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 2:54 PM ^

maybe this isn't the right place but double standards are everywhere--a double standard exists when it comes to sexual promiscuity as well.



With that said..I agree its fair to call this one out. 

Also, fair to say Hope Solo is an egomaniacal whiner.  I really wish she'd just play the awesome goal keeper she does, and quit bitching about stuff.  Its hugely distracting from the team, and makes her sound like a little bitch (oh shit?  was that sexist?)


August 16th, 2012 at 3:28 PM ^

maybe this isn't the right place but double standards are everywhere--a double standard exists when it comes to sexual promiscuity as well.



That's cause in most cases, the woman gets the final say, and in most cases, women wait for men to make the first move.


August 16th, 2012 at 4:32 PM ^

when the obvious get-over-it response should point out that people are only bothered by promiscuity in potential mates. i mean, since you're both working with your lizard brains, don't you think promiscuous lesbians are awesome? undergraduate dorm room posters would suggest so. and do you really think promiscuous gay men are studs? i've never heard any straight man praise them.


August 16th, 2012 at 3:06 PM ^


Women aren't Men.   Double standards in many situations exist for a reason... there is no reason for a man to put his hands on a woman in anytype of aggressive fashion.  I don't care what the relationships are between the two.. coach/athlete wife/husband boss/employee... it doesn't matter.   A man doesn't put his hands on a woman.


 So yes, while this is a double standard that if a man was in the same situation it would be viewed drastically differently, there is a very valid reason for that.


August 16th, 2012 at 3:17 PM ^

Are you going to present us with that very valid reason, or leave us guessing?  Because based upon what you wrote, it's hard not to infer that your reasoning is that it's because women are weaker/subordinate/somehow less able to defend themselves, which is purely sexist.

I might suggest that there is no reason for anyone of any sex to be physically agressive to anyone else of any sex, particularly when one of those people is in a position of authority over the other (coach over player). 


August 16th, 2012 at 4:09 PM ^

....the women's lib movement, including title IX initiatives, demanded that women get equal rights as men, get equal amount of varsity sports as men, etc etc.  Yet, woman cannot be (or do not want to be) treated like men in aggressive situations, not as physically strong (i.e. not as athletic), etc etc.  Seems women are having their cake and get to eat it too.

NOLA Wolverine

August 16th, 2012 at 10:10 PM ^

Saying violence by men against women or children is especially bad doesn't mean that the reverse case is alright. Yeah, society would view a man clubbing a woman to be worse than a woman clubbing a man, that's true. The impression is that with superior strength you should have an increased ability to defend yourself. But that doesn't mean anyone thinks it's okay. There's nothing to indicate that, and the law (a metric for society's concern of an individual doing some action, in this case at least) certainly says otherwise. I think it's safe to assume that the remorse of society will always be a function of the victim's vulnerability. 

But regardless of that tangent discussion, your rights shouldn't be a function of your ability to fight someone at this point. It's a function of the fact that you're human.


August 16th, 2012 at 5:17 PM ^

Title IX doesn't say they are equal in ability, just that they have to have equal opportunities, if anything in spite of being athletically inferior (otherwise they could just play on the same teams as the men). Also, having access to athletics is a lot different than protection from physical harm. As generally smaller and weaker, unacceptable rough physical treatment by the opposite sex is absolutely justifiable, where as being denied access to opportunities, including athletics, isn't.


August 16th, 2012 at 7:15 PM ^

First off, never said equal ability.  Read it again

Second, you say "unacceptable rough physical treatment by the opposite sex is absolutely justifiable".  Would you say this if the man was physically inferior to a woman and she attacked him?  Doubt it.

I'll say it again, no excuse for voilence against anyone equally.


August 16th, 2012 at 4:39 PM ^

WindyCityBlue for president!

seriously, female college athletes are probably a hell of a lot more athletic than you. cf:

...women weightlifters don't "look like blokes"; they look like weightlifters, as do men weightlifters. As I argue here, the demands of the sport produce the characteristic body of top athletes in that sport. It's only because men have dominated elite sport for so long that we think of an athletic body as masculine. But it's not; it's just athletic.



August 16th, 2012 at 7:28 PM ^

...that makes sense. 

1.  Women who are raised and trained to be a college (or pro) athlete vs someone who was not (man or woman).  While I'm quite athletic, I was not raised or trained to be a college or pro athlete.  So are you willing to admit baseball players are not as good of athletes as football players?

2.  "It's only because men have dominated elite sport for so long that we think of an athletic body as masculine."  Yea, I'll put on make-up and wear a blouse, but don't call me feminine.  It's just that woman predominately wear make-up and blouses.  If you think that some (if not many) of these weighlifter women don't look masculine, you are seriously blind.


