Pichon, Iverson, Tietjen Headline Charge Players on All-WUSA Team
MF Zhao Lihong & D Jenny Benson Named to Second Team
Tuesday, August 22, 2002
By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
Philadelphia Charge forward Marinette Pichon and defenders Erica Iverson and Jen Tietjen were named to the All-WUSA First Team on Wednesday. In addition, midfielder Zhao Lihong and defender Jenny Benson were named to the All-WUSA Second Team. Philadelphia's five total players on both teams were tied for best with Carolina, which had four on the First Team and one on the Second Team. Pichon was also named the league's Offensive Player of the Year Wednesday after leading the Charge with 14 goals and 29 points in just her first year in the league. The Frenchwoman, who also had an assist this season, set Charge single-season records in goals and points and became the franchise's all-time leading scorer.
Iverson and Tietjen, both central defenders, were named to the All-WUSA team for the first time in their careers, helping the Charge hold opponents to a league-best 1.05 goals-against average. The teammates were also finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year, which was awarded on Wednesday to Carolina's Danielle Slaton.
Iverson played in 19 of 21 games, missing one due to suspension and was simply given the night off for the other. She had two goals and committed 18 fouls. The 25-year-old had huge shoes to fill as she replaced the 2001 Defensive Player of the Year in Doris Fitschen in the back line. However, Iverson did a tremendous job and has been rewarded justly.
Tietjen played in a team-best 20 games this season, recording another team-high 1800 minutes played. She sat out the second-to-last game of the regular season, breaking her string of consecutive minutes played from the start of the year. Last year, Tietjen, 24, was a regular in the back four and this year she tallied a goal and had three assists. She committed only seven fouls.
Benson and Zhao are also first-timers on the All-WUSA Second Team. Benson, 24, is in her second year with Philadelphia and earned a National Team call-up midway through the year for her spectacular play as an outside defender. She tallied three assists in 19 games played.
Zhao, the Chinese National Team captain, just finished her first season in the WUSA. She is regarded as one of the best playmakers in the World and showed off those skills with the Charge this season, registering a team-best eight assists. On August 3 at San Diego, Zhao, 27, dazzled the Charge fans at Villanova Stadium by recording three assists in a 3-1 win. The feat marked the first time in Charge history that a player had more than one assist in a single game.
Other awards that were handed out on Wednesday went to Boston for Team Community Service and Fair Play. Boston General Manager Joe Cummings was named Executive of the Year today as well. Charge General Manager Tim Murphy was a finalist for the Executive of the Year award.
Photos by Pedro Cancel & Boog Williams
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