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Sept. 30, 2007
Ryan wants to return to coach U.S.

Shanghai, China -- With all the speculation on whether U.S. women's coach Greg Ryan would return as coach due to the ongoing controversy, no one bothered to ask him if he wanted to be back and coach the team in next summer's Olympics and beyond.

So, he was asked after the U.S.'s 4-1 victory over Norway in the third-place match.

"Yes, I want to return to coach," he said. "I don't feel like my job has been done with this team."

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said he would determine Ryan's fate soon after the tournament, although he and secretary general Dan Flynn already have begun their review.

Ryan's contract runs through the end of this year.

A few things to remember: Ryan was not hired by Gulati, but his predecessor, Dr. Bob Contiguglia, so there is no loyalty here.

If he decides not to rehire Ryan, Gulati has several directions in which he can turn. Because the Olympics are so close -- only 10 1/2 months away -- he could hire someone with experience in stop-gap situation. One possible andidate would be Tony DiCicco, who guided the U.S. to the 1996 Olympic gold medal and the 1999 world championship.

DiCicco couldn't do more than a year because he has signed on as the new coach of the Boston team in the new women's pro league that is scheduled to begin in 2009.

The other option is more long term -- through the Olympics and next World Cup. One leading candidates would be former U.S. assistant Jillian Ellis, who guides the U.S. women's Under-20 team.

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