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Greg Ryan denies Hope Solo's claim he shoved her

  • ESPN.com, Wednesday, August 15, 2012 3:40 PM

Greg Ryan, who was coach of the U.S. women's team during the 2007 Women's World Cup where he benched goalkeeper Hope Solo, is refuting allegations Solo made in her new book about Ryan shoving her during a meeting at the 2007 World Cup.

"This allegation is completely false," Ryan said in a statement released Tuesday. "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.

"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."

Ryan, who was replaced by Pia Sundhage after the USA's third-place finish at the 2007 World Cup, currently coaches the University of Michigan's women's team.

Solo, in her new book, "Solo, A Memoir of Hope," describes a meeting in her hotel room after Ryan told her she was being benched for the Brazil game in 2007: "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****** leave when I saw you can leave,' he said."

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