When Greg Ryan benched Hope Solo to play Briana Scurry in Women's World Cup semi-final game against Brazil, he showed that he is clueless about coaching women. In a way he was lucky that Hope Solo diverted attention from his coaching with her blow-up after the loss, but yesterday the US Soccer powers announced that his contract will be allowed to expire. (A good summary of events was written by Steve Davis for ESPNsoccernet.)
I want to put my vote for Julie Foudy even though I haven't seen her name mentioned. I totally agreed with what she said during the coverage of the World Cup, but the main reason is that I think she should be the next coach is that her years as captain of the team give her a proven track record as a team leader. Tony DiCicco was a great coach, but he has already committed to coaching a team in the new professional league that is scheduled to launch in 2009. The team needs to move forward without losing sight of its unique tradition as a team-player's team.
Many fans may not realize that former coach April Heinrichs was a star and team captain of the US Team that won the first Women's World Cup that was played in China in 1991. Therefore, I would argue that being a team captain at this high level is a proven training ground.
Some critics seem to think that the team should throw away its past completely, but I think that Foudy symbolizes what made that 1999 team so special. They were not just great players but they stuck together. I can imagine any of them pulling a stunt like Hope Solo's. Its not like she was the first player ever to get benched by bad coaching.
Foudy understands the Women's game as well as anyone out there. Plus, she has the kind of creditability that only an ex-player can bring to the team