Women's Soccer USA

Coverage of women's soccer in the US. If it's not here...it's not important...

May 05, 2008

Greg "The tough guy" Ryan

Prior to the 2003 World Cup, Ryan was tasked by head coach April Heinrichs to travel the globe to scout upcoming World Cup opponents. He remained as Heinrichs' assistant through the 2004 Athens Olympics, and adopted the role, he said, of being "the hard guy on the staff."

"Mia Hamm, Brandi (Chastain), some of the others, they needed a good kick in the pants, and I was more than happy to be that person," he said.
Ryan added that many star players had changed after the 1999 World Cup, a victory punctuated memorably by Chastain, who peeled off her jersey following her penalty kick in the championship match.
"I think they started enjoying the spoils of what they had done," Ryan said. "It seemed that they were more interested in the photo shoot than in actually coming to training and working hard, or showing up for the games and playing hard."
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"I'm very proud of the fact that the team lost one game in three years," Ryan said. "We got hammered in that game by Brazil, but I feel like a lot of good things happened during that three years. Number one, changing the culture of that team from one of players that were just entitled, who felt like they could run the show and run the coaches, to putting it back in the right perspective where they understand they're players and the coach is the coach. It became a healthier environment."

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