U.S. Women’s Soccer Coach Greg Ryan Dismissed

Greg Ryan coached the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team recently in the World Cup. The result was a disappointing third place finish, surrounded by coaching and personnel controversy. U.S. Soccer has decided not to retain Greg Ryan’s services:

“…Well, while Ryan escaped the media nicks and cuts, he couldn’t escape the surgical slice from U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, who has treated Ryan the same way he treated former U.S. men’s coach Bruce Arena last year:

Gulati has declined to renew Ryan’s contract as women’s national team coach.”

link: Search is on for a new U.S. women’s coach

Some soccer fans feel that Greg Ryan sealed his own fate with poor personnel management. The most publicizes decision was not to have Hope Solo in goal against Brazil in the World Cup. For me, the most egregious error was what happened in the aftermath of Ms Solo’s public outburst. Greg Ryan, as the team coach, banned Hope Solo from further team participation. He justified this as a team decision and buffered himself by letting the team leaders face the media.

This seemed to be avoiding direct responsibility for the action which, even in hindsight, seems ill considered. Basically, Ms Solo was ostracized for her candid comments. While Ms Solo may have reacted to the disappoint of the moment in not playing and in suffering a significant loss to Brazil, her banishment was planned and deliberate. For all the talk about this group of women being ‘family’, Greg Ryan did not handle the situation well. He did not defuse the situation quickly and efficiently. He did not protect every member of his team – including Hope Solo. Whenever the term ‘family’ was mentioned repeatedly in the media to describe that gifted group of women, I could not help but think that Greg Ryan allowed this group to drift, without strong and decisive leadership, towards being a ‘dysfunctional family’.

Catherine Forsythe

[tags]soccer, greg ryan, u.s. women’s team, hope solo, family, coach, contract[/tags]