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US Women to Play Final World Cup Game Without Top Goalkeeper

The U.S. women's national football team will play it's final Women's World Cup match without one of it's top goalkeepers. VOA's Jim Stevenson reports from Shanghai, where the team is trying to move forward after some controversial remarks.

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo was angry at coach Greg Ryan for not allowing her to play in the semifinal against Brazil on Thursday. She vented her frustration in front of the media following the 4-0 loss.

Ryan had chosen to use Brianna Scurry because of her past success against Brazil. He feels he made the correct decision for that game.

"If you look in hindsight at me and what I have done and at potential mistakes, I think my mistake was not leaving them more in a dual starting role from an earlier period of time," he said. "I think in this World Cup, now seeing how good Bri is, I think we needed two kinds of goalkeepers in this World Cup."

Ryan has removed Solo from the team for the third place game Sunday with Norway. U.S. captain Kristine Lilly says the team had a meeting and agreed with Ryan's move.

"We do what is best for this team," she said. "And what is best for this team is the 20 of us right now. I think with the circumstance that happened and her going public has affected the whole group. And I think having her with us is still a distraction. And I think if we want to put our best front forward against Norway on Sunday, this is the best way the team has to go at it."

Star U.S. forward Abby Wambach says the game with Norway is the immediate focus of the team. She says patching differences with Solo will take a while.

"Hope did come in and apologize," she said. "And it is just going to be a matter of time. We are all humans and we all feel equally on certain subjects. And the forgiveness on our team's hearts will is just going to have to come in time."

After the conclusion of the World Cup, the U.S. women will begin to prepare for another trip to China next year. That is when they play at the Beijing Olympics.