Thursday, September 27, 2007

Disaster

Ok, the U.S. is playing like I feel. Crappy, crappy. Osborne own-goal, Marta adds the second, then Shannon Boxx got set off, then Christiane just scored - ugh, ugh, ugh.

Oh, well. I'm happy for Brazil, but I'm pretty pissed at Greg Ryan (not personally, he's really a nice guy - but tactically, this was a horrible move). The U.S. defense was the team's chance to win this match. Yanking Hope Solo from goal and putting in Bri Scurry completely undermined them. Their communication wouldn't be as good - it couldn't be - and a player who is not game-sharp is put in an odd position, and the player replaced couldn't possibly feel very forgiving. Yuk.

Foudy can't get over why Ellertson was Ryan's sub. I say - "Does it really matter? This one should be over."

In a way, soccer fans get cheated in this match because of Ryan's move. He said he'd take the blame, and it will duly go to him, but without the distraction, this could have been a great duel.

Or not. Frankly, the U.S. hadn't looked great all tournament long, but they had seemed to be improving.

Then this.

Salt in the wounds of Ryan to have Tony DiCicco second-guessing him. DiCicco isn't piling on, but he is calling out the wrong moves Ryan has made. Rightly so.

Wonder if Bruce Arena would do that - he's called a couple of USMNT games. Bob Bradley and Arena are close, however. Probably not.

I remember a track coach telling me once that for top speed, you have to be able to relax. You need confidence and calm. I think soccer is similar in a sense. Some urgency is good, but really you have to have ice in your veins, and you have to be steady.

Ryan's choice obliterated that for his squad. Without the tension, would Osborne have made such a vital mistake? Boxx, well, the second was questionable, but still, it was such a risk.

I'm not keeping a running blog, because at this point, there isn't any point in the game. The repercussions are the issue here.

GOAL - ok, well, Marta just scored again. Nicely done. I'll be disappointed if this team doesn't beat Germany. It would be terrible to hit their peak here in the semi.

Anyway, back to the effect this game will have. This is the biggest loss the U.S. has ever taken at the World Cup - ever.

GREG RYAN - does he keep his job? He's unbeaten (remember when Bradley was, too?) but the goof of switching goalkeepers has proven such a horrid move that he should be at risk. I don't think the U.S. fed has the guts to make this move, though.

KRISTINE LILLY - Hurts to go out like this - does she finally declare retirement on a rather sour note?

BRIANA SCURRY - How does this loss affect the view of her career? How has it been tarnished by this - and does she finally retire too?

HOPE SOLO - Does she continue to be a good soldier in residency with Ryan after he pulled this? Or does she say, "Screw that." and go back to Sweden to play professionally? It would probably kill her national team career, though. Milbret said that's what happened to her.

WUSA II - World Cup losses affected the WUSA. An Olympic gold is nice, but it's not the World Cup - and the U.S. going out this ugly might really scare a few sponsors and investors away. The delay to wait until 2009 to launch the league was already a bad sign, a "Let's see how the World Cup goes indicator." Oh, wait - worst loss in US women's soccer history. Not good.

Ryan says the goalkeeper move didn't affect the game. I think that's more than wishful thinking. Yes, the early goal was a factor - and so was the Boxx send-off. The announcers aren't buying it, and are also calling Ryan out for the defensive subs in the game.

BRAZIL - Why no subs for a team that is a day short on rest before the final? Can they carry the goods to the final?

22 comments:

JT (Chicago) said...

Ryan's been the coach for 50 matches and the US has been unbeaten throughout. Now this.

Oh the coach/manager's life!

Anonymous said...

Who is this Tony Dicicco? Well, I know who we WAS? I cannot believe the amount of crap he is giving the new coach for the decision to play the other goalkeeper who in my opinion was not at fault for any of the goals.

This idiot made all sorts of bizarre statements yesterday during the Germany game claiming the likes of England being a third-world country when it comes to women's soccer and that equality has just started to exist there – WHAT!?! Whilst his comments were related to sport I must point out that in the UK, soccer has long since existed as a male dominated sport – not because of equality, I believe that soccer was introduced into the schools back in the 1980’s for girls. So, I could ask him how the women's football (American Football) team is doing here!?! His comments were retarded, ignorant and have painted a picture that the English still live in the dark ages – having lived there I can tell you that this is not the case. As I write this the fourth goal has gone in . . . wonder what words of wisdom Mr. Dicicco has now!?! A real ambassador for this wonderful country - NOT!

East River said...

True that Ryan has a 50 game unbeaten streak as the coach. But games like that send off tour were against puffs teams. They really should have sent this team down to South America for the Pan Am games so that this would have had better preparation. They haven't looked their sharpest in this competition.

The tournament got off to a really bad start for the USWNT when Ryan wouldn't make obvious subs in North Korea. Just refusing to sub when it was call for. His sub tactics have been just aweful threw out all games played.

