. So when the small window of time comes where people actually pay attention, they must seize the opportunity.

Unfortunately, the United States women's soccer team did not help their image or advance the sport in America as they were eliminated by Brazil in the Women's World Cup semi-finals in China on Monday.

Sure, they will have a chance to get third-place. But whom will really remember the third place winner? No one in America, nor the entire world will.

The trip to China started promising for the United States as they had some success early on.

They tied North Korea, 2-2 when they obviously weren't at their best. They disposed of Sweden and Nigeria in back-to-back games. Finally, they defeated England, 2-0 to get to the semis.

Then they ran into Brazil.

The U.S. was outplayed, outclassed, and outmuscled on their way to a 4-0 loss. The loss to Brazil has an interesting subplot that gives the players a bad name.

U.S. head coach, Greg Ryan benched starting goalie, Hope Solo for veteran back-up goalie Briana Scurry who had beaten Brazil a couple times before.

The disastrous game created a huge controversy of why do you pull a goalie that had a shutout streak of 293 minutes for a Scurry whom hadn't played a professional match in nearly three months.

While the move was questionable at best, the rant that followed by recently benched goalkeeper, Solo was downright embarrassing.

After the game in the interview, Solo said benching her was "the wrong decision" and that "she could have made the saves."

Where's Mia Hamm when you need her?

It has officially arrived. Soccer has finally taken on the "me first" mentality that has plagued all of the professional sports in this country.

Say hello to the next T.O., her name is Hope Solo. (it has a nice little ring to it)

It is a fact that most athletes don't agree with a coaches' decisions sometime during their career. Differences of opinion are bound to happen. But by no way should a player go to the media and rip the head coaches' decision. I know it was an emotional loss, but Solo is a professional athlete. She should know better. I'm willing to bet that junior high athletes in northwest Minnesota could handle that better than Solo.

So was it the wrong decision?

Probably. But let's be honest, I don't care who was in goal, Brazil was going to win the game. Own goals happen, and the Brazilian attack absolutely shredded the United States defense.

Now, was it unfair?


Solo had a shaky game against North Korea, where she let in a soft goal that started the controversy in the first place. However, she did make some key saves in all of the games and had done nothing to lose her starting spot.

Put me in the same position, I would be mad. Actually, down right ticked off at coach Ryan. However, you have to realize the consequences of your actions. Youth soccer players, especially young girls, look up to the players on the national team. What message does that send?

I guess it is OK to rip your coach if you feel something is unfair. It is OK to speak your mind freely to other people and not handle things within your team. Finally, and probably worst of all, it's OK to be selfish.

The sad part is, most likely Solo will play in the third-place game against Norway. In the end, she will end up getting her way. Solo will be back in goal for the U.S. and probably the U.S. will take third place. I can only imagine Solo's words after that game. Probably something like "These medals we got would have been gold instead of bronze if I was in goal." She threw a nice adult tantrum and she got what she wanted, her turn in goal again.

It is actually ironic that this "me first" attitude occurred in China.

This is a country that fined and criticized NBA all-star, Yao Ming for not reporting to practice on time. He was not there in the first couple of days because he was at a Special Olympics event and planning his wedding.

In China, and most of the Asian country teams, it is the ultimate honor to play for your country and you would do anything for your team. Some Asian teams actually struggle because they play too much as a team and end up passing too much instead of taking players on one on one.

I would love to hear what's being said about the selfish American team in China.

Thankfully for the United States women's team, the Olympics are coming up soon and with a good showing, hopefully, the bad memories of the China trip will be eventually erased.

Despite the U.S. women's team success, this World Cup, what people will remember the most about this 2007 World Cup campaign is not the wins, but the defeat, the goalkeeper switch, and most of all, the rant.