Hope Solo‘s former coach is denying the claim she made in her new book that he shoved her during a meeting at the 2007 World Cup.
The former US women’s national soccer team coach, who is now the Michigan women’s soccer coach, Greg Ryan, stated on Tuesday, according to ESPN, that:
“This allegation is completely false. I did not shove or push Hope as I’ve been accused in her book. I would have been terminated immediately by USA 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.”
Solo’s coach continued speaking about the US goalkeeper, saying:
“Hope was disappointed that I benched her for the semifinals, but it was the right move for the team. It was discussed with team leaders, and they stood by my decision.”
Hope Solo was benched before the 2007 World cup semifinals and the team used Briana Scurry instead in a game the US lost to Brazil 4-0. After the match, Solo publicly criticized the coach, which her book claims led to her dismissal from the World cup team.
Yahoo! Sports notes that the allegations made in her new book Solo: A Memoir of Hope are diverting the public’s attention away from the US women’s gold at the London Olympics. The passage from Solo’s book that mentions her claim about her coach reads:
“We were both silent. I had nothing left to say so I stood up to leave. Greg leaned over and pushed me back down on the couch. Hard. ‘You f***ing leave when I say you can leave,’ he said.”
It is interesting that the claim of Hope Solo’s former coach assaulting her was not brought to the attention of the US Soccer Federation, considering how serious the accusation is. Her defense, however, is that someone witnessed the exchange, and she felt she didn’t have very many friend in the national team at that time.
As a way of introducing Greg Ryan in her new book, Solo writes, “If I had made a list of all the people I thought might coach the national team, Greg Ryan would probably have been dead last.” She added that teammates Abby Wambach and current captain Christie Rampone were among the players who forced her to apologize to fellow goalkeeper Scurry. The apology was deemed “insincere,” and the players suspended her from all team activities.
Considering the weight of the accusations, it’s probably best that the new autobiography accusing Hope Solo’s coach of shoving her, and her teammates of treating her disrespectfully, came out after the Olympics were over.