The decision to play Scurry was just stupid and totally on call for. As is his subs didn't make me think he was a bit alorf or over his head this decision confirmed one of those decisions. Not only should he have known what effects playing Scurry would have but to not inform Solo and the team weeks ago was unreal. The worst part is his decisions to not play Kai and other offensive options has been sad.

Toddzilla said...

I've been keeping up with the game on the NY Times blog, and I'm curious what you think about this:

He seems to think that the announcers are scapegoating the goalkeeper switch when the fact is that Brazil has just completely outclassed the US. In his descriptions of the 4 goals (so far), he remarks that Scurry has had virtually no chance on any of them.

Thanks to gainful employment, I haven't seen a second of the game. I realize you think that the change wasn't a good move at this time of the tourney (and I agree with that), and I wonder what you think would have been different score-wise with Solo in there.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me!?!

GREG RYAN - does he keep his job?
.... If you are to blame him for the entire team's performance then that is truly sad. I know that he is responsible for team selection and motivation etc. but having coached for over 17 years it isn't always possible for things to come off, no matter how prepared the players are - if a series of events occur on the field that demotivate the players then you're on a hiding to nothing. Hey, take the loss with pride - this guy has done a great job! The best thing to do it to learn from it!

KRISTINE LILLY - Hurts to go out like this - does she finally declare retirement on a rather sour note.
. . . .even if she does, isn't it better to remember what a great career she has had!?! I lost my last game before I retired.

BRIANA SCURRY - How does this loss affect the view of her career? How has it been tarnished by this - and does she finally retire too?
. . . . Briana didn't pick the team! I think you should stop listening to that loser Dicicco,

HOPE SOLO - Does she continue to be a good soldier in residency with Ryan after he pulled this? Or does she say, "Screw that." and go back to Sweden to play professionally? It would probably kill her national team career, though. Milbret said that's what happened to her.
.. . . . if she does, well, then she has shown her lack of maturity and will be remembered for it. Greg Ryan is in charge - period! Whether you agree or disagee with his decisions that is fine but he is the one making the shots! Any outbursts by players should be punished and remembered - if I was coach and she responded in a poor manner that screw her!

We lost 4-0. Brazil deserved the win. Maybe we peaked against England - not sure!?!

JT (Chicago) said...

As much as the delicate "team chemistry" may have been disrupted, as much as the Boxx dismissal may have influenced the match, I think that Coach Ryan's decision, early on, to play this long ball game put the US chances at risk.

He pointed specifically to China's problem against Brazil as reason to not play a possession style, but this result refutes that reasoning.

It looked like the US would always be chasing the match as they continualy failed to connect with their target Wambach and really had no other sustained threat.

It's time to rethink this strategy and find the players who can control the ball, run at players, and return to creative soccer/futbol/football of the US past.

On the plus side, Brazil's performance and Marta's brilliance may inspire many young girls/women to new heights. Well done Brazil.

A.C. said...

Oh come on, I am mentioning DiCicco because he agrees with me, not the other way around. Foudy agrees with me, too.

I'm not saying that the U.S. would have won if Ryan hadn't made the move. I'm saying in a close match, with a lot at stake, he totally shot the continuity of the squad all to hell. Adding the distraction in the back looked like it put jitters into everyone on the team. Nerves often contribute to mistakes like own-goals.

Play forward builds up from the back - confident defenders helped set up key U.S. goals in the tournament. The backline lacked that confidence against Brazil.

Yes, I think Ryan's job is at risk. How could it not be? He will probably keep it, but yes, this loss was bad enough to cal his tenure into question.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that Brazil gave the Americans a dose of "humble pie". The fact that USSF had the nerve (and arrogance) to kit the women with gold jerseys prior to the World Cup in order to show they are the "gold standard" of women's soccer did not sit well with the rest of the women's soccer world. They got what they deserved and Brazil beat the smugness out of them.

Longshoe said...

A move like that, which has never been made at this point in any Women's World Cup (credit Stone at ESPN) or at any men's World Cup I can remember, is going to be questioned pretty heavily. Like it or not, 50 game winning streak or not.

When the game goes as badly as it did today, you have to expect that. That wasn't the only reason the US was spanked today, you could point out a number of things that went wrong (and some of those come back to Ryan as well). However, when you make that big of a move going into the semifinal, you're putting your neck on the chopping block.

FC Uptown said...

Ryan "blinked" before the game; was scared by Brazil and fearful of Solo. Interesting in all his previous games, he never made a rash move like this. On the biggest stage Coach Ryan dropped the ball. He gambled on the move and he lost and now he is going to have take his lumps. If he starts Solo and we still lose 4-0, then Solo gets the blame. Fairly not- smart decision now in retrospect. Now you have to wonder how scared people at USSF are - a lot has been riding on this team.

East River said...

I just don't see how this team can have confidence in Ryan after this. His decision making particularly during this tournament has been aweful to say the least. I wouldn't be surprise if the players unite and state why they need another coach like they turned on their first woman coach a few years back.

FC Uptown said...

Forgot that Brazil beat the US handily in a recent Olympics Gold Medal final. Perhaps Ryan knew Brazil was really the strong favorite and wanted to shake it up. Curious decision nonetheless.

robzubi said...

