May 6, 2001 |
Her coach calls Doris Fitschen the best central defender in the world. But in the world of women's soccer, that distinction hasn't provided Fitschen with much of a living. Playing club soccer in her native Germany, Fitschen earned about $250 a week. If her team won, she said, an extra $50 usually made it into her paycheck. For the first time in an international career that has included two Women's World Cups and an Olympics, Fitschen is playing soccer for pay without the need for a second income.
May 7, 2001 |
No one among the near-sellout crowd of 11,092 seemed to mind that it took the Philadelphia Charge more than 66 minutes to join the carnival atmosphere at Villanova Stadium. Like the area debut of the Women's United Soccer Association, the Charge's offense proved worth the wait. The Charge dominated the game's final 25 minutes to rally for a 3-2 victory yesterday over the Bay Area CyberRays on a perfect day seemingly scripted by Charge management. With fireworks exploding overhead and her teammates basking in a rousing postgame ovation, Charge star Lorrie Fair grabbed a microphone, thanked the enthusiastic crowd and told everyone to keep coming back.
February 17, 2001 |
The Phillies aren't the only local professional team that will be going through spring training. The Philadelphia Charge of the new eight-team Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) will be heading to spring training for a month in San Diego beginning March 1. During that time, the Charge will scrimmage against four other WUSA teams, a team from Bejing, China, and a top women's club team from Southern California. Coach Mark Krikorian says he hopes to take 28 players to San Diego.
June 15, 2001 |
As one of the top goalkeepers in the history of the Archbishop Wood girls' soccer program, Emily Oleksiuk quickly learned the importance of good timing when it came to stopping shots. As she prepares to enter her senior year at Penn State, Oleksiuk realizes that timing in life is equally important. Hers could not be better. "Basically, I'm in the right place at the right time," said Oleksiuk, who is in Chula Vista, Calif., with the U.S. women's under-21 national team. "I grew up playing soccer because, basically, all kids grow up playing it. I never imagined there would be a women's professional league.
April 14, 2001 |
Inside her townhouse in Blue Bell, Liu Ailing laughed as she grabbed the plastic ShopRite bag out of the refrigerator. The bag held some carrots, a head of spinach, a cucumber, a grapefruit. Food that Liu knew she could eat raw. "I bought a lot of food. I didn't know how to cook it," Liu had said of her first expedition to an American supermarket. "I never cooked before. I don't know how to cook. " She pulled some wrapped roast beef from the fridge. She knew she could make a sandwich.
April 15, 2001 |
Until the late 1990s, the great soccer boom among American girls was a lot like Amelia Earhart's plane. Lots of people talked about it, but no one knew where to find it. Soccer officials insisted as many as 8 million girls played, but where was evidence of this popularity? Had anyone seen a women's game on TV? Or mentioned in the sports pages? No mall kiosks hawked Michelle Akers' jerseys. And Mia was just an acronym for "missing in action," which is what big-time soccer was for American girls.
April 30, 2001 |
The Charge remained undefeated and unscored upon during the inaugural season of the Women's United Soccer Association, playing to a scoreless tie with the Atlanta Beat on Saturday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Goalkeeper Saskia Webber registered six saves in her first start to post the shutout for Philadelphia (1-0-1), which opened the year with a 2-0 win in San Diego. Atlanta (0-0-2) also played a scoreless tie against the New York Power. Neither Webber nor Beat goalkeeper Briana Scurry was seriously tested in the first half as the teams combined for just five shots on goal.
August 22, 2002 |
Forward Marinette Pichon, who led the Charge with 14 goals and 29 points in her first year in the Women's United Soccer Association, yesterday was named the league's offensive player of the year. The honor was voted on by WUSA coaches, general managers, players, and selected media representatives. Pichon set Charge single-season records in goals and points and became the franchise's all-time leading scorer. She has twice been named player of the year in her native France.
August 23, 2002 |
Charge forward Marinette Pichon yesterday was named the most valuable player of the Women's United Soccer Association. Pichon, who is in France with her national team, had been named the league's offensive player of the year on Wednesday. New York's Tiffeny Milbrett won both awards last season. "This is a great honor, because the players in the WUSA are the best in the world," Pichon, 26, said. "It's very special to be compared to them. I owe this award to my teammates, but especially to my mom, who has always supported me throughout my life.
April 9, 2002 |
The theme for Year 2 is growth. That means more fans, more TV viewers, more sponsors, and more interest in the Women's United Soccer Association. It also means better competition on the field. The WUSA, which begins its second season Saturday with four games, knows it must take a step forward or risk being labeled a novelty act. Last year, the eight-team league drew an average of 8,104 fans per game, which was 25 percent higher than what it had expected. This year, it wants to see that number go even higher.