Tuesday, May 29, 2001
By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
The Charge square off with Mia Hamm and the Washington Freedom twice this week in a home-and-home series. Thursday's match in Washington will air locally on CN8 TV at 7:05 p.m., while Sunday's home match will be televised by Comcast SportsNet at 7:05 p.m. Joining Hamm on the talented Freedom roster are U.S. National Team goalkeeper Siri Mullinix, Brazilian stars Pretinha and Roseli, and midfielder Anne Makinen from Finland. Pretinha shares the league lead in goals (4) and points (9). The Charge and Freedom meet for the third and final time on Thursday, July 26 at 7:05 p.m. in Washington.
June 3 Game Info
The first 5,000 fans at this Sunday's match will receive a free Got Milk poster of either Lorrie Fair or Saskia Webber, courtesy of the American Dairy Association. A special collector's poster featuring Charge defender Heather Mitts and Washington forward Mia Hamm will be handed out courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer's Newspapers In Education program.
After a 10-day layoff, the Charge are in the middle of a stretch where they play four games in 11 days. The run began on May 24 with a 2-0 home loss to the first-place Atlanta Beat before an exciting 3-2 triumph in Boston on May 27. The stretch continues this week with a home-and-home series with the Washington Freedom on Thursday (in Washington) and Sunday (in Philadelphia).
Philadelphia and Washington enter this week's play with identical 3-1-2 records and are tied for second place in the WUSA with 11 standings points, just one point behind front-running Atlanta. The Charge and Freedom have each allowed eight goals through six games (1.3 GAA) to tie for third in the league. Philadelphia is tied with Boston for the most goals scored (10, 1.7 gpg), but Washington is right behind with nine (1.5).
Liu Loves Boston
Liu Ailing was the star of Sunday's 3-2 victory in Boston as she scored two goals, including a brilliant 35-yard blast into the upper right corner of the net. It was Liu's first match in the area since July 4, 1999, when she also scored twice for China in a 5-0 win over Norway in the 1999 Women's World Cup Semifinals.
Offense Spread Around
Philadelphia's league-leading 10 goals have come from nine different players. Chinese midfielder Liu Ailing assumed the team lead with a pair of tallies in Sunday's 3-2 win in Boston.
The Charge have achieved their second-place standing despite the fact that four of their first six matches have been on the road. Philadelphia is 2-0-2 away from home thus far and actually one of four WUSA clubs still unbeaten on the road, joining Atlanta (3-0-0), Boston (2-0-2) and New York (1-0-1).
Midfielders Michelle Demko and Laurie Schwoy have combined on the game-winning goals in Philadelphia's last two wins. Both goals were headers off of corner kicks. In the Charge's home opener vs. Bay Area on May 6, Schwoy received a corner from Lorrie Fair and headed it on goal, where Demko was able to leap and flick it past CyberRays goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene for a 3-2 victory. On Sunday, Demko delivered a corner kick in the 83rd minute of play. The ball made its way through the box and bounced to Schwoy, who easily headed it in for another 3-2 triumph.
Through six games, defenders Doris Fitschen and Jennifer Tietjen are the only Charge players to play all 540 minutes. Defender Heather Mitts is close, playing 536 minutes.
Smith Out 4-6 Weeks with Stress Fracture in Right Foot The Charge learned prior to their home opener that forward Kelly Smith will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks due to a stress fracture on the outside of her right ankle. Smith, a member of England's National Team since the age of 16, had captured the first-ever WUSA Player of the Week award after scoring a goal and setting up another in Philadelphia's season-opening 2-0 win in San Diego.
Moore Out 4-6 Weeks with Broken Bone in Hand Goalkeeper Melissa Moore, who posted the shutout in Philadelphia's season-opening victory in San Diego, fractured the fourth metacarpal in her right hand in practice and will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. Moore began training camp with the San Diego Spirit and was claimed off waivers by Philadelphia on March 30. Goalkeeper Laurie Pells (Hillsborough, N.J.) was activated from the practice squad to take Moore's roster spot.
There have been some changes for game times since the original Charge schedule was released, including this Sunday's home game vs. Mia Hamm and the Washington Freedom that was moved from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Please check www.philadelphiacharge.com for the official schedule.
Individual game tickets for Charge home games at the 11,800-seat Villanova Stadium are $20, $15 and $10. Tickets can be purchased at the First Union Center box office and all Ticketmaster locations, or by calling 215-467-GOAL or the Ticketmaster number in your area: 215-336-2000, 856-338-9000 or 302-984-2000. Fans can also find a ticket request form on the team's official web site at www.philadelphiacharge.com. Discounts are offered for groups of 15 or more and children 12 and under on the $20 and $15 seats. Season tickets, which are priced at $300, $150 and $100, are also still available.