The era of the domination of international women's soccer by U.S. and northern European countries is over. Brazil has displayed during this tournament how soccer should be played.
They rejoice when the ball is on their feet, they want to keep possession all the time. U.S. players were so uncomfortable with the ball that was painful to watch. Kick and run was their strategy. American soccer, (male and female) is going backwards.

robzubi said...

The era of the domination of international women's soccer by U.S. and northern European countries is over. Brazil has displayed during this tournament how soccer should be played.
They rejoice when the ball is on their feet, they want to keep possession all the time. U.S. players were so uncomfortable with the ball that was painful to watch. Kick and run was their strategy. American soccer, (male and female) is going backwards.

A.C. said...

Um, fc uptown - the Brazil team lost to the U.S. in the Olympic final, not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

It was a very bad move by Coach Ryan to switch Brianna Scurry instead of Hope Solo. It looks like he was trying to be the smartest on in the room choosing Scurry because she had never lost to Brazil.

However, it was a no-win decision. If the US won, he had created a goaile controversy when there didn't need to be one and if the US lose, he would be forever second-guessed. The timing of the switch is also now open to critique with the US coming off arguably their best game and feeling pretty good about themselves. Insted of focusing completely on Brazil, they had to deal with Ryan's decision. I'm sure the players questioned it and then they had to deal with questions about the decision from the media and others. I'm sure the players would never admit to it, but had to be a huge distraction.

This team, appears to be a very close knit group. I'm sure they had all the confidence in Brianna, who is probably the greatest woman's goalkeepers of all-time, but she was the back-up keeper. So it's not unreasonalbe that the players would try a little harder to help her out, which may have affected their decision making. I mean does Leslie Osborne try to head out a ball that is at her feet, resulting in an own goal, if Hope is in goal?

The second yellow card on Shanon Boxx was a complete disgrace and that officiating crew should be held accountable. Who knows if it would have affected the final outcome of the game. Let's be honest, Brazil looked dominant. But it put the US in a bigger hole that was impossible to overcome.

The US needed to control the midfield to try to slow the Brazilians down and be able to feed the ball into Wambach and Lilly, but with Boxx out, it made it that much harder. I would have liked to have seen Kai and Tarply come it to try to help out, but it was not to be.

Give the Brazilians credit, they took it to the US and deseved to win. Marta's second goal may be the greatest goal that we ever see in the World Cup.

Anonymous said...

man! Andrea is pulling a "Mexico" by just making excuses!! wah, wah, wah...

Fact is we lost and we were outplayed. Would've/Coul've/Should've is just pathetic excuse making.

Anonymous said...

AC, whats with all the excuses. The US sorority girls got blasted by a better team that played beautiful football. Your making excuses like Mexican fans.

The was a team that had flaws such as overreliance on long balls to Wambach, who would bail them out because she is a physical specimen. The US hasn't played beautifully in a while and had too many old war horses hogging the limelight that belongs to the next generation.

Jaime Cárdenas said...

AC,

nice recap of the match. On my way to the office I was trying to think what you would say about the matcha nd about Hope's comments. Hope gave little hope for Ryan to remain as coach.

Anyways, just wanted to say that. Hope yoou feel better soon.

-- Jaime

Anonymous said...

The US women looked slow, overly physical, and devoid of technique. The tactics sucked, the decision to switch keepers was idiotic, and the subs were just as silly. Good to see the side playing the game the way it is meant to be played win. Fire Ryan and find some fast players with skills. All the old guard Scurry, Lilly, etc need to retire. Unbeaten in meaningless friendlies is of little value when you choke in the big games.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, well! Ms. Solo's response post-game should really give you an idea as why she wasn't selected or should be selected again to play for USA's elite. Her rantings and severe lack of maturity show what kind of an individual she really is. What ever happened to being professional? If you're passed by in the work place for a promotion when you believe he job is yours do you kick and scream like a spoiled child? I think not, you take it on the chin and move on. Tut-tut-tut Ms. Solo! I suggest it is you that should not be involved in international football again. Ryan will face his critics and not bad-mouth others even though some of his players let him down by their contribution or lack of it in the game against Brazil.
She would have saved those shots . . . what? Even though this melting pot was started by Ryan you have to admit that Ms. Solo's response has done nothing for team moral for the foreseeable future as she went out of her way to target players stating this wasn't 2004 etc. etc.
Give her a pacifier and send her home!

Anonymous said...

Problem for Solo is you can't just accept that the boss is incompent and move to another country's national team. She was team's keeper becaise she was the best keeper. She had no drop off in form. So what could Ryam be thinking?

Ryan even says he wouldn't change his decision if he could. Huh, Ok Scurry made five easy saves and had four go by. So you like that outcome. Why not admit the Scurry did not have her best match.

But then Ryan thinks the game of women's soccer had changed and midfield possession play is not longer the best tactic. Go bye coach Ryan for that even before you put yourself up there with all time coach's brain cramps with the keeper change.