Monday, June 11, 2001
By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
The first-place Charge (5-2-2) and second-place New York Power (4-1-4) will battle it out this Sunday on Father's Day after playing to a 2-2 draw on Mother's Day on May 13. In the first showdown, Tiffeny Milbrett and Kerry Connors each scored within a four-minute span early in the second half to give New York a 2-0 lead. Philadelphia's Rebekah McDowell and Rakel Karvelsson answered with tallies in the 62nd and 80th minutes to force the tie. The third and final meeting between the Charge and Power is set for Monday, July 30 at 7:05 p.m. in Philadelphia.
Off to the European Championships
Defender Doris Fitschen boarded a plane following Sunday's win over Carolina and forward Kelly Smith will be on her way over the next couple of days as the two head back home to join their respective national teams in time for the European Championships. Fitschen's German team and Smith's English side are grouped together with Sweden and Russia for the European Championships, which take place in Germany from June 23-July 7. Norway, Denmark, Italy and France comprise Group B. Fitschen and Smith will miss at least three Charge games and possibly four while they are away.
Fair vs. Fair, Round Two
Bragging rights are still up in the air within the Fair family as Charge midfielder Lorrie Fair will face off against her twin sister Ronnie, a defender for the Power, for the second time on Sunday. Each sibling started in the 2-2 tie back on May 13. Charge defender Jennifer Tietjen already has the upper hand in her rivalry with twin sister Margaret of the San Diego Spirit. Philadelphia captured the first encounter, 2-0, on April 22 and will host the Spirit on July 13.
Charge Among the League Leaders
In addition to Philadelphia's league-best 17 standings points and five wins, the team's 16 goals (1.8 gpg) are tops in the WUSA. The team is also tied for the league lead with three road wins and two home wins. Defensively, the Charge rank third in the league, allowing 10 goals for a 1.1 GAA. Midfielder Liu Ailing has hopped into a tie for fifth place in the WUSA in goals (4) and is tied for sixth in points (9). Goalkeeper Saskia Webber is sixth in the league with 33 saves.
Offense Spread Around
Philadelphia's league-leading 16 goals have come from 10 different players. Chinese midfielder Liu Ailing leads the way with four goals, while Kelly Smith, Mandy Clemens and Laurie Schwoy all collected their second in Sunday's win over the Courage.
The Charge have vaulted into first place despite the fact that five of their first nine matches have been on the road. Philadelphia is 3-0-2 away from home thus far and actually one of three WUSA clubs still unbeaten on the road, joining Atlanta (3-0-1) and New York (3-0-1).
Charge on National TV
Philadelphia will be making its second of three national television appearances on CNN-SI this Sunday at New York. The Charge are 1-0 so far, winning 3-2 in Boston on May 27. CNN-SI will also televise Philadelphia's home match vs. the Atlanta Beat on Sunday, July 1.
After activating forward Kelly Smith and defender Erica Iverson from the injured list prior to the June 3 match vs. Washington, goalkeeper Melissa Moore came off the IL on June 7. Moore had been sidelined due to a broken finger in her right hand since posting a shutout in Philadelphia's season-opening 2-0 win in San Diego on April 22. Goalkeeper Laurie Pells (Hillsborough, N.J.) was returned to the Charge practice squad to make room for Moore.
Through nine games, defenders Doris Fitschen and Jennifer Tietjen are the only Charge players to play all 810 minutes. Defender Heather Mitts is close, playing 806 minutes.
Liu Ailing Wins Second Straight WUSA Player of the Week Award
Midfielder Liu Ailing became the first multiple winner of the WUSA's Player of the Week award on June 5, as the league honored the veteran midfielder for the second straight week. Liu totaled two goals and an assist in two matches during Week Seven as Philadelphia posted a 1-1-0 record. It was the third time a Charge player has been named the WUSA Player of the Week, as forward Kelly Smith captured the league's first-ever award for Week One. No other team has had more than one winner.
Midfielders Michelle Demko and Laurie Schwoy have combined on the game-winning goals in two wins thus far. 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 May 27 at Boston, 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.
Charge Record First Sell-out
Although Philadelphia dropped a hard-fought 2-1 decision to Mia Hamm and the Washington Freedom on June 3, it still was a good day thanks to a capacity crowd of 11,800 fans in attendance. It was the first sell-out for the Charge, who came close during the home opener on May 6 with a total of 11,092.
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.