Number 7

August 16th, 2012 at 2:22 PM ^

If Ryan were the coach at State, I have a feeling we'd mostly be on Solo's side. Who knows what happened in that room? Because Solo can make a few bucks selling books, perhaps we can infer she might have a reason to embellish the story. But since defamation suits are no fun, there's probably also reason to expect she didn't make it up out of whole cloth, either.


August 16th, 2012 at 2:48 PM ^

Honestly, she's said a few things in the past that have come off as kinda bitchy, most recently the twitter spat with Brandi Chastane in the olympics. I had know idea she was in anyway affiliated with Michigan, so I can honestly say it's more of a bias against her than a bias towards Michigan. That being said, I really don't know much about either her or Greg Ryan so I'm merely expressing my first reaction.

snarling wolverine

August 16th, 2012 at 3:13 PM ^

If Ryan were the coach at State, I have a feeling we'd mostly be on Solo's side.

Well yeah, but that's because we'd automatically side against the MSU guy. I think the better hypothetical is how we'd feel if neither of the two had a connection to U-M (or any rival school).
It'd probably be a mixed reaction.


August 16th, 2012 at 1:33 PM ^

I may get negged for saying this and so be it, but I can't wait until the women's US soccer team doesn't get as much recognition as they do now. I know it may sound sexist, but I do think they are talented and some of them very good looking, but they come off as arrogant to me and maybe it is just me. They got a bit blown out of proportion since the World Cup where they choked it off against Japan, a team they should have beat. They lost in penalty kicks also which was supposed to be there bread and butter. Now they did redeeem themselves by winning the gold medal, but I feel like they are a bit overhyped and I guess it just kind of annoys me.


August 16th, 2012 at 3:59 PM ^

You say that knowing a known pothead is perhaps the greatest olympian of all time.....we had an alleged rapist on the mens basketball team and a known cheater and drug user who is our fastest man in the country.

Yet, someone who speaks their mind (despite the fact that she is clearly not always right) somehow doesn't represent the country good enough? Got it..


August 16th, 2012 at 9:59 PM ^

You say that knowing a known pothead is perhaps the greatest olympian of all time.....we had an alleged rapist on the mens basketball team and a known cheater and drug user who is our fastest man in the country.


Ridiculous reading comprehension fail.  Could it have been any more obvious that I was referring specfically to the US Womens soccer team?  Did you read the post I was responding to?


August 16th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

You can't honestly call that loss in PKs a choke job. It's a flip of the coin, you pick a spot and the goalie guesses in response. You can improve your chances with a quality shot or athletic keeper, but expecting to win every time is totally unreasonable.


August 16th, 2012 at 1:41 PM ^

I guess when I say choke job I mean that they should have won that game without penalty kicks. I don't know much about soccer, but I do know that in that game the US was the better team and should have won. You have to give credit to Japan for the win, but that tournament at that point was ours to lose.

The FannMan

August 16th, 2012 at 4:02 PM ^

IIRC the USWNT had the lead at the end of the game and in the overtime, only to let Japan tie it up and go to penalty kicks.  Penalty kicks is too random to say the team choked.  The real choke job was letting Japan tie it up late not once but twice.  Even though Japan is a talented team, the US team needed to close that one out prior to PKs.


August 16th, 2012 at 1:58 PM ^

The US women's team has placed in the top 3 of EVERY World Cup and Olympics. They have earned their hype with a history of success. And yes, some of them are arrogant, but find me a team with that kind of track record who doesn't have at least a few players with a sense of entitlement.

As for you assertation that they should have beaten Japan at World Cup last year, it seemed appropriate at the time, but you don't make consecutive finals in World Cup and Olympics by chance. They have proven to be an extremely good squad and with the benefit of hindsight, that World Cup loss is much more explicable.


August 16th, 2012 at 3:06 PM ^

Its one thing to not enjoy watching a sport.  That's fine--but for the piggish male population to constantly think that even part of the reason to watch women's sports is because "some of them very good looking" is so effing gross.  I am not stupid--I know that's why guys watch women's sports--but its so gross, and pig like.

I have to watch the doggy, stinky ass ugly guys play sports, and the fat dude on his sofa scratching his hairy ass is bitching because the women playing basketball aren't good looking enough.

I can't wait til you (that say this shit outloud) have a daughter you're trying to raise.

In response to your particular post--it wouldn't sound sexist, if you just said everything you did, and left out the "some of them very good looking."  That's the sexist part.  They are hyped--and athletic female role models are few.  But my kids were so into it, which was really fun for them.  I didn't get to see that as a young girl.  But they also  got to hear about Hope's whining, and we had the opportunity to talk about class and lack there of.  There is no shortage of classless, "me first" athletes on the male or female side. 

The good side of the over hype of the Women's US National Soccer Team is that there is exposure by someone other than the Yankees, LaBron James or Tim Tebow for kids to learn about.  The bad thing about the overexposure (imho) is that we get to learn these people are human, and many are as egomaniacal as some of their male counterparts.

