“I’ve never spent five minutes trying to keep my job, but I’ve spent every waking minute trying to do my job.”
— US Women’s Soccer Coach Greg Ryan, on rumors he might get fired after a controversial choice to pick starting goalkeeper Brianna Scurry instead of Hope Solo for what became a 0-4 rout and upset by Brazil.
Educated risk-taking is a necessity in any meaningful venture. Risk-minimization and focus on preservation rather than gain cannot be the principal modus operandi for any organization or executive. Until the Brazil loss, the US team was on a 51-game winning streak, with Ryan as coach for all but one of those games. As the Associated Press article reports:
Ryan stood by the goalkeeper switch but was still reflecting on it.
“As a coach you’ve always got to be willing to learn,” he said.
“I know I put myself on the line a little bit, or maybe a whole lot,” Ryan added. “But I always put myself on the line to help this team move on in the championship and at the time believed Bri was the right choice. In hindsight you could say maybe it’s an easier decision to do it the other way.”
A former defender in the defunct North American Soccer League, Ryan said he wasn’t worried about losing his job.
“I’ve never spent five minutes trying to keep my job, but I’ve spent every waking minute trying to do my job,” he said. “There are always plenty of critics who say it could be done better, and maybe there’s somebody out there who will do it better.”
— Associated Press, U.S. goal is to resolve dispute in net for game against Norway, 28 September 2007 via ESPN.com.