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.

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

  1. Paddy Megroyn says:


  2. JC says:

    Egomaniac. Despise Hope Solo.

  3. Mig22 says:

    Egomaniac. Love Hope Solo.

  4. kpugs says:

    Obviously Brandi is entitled to her own opinions. But she’s TERRIBLE in the booth, in every possible way.

  5. Shark says:

    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.

  6. kpugs says:

    For being 100% correct? “Anyone who knows anything about the game….” If the shoe fits.

  7. Robert says:

    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.

  8. kimo says:

    If the comments against Greg Ryan are false, Ryan had better file a lawsuit … otherwise I’d side with Hope.

  9. Ben says:

    Solo is nuts and I love her for it, but I do doubt Ryan shoved her.

  10. Dman says:


  11. al17 says:

    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.

  12. Tim says:

    JC, totally agree.

  13. Isaac in Tampa says:

    She is a soccer player so a shove to her could have been an accidental brush while close talking to one of us.

  14. Jake says:

    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.

  15. Idaho Brian says:

    Drama Queen…but great goalkeeper.

  16. Isaac says:

    Chastain is entitled to her opinion and it’s not like she was trying to attack the U.S. defense. They were suggestions/ideas.

  17. John says:

    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.

  18. KC says:

    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

  19. Scott says:

    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. ManicMessiah says:

    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.

  21. al17 says:

    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.

  22. Andrew says:

    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.

  23. Ian says:

    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.

  24. David St. Hubbins says:

    Brandi has two things Hope doesn’t have: world cup medal and class

  25. Steve says:

    This. If she were a dude this story would be completely different.

  26. ricecloudnine says:

    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.

  27. Rory says:

    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?

  28. Eurosnob says:

    If you cannot stand people who are sickeningly full of themselves, why do you watch Pierce Morgan’s show?

  29. Adam M. says:

    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.

  30. josh says:

    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…

  31. Dustin says:

    It’s spelled q-u-i-e-t. And Hope Solo is the best female keeper to have ever lived. It’s a fact.

  32. Bobby Moore says:

    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.

  33. Dillon says:

    Except the current generation is not as good or better because they have not won the World Cup.

  34. Cavan says:

    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.

  35. bcoug says:


    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.

  36. Cavan says:

    Like. Don’t care what she tweets as long as she makes the saves.

  37. bryan says:

    lol well it’s entertaining at least.

  38. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    What’s wrong with standing up for your teammate?

  39. The Imperative Voice says:

    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.

  40. CG says:

    link to

    “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.

  41. The Imperative Voice says:

    *Falls on ground and rolls in obvious pain*

  42. Joe says:

    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.

  43. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    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.

  44. bcoug says:

    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.

  45. Chewy says:

    Hope shot first…sorry wrong Solo.

  46. Kris says:

    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.

  47. DirtyLeeds says:

    The Olympics is over, women’s soccer can go away now.

  48. zao[yt says:

    is it me or does Hope Solo seem to behave very pro-SOLO

  49. jya says:

    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

  50. The Imperative Voice says:

    Also at a meta level it’s worth noting that after it became a Solo-Chastain fracas the “but they tied France and looked vulnerable” (tough team, mind you, but you don’t necessarily know that big picture until the tournament plays out more) tighter focus on the team disappeared. That probably gets the team out of the ratchet effect of the press (replaced by Solo), and they ultimately get their results. Sometimes coaches lash out at refs, leagues, opposing teams, or players for the same purpose. The press will come back if the problems persist but in this case she arguably bought her team breathing room by making it personal. And the expression of what everyone else was thinking may have had a unifying effect.

  51. jya says:

    Iker Casillas isn’t crazy or egotistical yet he is among the best. People always say you need to be egotistical to be at the top but several athletes have reached the top without ego’s that are out of proportion in the end skill is what you need to reach the top not a specific personality trait

  52. Tyler says:

    You were watching Piers Morgan and are complaining about someone being full of themselves….

  53. jya says:

    So he either goes through all the hassle of having to lawyer up or Hope is right great logic

  54. Brain Guy says:

    +1. I found Chastain’s commentary sort of vapid and pointless, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary. As to the specific criticism that got Solo so upset, they may or may not have been right, and Solo has every right to disagree, but she did so in an unprofessional and attention-seeking way.

    The accusation about Ryan is of an entirely different, and much more serious, sort. It will be interesting to see what her teammates have to say about that one.

  55. jon says:

    i have no problems with players occassionally taking pokes at the media, but with hope’s comments about chastain, I just didn’t get it. Chastain had a couple of very soft criticisms and then Hope’s tweets were so vitriolic and disproportionate. She’s an egomanical headcase. But a hell of goalie, so it doesn’t really matter. Not buying the book though

  56. Tyler says:

    I don’t buy his argument at all about US Soccer kicking him out. As a Chicago Fire fan, our coach punched our All-Star center back in the face in front of the entire team and the team sent the PLAYER away.

  57. happyjuggler0 says:


    The haters here need to grow up quite frankly. The notion that the media shouldn’t be criticized by the athletes they cover is absurd.

    Oh by the way, she is the greatest female keeper in the world. Period. The people who want to bench her are off the scale nuts!!!

  58. biff says:

    Whatever the truth of the matter is, when the “banned substances” news came out she got a free pass no questions asked and I hope now that she is throwing stones in a glass house that some news reporters finally ask her some very tough questions. As for Ryan accusations, who knows? But I would tend to think that if what she is now alleging is true that she would not have waited five years. I used to be a fan, but you can count me now as a member of the gang who is getting tired of her. Take a good look in those eyes at the picture at the top of this story and tell me what you see.