((sorry..stepping off soapbox))


August 16th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

When women stop watching Desparate Housewives, to Twilight, to Magic Mike and a hundred other female-oriented movies / TV shows for the good looking male leads they openly objectify...

...and stop looking to those TV and book characters as examples of how their men should treat them (no less than a dozen roses every night, expensive dinners for the privilege of dating them, etc), before taking those unrealistic, entitled expectitions and applying them to their real-life relationships....


please come back here and start complaining about the "gross, piggish male population".


pls and thank you


August 16th, 2012 at 3:41 PM ^

The only reason I added the "good looking" part was due to the fact that many of them have been in ads and sports magazines doing modeling and things like that. That is part of the overexposure that I was talking about. They are a good soccer team with egos like you said, but the part about them being attractive was not meant to be sexist or anything it just justifies a small part of their overexposure. Yes honestly I would rather see the soccer girls overexposed rather than Lebron, any Yankees, and definitely over Tebow. But in all honesty I can honestly say I did not watch any of the women's World Cup or the soccer Olympics. It takes way more than "good looking" girls to get me to sit down and watch anything, sports especially. I have to have legit interest in the sport for me to actually watch. I also know plenty of girls that watched the olympic swimming because they thought "swimmer a or b" was good looking. Whatever reason people watch things I really don't care, but my comments were not meant to be sexist and I stated that above. The only thing their attractiveness attributes to is some of the overexposure in commercials. This was not meant to piss anybody off and maybe the last women's World Cup team got just as much hype (I really can't remember), but I just feel like they (US Women's team) think they are larger than what they really are.


August 17th, 2012 at 8:39 AM ^

No big deal. If we can't have a difference of opinion on the internet then where can we, right? I see where you are coming from and hopefully I don't have daughters just because I would probably be terrible at handling some of these types of things. With that said, football is around the corner and I don't think many of us will even remember this dispute between Solo and Ryan.


August 16th, 2012 at 4:00 PM ^

Describing men as piggish and disgusting for being attracted to women and for daring to voice that attraction is, in itself, extremely sexist. I am not going to be shamed out of being who I am. Many of the comments about female athletes do get out of hand, I will grant you that. To castigate someone so harshly for posting "some of them very good looking” anonymously over the internet is very extreme, though.  


August 16th, 2012 at 9:20 PM ^

But you guys are sensitive... I think Joe Bolden is good looking, but that's not what brings value to watching football.

My point was clearly not made well. I just get super pissy about girls getting put in a second class bucket..probably because I am one, and I am raising two.

And if you are offended by the piggish characterization..I am referring to a type of guy who is piggish...I am sure none here is that guy, right? So if you aren't that guy, no need to take the comment personally.

I listen to sports talk (too much probably) and hear comments that turn the feminist in me on..so, the comment I responded to really wasn't one of them, just a trigger.

Sorry. Really didn't mean to get personal.

The FannMan

August 16th, 2012 at 4:23 PM ^

I hate it when piggish people make sterotypical statements about entire groups of people.  Its gross and pig-like.

I watched the game with my daughter who plays soccer so she could she watch really good soccer, see how good teams support the ball, watch passes go to space not to people, etc.  I also enjoyed seeing a US team win a gold medal.  Just like I enjoyed seeing the womens 4 x 100 take down a tainted E. German record that hadn't been touched for some 25 years.  I enjoyed watching Allison Felix redeeming 8 years of second place by taking a gold. Etc.  

But, I am glad to see that you know why all men watch women's sports.  Thanks for letting me know that I was only watching becuase I wanted to see what they looked like.  I did not know that about myself.  

(Having re-read your post, it occurrs to me that there is a small chance it is sarcasm.  In which case, well done.  If not, well, not so much.)

snarling wolverine

August 16th, 2012 at 7:34 PM ^

Its one thing to not enjoy watching a sport. That's fine--but for the piggish male population to constantly think that even part of the reason to watch women's sports is because "some of them very good looking" is so effing gross. I am not stupid--I know that's why guys watch women's sports--but its so gross, and pig like.

Wait a minute.  Didn't you just recently post that you thought one of our freshman football players (Joe Bolden, IIRC) was cute?



August 16th, 2012 at 8:00 PM ^

She said this in regards to Joe Bolden:

<quote>Do you think he is too young for a really active, middle aged, soccer mom?

Just curious...I have this "friend" who thinks he is hot.</quote>

(From: http://mgoblog.com/content/class-2012-new-numbers#comment-1663010)

The lesson to be learned here is it's cool for her to perv on college freshmen but if a guy says some female athletes are "very good looking" (really a pretty tame and pedestrian comment) it merits a multi-paragraph diatribe and the hurling of invectives like pig-ish, dog-ish, etc. etc.

Gotta love the hypocrisy of militant feminism (aka anti-male ranting thinly guised as educated discourse).  It's just not something to be taken seriously.