In the highlights I saw from the United States vs. North Korea match early this morning, there seemed to be some dicey goalkeeping going on, especially from Hope Solo.
Solo has a combination of size and agility that allows her to make more reaction saves and challenge in the air with greater success than most keepers in the women's game. According to ESPN's special section on the Women's World Cup, her biggest weaknesses in the past have been lapses in concentration or miscommunication with her back line.
I'm curious what the soccer community thinks -- do you like Solo in the net or the longtime national team keeper, Briana Scurry?
I like having Hope Solo in net. However, that's not a commentary on her skill as a keeper.
I would hope that a clean sheet against a very dangerous England squad would put the doubts on hold. Good defense starts much further up the field and as the USA's midfielders have exerted more control over the matches, the defending will benefit.
No sooner did I write this post do I read on Soccernet that they've benched Solo for the semi-final against Brazil. Oh dear.
Solo did seem to be more of a commanding prescence in general against England. England's keeper was the one with the mishaps--misreading a long ball and having it bounce over her head for an easy tap in for Lilly.
I, too, just read that Coach Ryan is making adjustments to prepare for the upcoming game by replacing Solo with veteran Briana Scurry with the hope that Scurry's "reaction type" saves will keep Brazil at bay.
Do you think she will keep Brazil at bay?
Marta makes me nervous. But I must admit, I just feel better with Scurry in goal. I hope she comes through tomorrow with some big saves.
I didn't see the game but evidently putting Scurry in didn't do the trick. Was it problems with her or was there communication problems with her defense. Above that was the knock on Solo. Maybe it's the back line with the problem, not either goalie. I relly don't know and am only asking for information and discussion purposes.
Michael S. Taylor
There were problems all over the pitch. But certainly there was a lack of communication on the OG. There were no yellow jerseys around and the defender still tried to head it out. Unfortunately she put it into the net, but that should have been the keeper's ball.
I think it was a little bit of both. Here's a recap of the highlights to check it out:
How about Marta's touch there for their fourth goal? Amazing.
Not in this video, but there was an unfortunate call on Boxx to give her a second yellow card resulting in the red to bring the U.S. down to 10 players. Boxx was running in front of the Brazilian player and their feet clipped each other while running. It was more of a mutual, accidental trip. That definitely doesn't help going up against a crafty Brazilian team.
But I think we lose that game with either keeper in the net and with all eleven players.
I watched the clip of the yellow card and it looked like the other player thought she was getting the card. It looked like she tripped herself on the back of the US player. I don't know if the official didn't get a good look and just saw the player go down but it was a suspect yellow.
Michael S. Taylor
Check out my blog post about the USA goalkeeping controversy: Loss of Hope: Did Solo go too far?
Do you think Hope Solo went too far? So far that not practicing or suiting up for the 3rd place match was warrented?
First, I think that Ryan's decision to sit Solo was WAY wrong. However, he is the coach and has a lot more information that I do. Once a coach makes a decision, if you don't agree, take it behind close doors. Going public with comments like Solo's shows a lack of support for the team. I've seen this kind of thing take a team apart real fast. Short answer: Ryan's decision to sit Solo for the Brazil match: WRONG. Ryan's decision to exclude Solo from the Norway match: RIGHT.