In the midst of the recent Women’s World Cup, US Coach Greg Ryan made the sorry choice of going with 36 year-old backup keeper Briana Scurry in place of starter Hope Solo. Solo was a on a hot streak, not having given up a goal in some 300 minutes. Scurry let in four goals against a flashy Brazilian team and the US headed the consolation bracket.
Afterward, Solo had this to say:
It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that. There’s no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves….You have to live in the present. And you can’t live by big names. You can’t live in the past.
That delightfully honest and wholly incendiary statement basically led to Ryan booting her off the team. On Saturday, Solo whimpered out this apology which I will now helpfully parse:
I would like to apologize to my teammates, coaches and everyone else adversely affected by my comments at the Women’s World Cup. This public apology comes later than it should have, but I hope that does not diminish the fact that I am truly sorry. I made a mistake and I take full responsibility for my actions. I let my teammates down and have lost their trust.
More importantly, I’ve now realized that there are no professional women’s soccer leagues in the US, so if I want to keep playing, the US National Team is it. I really wish I had thought of this before I opened my mouth.
I would like to especially apologize to Greg Ryan and Briana Scurry.
Though a lot more the latter than the former.
There is no excuse for insulting a coach or a teammate.
…even if he’s an idiot and she’s over-the-hill…
My focus now is solely on reconciliation with the team.
…I have realized that if I don’t play with them, I don’t play at all…
I am here to support the team for these games, but after apologizing in person to all my teammates and the coaches, I have made the choice not to suit up for these games since I believe this is the first step in the healing process.
…Better I bench myself than the coach bench me again…
As I work to regain the team’s trust, I will not be making any more public comments at this time.
…I will wait until after the powers that be fire Coach Ryan…
The healing process has started, but I understand that I have a lot of work to do with my teammates and that is my focus moving forward.
I’ll be on Oprah this Friday.