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Greg Ryan

Personal information
Date of birthJanuary 21, 1957(age 60)
Place of birthFrankfurt, Germany, United States
Playing positionDefender

     Home | Football | Greg Ryan

Greg Ryan (born January 21, 1957 in Germany) is a retired German-American soccer defender who played professionally in the North American Soccer League and Major Indoor Soccer League. He was the head coach of the United States women's national soccer team from 2005 to 2007. He was previously the head coach at University of Wisconsin Madison, Southern Methodist University, and Colorado College, and was an assistant with the national team.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Ryan grew up in Dallas, Texas where he attended the Southern Methodist University from 1975 to 1978. He played on the men's soccer team, earning first team All American honors his senior year.

The Minnesota Kicks of the North American Soccer League drafted Ryan in 1978. However, he played only one game for the team before it traded him to the Tulsa Roughnecks. The Roughnecks then traded Ryan to the New York Cosmos. Ryan finished the 1979 season with the Cosmos. They then traded Ryan to the Chicago Sting in the offseason. He remained with the Sting until the end of the NASL after the 1984 season. However, he played no games with the team in 1983. Ryan won two NASL championships as the Sting took both the 1981 and 1984 titles.

In 1983, Ryan entered the coaching ranks, while still playing, when he served as an assistant coach with Colorado College men's soccer team. Ryan retired from playing after the first [Major Indoor Soccer League|MISL]] season of the Sting in 1985 and moved to the University of Wisconsin Madison where he coached in various capacities until 1993. In 1991, he was named the women's college coach of the year. In 1996, he moved to Southern Methodist University where he compiled a 37-21-5 record as the women's soccer coach. In 1999, he moved back to Colorado College. He coached the women's team until 2002, taking the team to a 40-28-6 record. That year he signed as an assistant coach with the U.S. Women's National Team. In 2005, he replaced April Heinrichs as head coach.

The national team finished first in first-round group play in the 2007 Women's World Cup held in China. In the quarterfinals, the team defeated England 3-0. Heading into the semifinal match against Brazil, Ryan decided to bench regular goalkeeper Hope Solo in favor of veteran goalkeeper Briana Scurry. The team subsequently lost to Brazil 0-4 (the worst defeat in the team's history) and Ryan received considerable criticism for the sudden lineup change as well as defensive-minded substitutions made when the team arguably needed more offensive players to compete against the Brazilians. On Monday October 22, 2007 U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced that Ryan's contract would not be extended past its December 31, 2007 expiration date. Ryan was 45-1-9 from 2005 to 2007.

Ryan accepted the position of head coach for the University of Michigan women’s soccer team on Feb. 1, 2008. He became the second head coach in the program’s 14-year history. After the team posted losing seasons in his first two years at the helm, the Michigan women's team qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2010 but lost in the first round. Through three seasons, Ryan's record at Michigan in 20-24-14.

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