David Hirshey says Greg Ryan's decision to drop Hope Solo for "the 136-year-old Brinna Scurry" was right out of the Grady Little playbook. For those of you who aren't baseball fans, Grady Little was the Boston Red Sox manager whose decision to not take out ace pitcher Pedro Martinez late in Game 7 of the 2003 American League championships earned him the wrath of long-suffering Sox fans. Whether Ryan suffers the same fate as Little remains to be seen. (Boston didn't renew Little's contract.)
For all the talk of Solo vs. Scurry, the fact is, it probably won't have mattered if Peter Cech or Gianluigi Buffon was in goal against Brazil on Thursday. No one could have stopped Marta's Houdini-like goal. One thing's for sure, though. For all the talk of the U.S. women (unbeaten in 50 games under Ryan) moving on after the retirement of their long-serving stars, they could have used Mrs. Garciaparra up front or the bullhorn leadership of Julie Foudy when Shannon Boxx was sent off.