Scurry picked to stop Brazil

HANGZHOU - Coach Greg Ryan made an unexpected change in goal 24 hours before today's semifinal with Brazil, replacing Hope Solo with 36-year-old veteran Briana Scurry.

HANGZHOU - Coach Greg Ryan made an unexpected change in goal 24 hours before today's semifinal with Brazil, replacing Hope Solo with 36-year-old veteran Briana Scurry.

Ryan announced the change yesterday, catching most everyone by surprise. Solo started in the first four games for the United States in the women's World Cup - three wins and a draw. Ryan said he moved to the veteran because of her unbeaten record against Brazil, and because she has the quick reflexes needed against the tricky, creative Brazilians.

The United States, unbeaten in 51 straight games, are ranked No. 1, but the game against Brazil figures to be as tough as group matches with North Korea - a 2-2 draw - and Sweden, a 2-0 victory.

"The way the Brazilians play in terms of creating off the dribble in the penalty box and making a goalkeeper make reaction type saves, I think Bri is the best goalkeeper in the world in those situations," Ryan said.

Ryan apparently told Solo about the move on Tuesday, although he was not specific.

"We've talked all along," Ryan said. "Hope's been our starter but we knew that Bri would be ready if called upon."

Meanwhile,defending champions Germany stormed into their second successive World Cup final with an impressive 3-0 win over arch-rivals Norway yesterday.

Germany will face either two-time champions the United States or Brazil. - Sapa-AP

X