Hope Solo - Greg Ryan Dispute

Submitted by Everyone Murders on August 16th, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Today we saw reports that Greg Ryan shoved Hope Solo during an in-office discussion as to why she was benched for the 2007 World Cup semifinals.  (Ryan is currently coaching women's soccer at Michigan.)  The allegations appear in Solo's new book "A Memoir of Hope".

Links are here (AP Wire, via MLive) http://www.mlive.com/soccer/index.ssf/2012/08/ex-coach_says_he_didnt_shove_hope_solo_at_world_cup.html and here (AP via WashPost) http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/former-us-womens-soccer-team-coach-says-he-didnt-shove-solo-during-meeting-at-2007-world-cup/2012/08/15/0ad2e760-e738-11e1-9739-eef99c5fb285_story.html .

According to Solo:

Solo writes that near the end of the meeting: “I had nothing left to say so I stood up to leave. Greg leaned over and pushed me back down on the couch. Hard.” Solo writes that Ryan then swore at her and told her she couldn’t leave until he said she could.

Recognizing that shoving a player is not cool (although it seems a bit of a double standard - nobody would blink if this happened between a couple of men, IMO), my sense is Solo ends up looking bad both by virtue of her own telling of the story and by her urge to relay the story in the book. 

First, it's extremely disrespectful to walk out on a coach before they're done talking to you.  It's absolute insubordination, and while touching a player ain't cool, I've no problem with telling the player in question to get their ass back in their seat until the coach is done talking.  Shoving (if it happened) is not cool.  Not allowing a sullen player to determine when a coach-player meeting is over is coaching.  It seems like Solo had some growing up to do, and the players seemed (from the stories linked above) to have Ryan's back on the decision.

Second, telling this story five years after the fact seems petty.  It seems like a revenge move, and if all's that at stake was pushing someone back onto a couch until you're done talking to them it seems like the sort of thing you might let go of.  Solo sure wouldn't have liked a meeting with Bo.  

Third, Ryan disputes the accusation - he vehemently denies Solo's story.  Given Solo's apparent petulant nature, it tips my scale toward dismissing Solo's story as a bunch of sour grapes.  It's a classic he-said, she-said, but Solo comes out looking bad here.   Even if a coach pushed you, it was five years ago and dredging it up now seems uncool. 

In any event, I'm hoping that this does not negatively impact Ryan in his position as U-M's Women's Soccer coach. 




August 16th, 2012 at 5:06 PM ^

Hope Solo has a bad reputation.

But given the situation and incentives for either to lie, he probably pushed her.

If he did, there is no excuse for pushing her. None!

If he did, he wont last.

Rather be on BA

August 16th, 2012 at 6:11 PM ^

Maybe he did push her back down onto the couch.  So long as it wasn't drastically aggressive I don't see the problem.  She is an olympic level athlete, I am pretty sure she didn't feel threatened or was hurt by the push.  She should be more respectful to her coach.  With that said, I don't condone shoving women around or anything, but that doesn't sound like what happened here- it sounds more like a firm tap on the shoulders.  Solo more than likely sensationalized it in her book so that she would get this very attention that she is getting and thus sell more copies.


August 16th, 2012 at 6:30 PM ^

There is only one thing that can be stated with any certainty: "Hope Solo" and "dispute" go together like "hot dog" and "mustard."


August 16th, 2012 at 7:20 PM ^

Ryan blew it big time by suddenly benching Hope at WC semifinal in favor of a former great goalie who is clearly on a decline. She has the right to be mad at her coach after posting 2 shutouts prior to the game while Scurry didn't play at all.

Ryan also has no right to shove Hope whether if it's her fault or not.

As for criticism on Chastian, Brandi criticized one of the USA defender for playing like shit. Hope felt the need to defend her teammate via twitter. Remember Brandi was part of the team mutiny against hope and made her do a ridiculous charade. It's another part of the reason why Hope didn't like some of the players in the past. I wonder if Abby Wambach forgave Hope but wouldn't be surprised if she didn't.


August 16th, 2012 at 7:55 PM ^

Yes, but why and how does Solo know what Chastain said.  Hell, why does it matter what Chastain said?  In her situation she was being payed to unbiasedly analyze the game.  If the defender was playing like shit, then it's a good point to bring up in a live broadcast.  It's a professional broadcast, Chastain isn't supposed to be a USA fangirl, she's supposed to do her job.  I'd be surprised if this defender was actually offended by the comments(if she even heard about them), she would have probably been the first one to admit that she wasn't playing well.  How many times do you hear a professional athlete complain when the media criticizes them, let alone a teammate? Never. Bottomline is Solo went out of her way to cause controversy and bring unecessary attention to her team.  



August 17th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

As we learned from the Ocho Cinco/Evelyn Lozada incident...

These aggressive women don't like it too much when met with equal aggression by men.

I wasn't there I can't say he was right or wrong.

But as others have mentioned, an olympic athlete getting out of shape over being pushed is pretty lame.  And for those who advocate gender equity... I would assert that this is an instance in which gender equity should be applied and this man should be looked at no differently than a woman who would have done a similar thing...

Pretty lame of her to take it to the media... but she's a loudmouth that's what she does.  It's a shame that with all her success she can't be a better ambassador for soccer and women's athletics.  I wouldn't waste my time talking to such a person let alone arguing with them.