U.S. women prepare for second exhibition
PORTLAND, Ore.-- A tumultuous season is almost over for the U.S. women's soccer team.
The United States, which was upset as the favorite in the World Cup amid a goalie controversy, plays Mexico Wednesday night at PGE park.
It the second of three season-ending exhibition games with Mexico, with the final match on Oct. 20 in Albuquerque, N.M.
The United States won the opener 5-1 in St. Louis on Saturday, the first time the squad played since the World Cup, where it lost to Brazil in the semifinals.
"It's been an emotional past couple of weeks," said forward Abby Wambach, who had two goals against Mexico in the opening game. "It was disappointing not to have won the World Cup, but you have to pick up your head and come back because this is why you do it. You can't win every tournament that you play in. All we can do is look forward to the Olympics and train so that we can come home with the gold medal."
The World Cup was where the tumult began. Coach Greg Ryan went with veteran goal keeper Briana Scurry in the game against Brazil -- even though goalie Hope Solo had allowed only two goals in four World Cup games and had a shutout streak of nearly 300 minutes.
Scurry had beaten Brazil two straight times and was in goal in 1999 when the Americans won their last World Cup.
But afterward Solo blasted the coach, saying, "It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that." Solo also said she could have made the saves that Scurry did not.
Solo was dismissed from the team. She rejoined the roster before the game in St. Louis, although she watched from the bench in street clothes -- which she is expected to do in Portland.
Solo also issued an apology.
"There is no excuse for insulting a coach or a teammate. My focus now is solely on reconciliation with the team," she said. "I am here to support the team for these games, but after apologizing in person to all my teammates and the coaches, I have made the choice not to suit up for these games since I believe this is the first step in the healing process."
Scurry was in goal for the first game of the exhibition series. The United States is undefeated in nine matches at home this year.