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Sep 28, 2007

U.S. goalie Solo apologizes on her Web site

United States goalkeeper Hope Solo has posted an apology on her MySpace Web site for criticizing teammate Briana Scurry in postgame comments after the team's Women's World Cup semifinal loss to Brazil.

"I have felt compelled to clear the air regarding many of my postgame comments on Thursday night. I am not proud or happy the way things have come out," reads a statement attributed to Solo on her MySpace page. "In my eyes there is no justification to put down a teammate. That is not what I was doing."

Solo, who had never faced Brazil, hadn't yielded a goal in almost 300 minutes in the tournament. But Scurry, who started for the 1999 World Cup winners, got the call from coach Greg Ryan even though she hadn't played a full match in three months. Brazil, sparked by two goals by Marta, routed the U.S. 4-0.

After the game, Solo sharply questioned Ryan's decision, and in doing so, made comments that seemed to criticize Scurry.

"There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves," Solo said. "You have to live in the present. And you can't live by big names. You can't live in the past."

On Friday, Solo said while she still doubts Ryan's strategy, she did not mean to hurt Scurry.

"Although I stand strong in everything I said, the true disheartening moment for me was realizing it could look as though I was taking a direct shot at my own teammate," Solo said, according to the Web site. "I would never throw such a low blow. Never."

"I only wanted to speak of my own abilities yet also recognize that the past is the past. Things were taken out of context, or analyzed differently from my true meaning of my own words," she said, according to the Web site. "For that I am sorry. I hope everybody will come to know I have a deep respect for this team and for Bri."

Earlier Friday, Ryan said there are "always opportunities for reconciliation."

"This has only just happened. We'll work to try to get past this hurdle," he said.
U.S. Goalie Controversy
• Hope Solo speaks out ESPN Video
• Greg Ryan responds ESPN Video
• Did Solo cross the line? ESPN Video

The loss ended a 51-game undefeated streak for the U.S. with all but one of those matches under Ryan. His move caught many by surprise and was viewed with skepticism. He said Friday he could live with his move, but suggested Solo had broken an unwritten team code by speaking out openly.

"Players have the right to say whatever they want to say," Ryan said. "You want to go out in front of everybody and stand together."

"I do know that the players are concerned," Ryan said. "But, you know, I don't want to comment on their reaction."

Ryan also said the team's code "has always been the players always supported one other."

Ryan said he had not decided who will start in Sunday's third-place game against Norway.

Ryan also said he was not concerned about his job security in the wake of his strategy -- and the U.S.'s subsequent loss.

"I never spent five minutes trying to keep my job, but I spend every waking moment trying to do my job," Ryan said.

"There will always be critics who say it could be done better, and maybe there's somebody out there who will do it better. But like I said I never worry about that. I'm not trying to keep something, I'm just trying to do something."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.