Charge's Pichon Named WUSA's Most Valuable Player
Frenchwoman Adds MVP to Growing Trophy Case
Thursday, August 22, 2002
By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
One day after being named the WUSA Offensive Player of the Year, Philadelphia Charge forward Marinette Pichon was honored as the league's 2002 Most Valuable Player on Thursday. Pichon, who is currently in France with her national team, became the second consecutive WUSA player to capture both awards. New York's Tiffeny Milbrett also accomplished the feat in the inaugural campaign.
"This is a great honor because the players in the WUSA are the best in the world," Pichon 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."
Pichon led 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.
Pichon is training with the French National Team as her country prepares to take on Denmark this Friday in a World Cup qualifier. She had to make a number of trips across the Atlantic this season, as she played for both the Charge and her National Team.
The 5-foot-3 striker from Saint Memmie, France, who finished fourth in the WUSA in scoring, was the only Philadelphia player to finish among the league's top 20 scorers.
The 26-year-old didn't record her first goal until the third game of the season. However, during one span she scored 11 of the Charge's 14 goals in seven games she appeared in, recording three two-goal games and one hat trick over that span.
A two-time WUSA Player of the Week, Pichon recorded the league's fourth-ever hat trick on July 7. In addition, her 1.61 points per game ranked fourth in the league. The WUSA Player of the Month for June recorded six goals in five games during the month to lead the Charge to a 3-0-3 record.
Prior to coming to the WUSA, Pichon was a standout for OL Saint Memmie in her hometown. She recorded 22 goals and five assists in 12 games for her club team in 2001. Scoring 150 goals during her club career in France, Pichon led the F.F.F. (Federation Francaise de Football) in scoring four times. She was also a member of OL Saint Memmie championship squad in 1994-95.
The Most Valuable Player Award is awarded to the player judged to have had the greatest impact on her team's performance during the WUSA regular season. The MVP is a player who performed at a high level for her team, game after game. WUSA coaches, general managers, players and members of the media voted for the 2002 WUSA Most Valuable Player.
Photos by Pedro Cancel
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