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Solo book sheds light on Ryan altercation, team reaction to Chastain tweets


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U.S. women's national team goalkeeper Hope Solo left quite the impression on this summer's Olympics, between her controversial tweets about former U.S. great and television analyst Brandi Chastain and her two massive saves against Japan in the Olympic final that helped the U.S. women capture gold for a third straight time.

With her book, "SOLO: A Memoir of Hope," hitting the shelves, new information involving Solo's most infamous moments have come to light, including one in which she claims she was physically shoved by a former coach.

Solo wrote that former U.S. women's national team coach Greg Ryan shoved her during a 2007 meeting after her outburst at his decision to bench her in favor of Brianna Scurry against Brazil in that summer's World Cup. Ryan vehemently denied the accusations.

"This allegation is completely false," Ryan, the current women's coach at the University of Michigan, said in a statement. “I did not shove or push Hope as I've been accused in her book. I would have been terminated immediately by U.S. Soccer had this allegation been true. I have openly discussed the contents of the meeting and this is the first time that this accusation has been brought to light.”

In the epilogue to her book, Solo goes into detail about the Olympics, specifically addressing the pointed tweets at Chastain, whom she criticized for her inadequate commentary during this summer's competition. Solo was chastised for creating an unnecessary distraction, but as she puts it, what she said was what her teammates were thinking, and it created more of a cohesion among the U.S. women than anything else.

In excerpts obtained by ESPNW, Solo wrote: "I knew that would get a reaction, but I felt that someone needed to stand up to Brandi. She had a microphone and an international platform. Why couldn't I voice my opinion? That's the beauty of social media. When the tweets came across everyone's Twitter feed, the bus erupted with cheers.

"'Hell yeah, Hope,'" my teammates cried. Christie Pearce Rampone and Abby Wambach and others offered up high fives. "'Somebody finally said it,'" they said. It was a bonding moment for our team.

"When Pia met with reporters later, on Sunday, after meeting with me and the captains, she was asked if I was going to be disciplined or if I had been reprimanded. That made me laugh. Our meeting was about what we were doing in training. Pia told me that she, in fact, did press mute when she watched the games of ours that Brandi worked from the booth. My teammates shared the opinions that I had voiced on Twitter. We were tighter than ever."


What do you think of these developments? What do you make of Solo's latest comments about the Chastain fiasco?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Who cares if she is the best female keeper ever the womens game is still just getting off the ground the USA doesn’t even have a top women’s league to develop more keepers. The world has seen better keepers then Hope Solo and I am sure the womens game will have better keepers then she is her talent isn’t so special she shouldn’t have more respect for the game. There is no need to feud with old coaches and players right now everyone should be working together to grow the womens game not try to cash in by generating controversy and division to sell books

  2. For real Rory? So American. She’s a women’s professional soccer player. Say that out loud a couple times. Let her make some money while she can, dude.

  3. Concerning the Chastain remarks, I can’t say that I know what Solo’s motivations were for certain, but I assume that it was to send a message to her teammates of “screw these guys, I’m with you”, in which case she did exactly what I would expect from a team leader.
    She wasn’t being criticized, her defenders were – it would have been easy to sit back and let them get roasted. Instead she stood up, supported her team and deflected the attention – good for her.

  4. First, read Solo’s book, not just excerpts. Solo portrays Ryan as insecure and manipulating. But whether you read it or not, all you need to know about Ryan is one thing: He could have stopped the team’s ridiculous shunning of Solo after the 2007 WWC semifinals. He not only failed to do so; he refused. That says more about his lack of character than anything.

    As far as Solo’s comments after that 2007 semifinal are concerned, I would expect *any* competitive elite athlete to feel the same way after watching an inferior substitute perform the way Scurry did in that game. She probably should have shown more discretion. But that lack of discretion in no way justifies the treatment she received. Those bitches conspired to destroy someone’s soul and spirit. That’s despicable under any circumstances, let alone after somebody tells the truth.

    I’m no feminist but I can understand why some people think men are afraid of women who speak their mind, don’t play politics and don’t give a damn what other people think. That insecurity permeates this thread.

