Philadelphia Charge Week-in-Review
Monday, April 22, 2002
By Greg Wiley
The Philadelphia Charge didn't have a game this past week, but practiced every day expect Sunday in preparation for their next contest this Saturday against the New York Power. The Charge haven't played since their season-opening 2-0 win over the Atlanta Beat at Herndon Stadium.
Kelly Smith and Zhao Lihong each scored in that contest, as Philadelphia improved to 2-0 all-time in season-openers. Melissa Moore needed to make only three saves for the Charge, who are 1-1-2 all-time versus the Beat not including postseason play.
The Charge will next face the New York Power this Saturday, April 27 at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, NY. Philadelphia will have to take the field without midfielder Lorrie Fair and forward Mandy Clemens, however, as both players will be with the U.S. national team in San Jose for the team's game against Finland. Clemens and Fair have been major contributors to the success of the Charge in the club's first two seasons. Clemens had five goals and three assists last year, while Fair has been a steady force in the midfield, scoring one goal and assisting on two others. However, her leadership goes beyond scoring. She adds a defensive presence in the midfield and runs an offense that has some of the most potent players in the league.
New York will also be without one of its stars, as midfielder Tiffeny Milbrett will also be with the U.S. national team. The absence of Milbrett will obviously benefit the Charge, who have had trouble containing last year's WUSA MVP. Of the five goals the Power have scored all-time versus Philadelphia, Milbrett has registered four.
The Charge are 1-1-1 all-time versus the Power, having gone 0-1-1 in the two contests in New York. Former Charge player Laurie Schwoy and current players Clemens, Liu Ailing, Rebekah McDowell and Rakel Karvelsson all had goals for the Charge against the Power last season. However, with Clemens already out and McDowell and Karvelsson injured, Liu may be the only returner who has experienced scoring against the Power.
Saturday's game also mark the first time that Power goalkeeper Saskia Webber will face her former club. Webber was the opening-day starter for the Charge last year, but was traded to the Power in the off-season. Also, Charge forward Kerry Connors will be facing her former club for the first time since being traded to Philadelphia in the pre-season in exchange for Kalli Komholz.
New York is 1-1 this season, coming off an embarrassing 6-1 defeat at the hands of the San Diego Spirit last Saturday. Shannon MacMillon and Zhang Ouying each had two goals for the Spirit, who set a new WUSA mark for goals in a game.
WUSA STANDINGS - April 21, 2002
Note: 3 pts For a win, 1 pt for a tie
GOALS AGAINST AVG.
Charge Like the Month of April
The Charge are building a tradition of playing well in the month of April. Last season, the club was 1-0-1 in the month and after the 2002 season-opening win against Atlanta, the Charge improved to 2-0-1 in April. Philadelphia has outscored its opponents 4-0 over that span as well.
Playing with the Lead
The Charge are a tough team to mount a comeback against, maybe the toughest in the league. After scoring the game's first goal, Philadelphia is 8-1 all-time. The Charge are also 6-0 all-time when carrying a lead into halftime.
The Charge have been able to field some of the best international players in the World in their brief history. As a result, international players have combined to score 21 of the team's 37 all-time goals. Liu Ailing of China is the highest scoring international player in Charge history, scoring 10 goals in the 2001 season. She didn't score in the 2002 season-opener but, combined with fellow countrywoman Zhaoe Lihong, Chinese players have scored 11 of the 21 international goals.
Clemens, Fair Earn Call-up
Forward Mandy Clemens and midfielder Lorrie Fair were named to the U.S. Women's National Team last Wednesday as part of the 18-member roster that will face Finland on April 27 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, CA. Clemens' selection is her first since joining the Charge and, if she plays, will be her fifth appearance with the national team overall. The 23-year-old is poised for a breakout year with Philadelphia, which finished fourth in the WUSA last season. Clemens is one of only three new additions to a roster that played in the Algarve Cup in Portugal at the beginning of March. Already established as one of the WUSA's top players, Fair has 97 career caps with the national team. The 23-year-old Los Altos, CA native has been a fixture on the national club and one of its top players over the last few years. She was the youngest member of the 1999 World Cup championship team and brings a wealth of experience to a young Charge squad. Last season, Fair tallied a goal and two assists while fighting through an injury to assert herself as the team's cog in the middle.
*Doll courtesy of Got Milk?
Get Your Tickets Now!
The Philadelphia Charge are slated to play 11 games at Villanova Stadium this season, which is one more than the club's inaugural campaign. To order your season tickets, Fan/Family Packs, group tickets and/or birthday party packages call the Charge ticket office at 215-467-GOAL. You can also order single game tickets by calling Ticketmaster at 215-336-2000 or 856-338-9000 or 302-984-2000.
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