Pichon Highlights Five Charge Players Selected to All-Star Team
Reigning MVP Joined by Fair, Benson, Moore and Tietjen
Wednesday, September 4, 2002
By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
Philadelphia Charge players Marinette Pichon, Lorrie Fair, Jenny Benson, Melissa Moore and Jen Tietjen were all named as starters for the inaugural WUSA All-Star Game that will be held Saturday, September 21 at PGE Park in Portland, Oregon at 4:00 p.m. ET. The format for the WUSA All-Star Game will feature the North All-Stars vs. the South All-Stars, as the best players from the WUSA's eight teams will be split into two squads. The North team will feature players from the Boston Breakers, New York Power, Charge and San Jose CyberRays, while the South will consist of athletes from the Atlanta Beat, Carolina Courage, San Diego Spirit and Washington Freedom.
Fans made up one block of voting to select the 11 starters for the North and South All-Star squads. The other three blocks that voted on the starting lineups were WUSA players, coaches/GMs and members of the media. Each voting block consists of 25 percent of the vote.
Five additional reserve players will be announced on Monday, September 9. The two All-Star head coaches, in conjunction with WUSA Commissioner Tony DiCicco, will select the reserve players.
Pichon, who won the league MVP award and Offensive Player of the Year honors, finished the 2002 regular season as the Charge's leader in both goals and points. Her 14 goals were good enough for second in the league, while her 29 points ranked her in a tie for third. Those totals were also single-season bests for the Charge and make her the team's all-time points leader. In addition, her 1.61 points per game ranked fourth in the league. 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 was a two-time WUSA Player of the Week and was named the Player of the Month for June. During one span she scored 11 of the Charge's 14 goals over seven games she appeared in, recording three two-goal games and one hat trick over that span.
Fair, 24, who had five assists this season for the Charge, was a leader in the midfield. Her tremendous athletic ability, coupled with her high fitness level made her one of the most reliable players on the Philadelphia roster. Through two years with the Charge, the US National Team regular has one goal and seven assists.
Benson was selected as one of three starting defenders, capping off a fabulous season. The 24-year-old out of Nebraska was also selected to the Second-Team All-WUSA squad for her efforts this past year. She didn't score a goal, but her playmaking ability as an attacking defender earned her three assists and a shot to make the US National Team.
Benson and Fair along with teammates Heather Mitts and Stacey Tullock are currently training with the US Women's National Team in preparation of this Sunday's contest against Scotland in Columbus, OH.
Tietjen was a First-Team All-WUSA selection along with Pichon and fellow defender Erica Iverson. Tietjen, who captained the squad when Kelly Smith went down for the season with a knee injury, had a goal and three assists for a career-best five points. She played every minute of every game except one and was a leader on and off the field for the Charge, helping Philadelphia hold its opponents to a league-low 22 goals, only 11.9 shots per game and a miniscule 5.5 shots on goal during the 21-game regular season.
Moore, who was a finalist for Goalkeeper of the Year, was leading or at the top of every goalkeeping category all season. She finished the year with a league-best 1.00 goals-against average and posted 11 wins. She was second in save percentage (78.2) and first in winning percentage (70.0). She was claimed off waivers from the San Diego Spirit prior to 2001 and has become one of the success stories of the WUSA.
The WUSA's inaugural All-Star Game, presented by Hyundai, will have a World Cup flavor as 13 of the 22 starters competed at the historic Women's World Cup in 1999.
Headlining the list for the South All-Stars is Washington's Mia Hamm, San Diego's Julie Foudy and 2002 WUSA Defensive Player of the Year Danielle Slaton of the Carolina Courage. San Jose's Brandi Chastain, New York's Tiffeny Milbret along with Philadelphia's contingent lead the North squad. Carolina and Philadelphia each placed five players on the starting lineups, while San Jose has four starters. Washington (3 players), San Diego (2), Atlanta (1), Boston (1) and New York (1) round out the starting lineups.
WUSA ALL-STAR starting lineups
SOUTH ALL-STAR TEAM
GK Kristin Luckenbill (CAR)
DEF Danielle Slaton (CAR)
DEF Jennifer Grubb (WAS)
DEF Joy Fawcett (SD)
MID Hege Riise (CAR)
MID Tiffany Roberts (CAR)
MID Homare Sawa (ATL)
MID Julie Foudy (SD)
F Mia Hamm (WAS)
F Birgit Prinz (CAR)
F Abby Wambach (WAS)
NORTH ALL-STAR TEAM
GK Melissa Moore (PHI)
DEF Brandi Chastain (SJ)
DEF Jenny Benson (PHI)
DEF Jennifer Tietjen (PHI)
MID Kristine Lilly (BOS)
MID Lorrie Fair (PHI)
MID Sissi (SJ)
MID Tisha Venturini-Hoch (SJ)
F Katia (SJ)
F Marinette Pichon (PHI)
F Tiffeny Milbrett (NY)
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