    Besides, *most* people are scared to death of *anybody* who has the kind of character Solo has. People with that kind of character inspire jealously among the “haters” because the “haters” secretly wish they had the kind of courage Solo displays.

  5. It really depends on what she tested positive for. If you are to believe Solo and that it was Menstrual related and there was in fact evidence to back it up do you ban the player? Did any sport governing body ban her? Nope, they just gave her a warning. If those bodies that have more power then Pia does didn’t suspend her should Pia then not take the best keeper to the Olympic games? Would Pia lose her job for not winning gold then? My guess is if Pia did not win Gold she was out as the coach, especially if she didn’t take Hope Solo.

    As to the Brandi spat, I don’t necessarily agree with everything Hope said and did, but she was sticking up for her teammates (wasn’t about Hope) who she thought were being overly criticized. She acted as a teammate.

    Now how she acted in 07 was not being a teammate, but I still think she was the better choice to play against Brazil as the US got pasted 4-nil that game.

    She is a goalie who is a bit off her rocker, but living in the Philly area I have seen goalies in another sport far more off the rocker than her (See Brysgalov and Hextall) so her antics are not that extreme. She is the best in the world as far as women keepers go so until her play actually gets diminished by her attitude she should be in the net for the USWNT.


    “I’m an American. I played in England for 12 years. I don’t have some dodgy English accent, I’m still speaking with an American accent.”

    There’s more out there. It has happens all the time with dudes, and you’re right. It’s not near the headline, which is probably why we don’t hear about it.

    I’m pretty sure he made some comments after the Germany game in 2002 along the lines of what Solo said about Scurry, but I couldn’t find them quickly enough to care.

  7. Amen. Ryan benches her for the first time all tournament, undefeated team on three straight shutouts in the World Cup semi. Brazil wins 4-0. Sounds to me like Harkes 98 (or an average French men’s tournament these days).

    In terms of the shove debate, “as I’ve been accused in her book,” could be taken as weasel language. Depending how she wrote it he could have done something but he still disputes the precise nouns, adverbs, or adjectives she uses in accusation. I’ll be interested which way her teammates of the time line up, if they saw it happen. The implication of her Chastain remarks is her teammates back her so-called controversial and divisive comments 100%. So, what does the 2007 team remember? Wambach etc. were part of that team. Press ought to just ask.

  8. +1

    I want a keeper that stands up for her teammates, even to the point of pushing back against criticism that she knows has some elements of truth if only to make the point to her defenders that “we’re in this together and I’ve got your back.”

    People criticize her for not being on-board with her team when she publicly pointed out Ryan’s gaffe in 2007 and in the next breath criticize her for standing up for and protecting her team in 2012 – how about a little consistency.

  9. Kind of crazy and egotistical are qualities you want in your goalkeeper. Humble goalkeepers don’t put their bodies in places where they can get kicked in the ribs or face for the sake of playing a game.

    Even more socially adept goalkeepers have a little crazy in them deep down.

  10. The monster was created way before China.

    With all due respect the the US women’s team accomplishments we are one of 3 or 4 countries that take women’s soccer serious and we have a MASSIVE advantage over those other 3 or 4 nations.
    What I am saying is Hope, Brandi and others are big fishes in the small pond called women’s international soccer. Add that to the fact that they are good looking women and you have the perfect storm for a celebrity.
    Hope, Brandi don’t take yourself too serious.

  11. I do love a good analogy. Nice.

    Hope is a great goalkeeper, but I don’t think I would enjoy hanging out with her. Or Oliver Kahn. Or Peter Schmeichel. Or Tony Schumacher. You may see where I am going with…

  12. I can’t fault Solo here at all. Solo is hardly the first sports figure to criticize a broadcaster. The comments she complained about were not about her, but about her teammates, who truth be told were having a difficult time. So Solo stood up for her teammates during a pressue packed competition and maybe gave them a bit of confidence. If a quarterback stood up for his line the same way, we’d all be applauding what a great guy he was. As for Chastain, her place in history is probably more secure than it is in the booth. But even Brazilians know that Pele says some crazy things every now and again and aren’t afraid to call him out on it when he does.

  13. I hope Ryan sues her for everything she makes from this book.
    Also, why would ANY coach listen to the sound from ANY commentator when rewatching a game?