  59. bcoug says:

    Does that make Chastain or Ryan Gredo?

  60. Judging Amy says:

    I love solo and I love this comment

  61. Judging Amy says:

    Bahhahaa excellent comeback Euro!

  62. Judging Amy says:

    They are definitely better. Watch some of those old women’s games. The level of play is vastly improved now. Except the gap between the US and other teams isn’t as huge.

  63. ricecloudnine says:

    The quality of the teams they are facing in the World Cups has also increased since 1999.

  64. Judging Amy says:

    Agreed. The stodgy self-righteous pedants who seek to crucify athletes for comments made on twitter (freaking twitter) are hilarious to me. Are so many grown ups desperate for role models?

  65. Chris in Des Moines says:

    Except the teams our women are playing now aren’t the patsies the 99 team faced. Any of the semifinalists in this year’s Olympic tournament would have pasted the 99 team. They only look as good as they do because they played against woefully inferior competition.

  66. Artie says:

    But did he ‘physically’ shove her?

  67. marden08 says:

    She is a mess. Ocho cinco of women’s soccer

  68. Judging Amy says:

    “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.”

    I think this will strike a lot of raw nerves but I suspect you are spot on with these comments.

  69. Cesar says:

    Finally some one said it,USA is being playing women sport way before any other country.

  70. Seriously says:


  71. Seriously says:

    Exactly. People should really mind their own damn business. Solo can say whatever she wants and there is no need to be up in arms about it. It doesn’t affect us one bit, but if she isn’t in goal and we lose a game I imagine there would be plenty of people who are emotionally affected by that. People like to have their cake and eat it too though.

  72. Seriously says:


  73. Seriously says:

    You were one too many in your counting. Chastain does not have class.

  74. The Imperative Voice says:

    I have the same feeling about the people criticizing Balotelli, Tevez, and Jones. The mainstreaming of the first two as the season progressed led to Man City’s title as opposed to second place, which is where they were headed when Mancini was being a prig. And as long as Jones can generally stay on a field and avoid suspension, he makes the USA better.

    I say this as someone who got one red card my whole 11-man career, playing physically and letting refs know what I thought. If you know where the line is you’ll usually be alright pushing up to it. Chad Johnson is across the line. etc etc.

    In a realtime mass media culture I think you have a right to push back on bad or inaccurate press. If Solo feels Chastain is being unprofessional, does she have to play by the marquis of queensbury rules herself? Most of the teams I’ve played on that are over-concerned with sportsmanship tend to be defensively soft and mediocre. My college team was a great bunch of guys with little clue how to win a tight game. Sometimes you need a jerk or two willing to do the dirty work, eg, win the ball with a hard tackle in midfield and head it back the other way, rather than waiting for an unforced error like an errant pass or dribble. Klinsi said as much about Jones.

  75. Primoone says:

    Yeah, nothing more in the world I would want than to sit for another 90 minutes of that dipstick screaming like a wicked Banshee everytime there is an exciting play…

    F Brandi

  76. Seriously? says:

    Also agree with JC, she’s a selfish b****, who can’t even handle constructive criticism. Just because she’s a gifted athlete doesn’t mean she’s a good person. If the reason Ryan benched her for was so wrong (and I don’t think it was for her play), then her teammates would have supported her at the time, but they did not.

  77. baldomero123 says:

    Solo is a good keeper that saved us from a possible failure in our pursuit of Olympic gold.
    If DeCicco shoved her 10 years ago, what’s the big deal? Emotions run high in sports… Doesn’t look that she was incapacitated by that shove for a second, though. A big, strong girl. DeCicco was lucky to survive that altercation.
    Chastain and her generation played soccer that looked a little bit more attractive for me, but maybe just because the general level of competition in the female game was lower then. Michele Ackers, though, is still head and shoulders above anybody. But Solo, Lloyd, Morgan, Wambach, Rapinoe would strengthen that team, if this kind of scientific/futuristic experimentation could be imagined.
    If only Chastain was at least half as excitable in the talking booth as she was in a sports bra, I wouldn’t mind her color commentary. But alas! She talks, talks, talks, she pisses in her pants with her enthusiasm, she roots for our girls, and nevertheless, she is still completely vapid, trait and monotonous. She is not a lonely failure in this business and her – and others – deficiencies as a commentator are worth discussion. We wouldn’t have it if not for Solo’s twitter attack, which was predictably devoid of substance and abundantly emotional.

  78. Juan says:

    BINGO… our defense does suck and Canada exposed it.

    Hope has a big mouth and should learn to just shut it sometimes. Brandy is hurting nobody and the team doesnt need Hope to say anything

  79. Dennis says:

    Not DiCicco, Ryan!

  80. Paula says:

    Jeez guys — as if there never existed before Hope Solo an elite athlete who was also burdened with ego.

    I take the good with the bad. She backs up her talk with being the best in her profession.

  81. baldomero123 says:

    My mistake. Thanks.

  82. ben in el cajon says:

    Absolutely, plus, she has the single best name possible in English for a ‘keeper. Seriously, what could be more apt?

  83. Limey says:

    She is very annoying and a complete narcissist. I recommend she speaks less and does more naked photo shoots. Just one man’s opinion!

  84. There's still Hope says:

    I’ve got two daughters and that ostracizing behaviour is very typical with groups of women. Guys throw a punch roll around a little and then it’s over. Girls are more subtle, meaner and far more vindictive.