  14. I liken the Hamm/Chastain squads and current USWNT to two rival siblings at a school. The older sibling goes through school and is very successful. The younger sibling is as good or perhaps better, but the whole time is constantly being critiqued and compared to the older sibling by everybody. At some point there is some frustration that you are not being looked at own your merits. Add to it that the older sibling is now telling you how she did it or how to do it better, and most people will crack at some point.

  15. Personally, I could care less what Hope Solo does off the pitch. While I disagree with her benching against Brazil in ’07 (she was playing very well in the matches leading up, and Ryan’s excuse of Scurry’s better numbers is preposterous; football is not the numbers game that baseball is), how she handled it was completely unsportsmanlike. As for her remarks about Chastain, I’m not sure why Solo cares to begin with. I expect professional athletes to have thicker skin than that.

    There are plenty of headcase athletes out there. Just add her to the pile.

  16. Saw a part of her interview on Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN… Turned the TV off within a few minutes – the woman is sickeningly full of herself. Yes, most professional athletes do possess a certain arrogance/self-confidence, but this was simply astounding.

  17. KC,
    unfortunately I agree with you 100% about Pia not taking such action. Hell, the Federation should have imposed some type of penalty but NOPE!!!
    I’m also guessing that what she tested for was “Weed” and not some over the counter medicine. Why do I guess “Weed”? Image of the Women’s Nats team and for the most part being wholesome and if it were something alot stronger she would have been punished HARSHLY by both FIFA and the IOC.
    Rapinoe coming out (which wasn’t a secret when she played in Chicago) isn’t as big a threat as Hope getting high.

  18. The comments about Chastain are probably as much about how she feels about the players on the 99 olympic team (and the remnants who Hope feel shafted her in 2007) as it is about the content.

    I can understand how she feels. It was a different soccer landscape then, but the US Team still has to live with the same expectations.

    Count me with those that like that Hope Solo has an ego.

  19. Brandi lost the starting job a year bf that game. Hope was a better goalie then, and definitely the best women’s keeper in he world now. You lose all credibility when you put your personal opinion of her character and her playing skill together. You can have Scurry and a repeat of her last 4-0 game. When you get a good keeper, you put up with eccentric. If you don’t know that, go back to baseball. All that and Hope was right. Just immature in the handling of the situation.

  20. Pia is not going to do a thing. if she had a spine she would’ve left her out of the squad when she tested positive for banned substances.
    Now she cans just hope she is not on Hope Kardashian’s next book

  21. How did the team know what Chastain even said minutes after the match was over with only access to BBC broadcasts of the game. Chastain’s comments were legit about sloppy defending against better teams will punish you.

  22. Honestly, Brandi can say whatever she likes as a commentator. Hope should feel free to disagree with specific things she says, but could have done so without getting personal and making it about a generational shift or whatever. Plenty of people have issue with American soccer commentators of every kind and often rightly so.

  23. This Monster was created in China, so her current attitude and doing whatever it takes to promote her book and interests do not surprise me. Personally, I have no issue with people earning a buck as long as there’s honesty about it. She’s throwing people under the bus and fictionalizing things to earn a buck and that’s just messed up. I hope like hell that Pia or whomever is coaching this team will FINALLY start playing our back up keepers. They’re good and deserving of a start and in need of the experience. Right now, Hope’s attitude (it’s been this way for quite sometime) is that of being untouchable and that’s a BIG part of the problem and why we have this current MONSTER.

  24. Hope Solo is looney. Honestly I believe Greg Ryan, don’t believe Solo one bit. Also, there was no need for someone to stand up to Brandi Chastain, whom everyone knows is an annoying analyst that even ESPN pulled the plug on years ago. The best thing Solo could have done was to just laugh it off and make a sarcastic or humorous comments about how annoying Brandi (and her lisp) is.

    Now Chastain’s analysis wasn’t actually too far off, as the US got torched on D (especially against Canada) with Solo having to save them against Canada & Japan for her teammates subpar defensive performances.

  25. She just needs to shut the hell up…have no respect for her at all and have not since what she did in the 2007 World Cup…

    Play goal and be quite…and I’d take Scurry anyday over her…better keeper and class personified.


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