Monday, June 25, 2001
By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
The Charge and Atlanta Beat square off for the third and final time this Sunday at Villanova Stadium. The teams played to a 0-0 draw in the first encounter in Atlanta on April 28 as Charge goalkeeper Saskia Webber totaled six saves to record her first shutout of the year. In the rematch on May 24 in Philadelphia, Atlanta's Cindy Parlow and Marci Miller each scored in a 2-0 Beat victory. Atlanta will be a bit shorthanded this time around, as Parlow and Nikki Serlenga will be away with the U.S. National Team, and Miller is out for the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL in her left knee. Canadians Charmaine Hooper, Sharolta Nonen and Amy Walsh are also expected to miss the match as their national team plays the U.S. in an upcoming two-game series.
European Championship Update
Defending champion and host Germany, led by Charge defender Doris Fitschen, opened up the 2001 UEFA European Women's Championship with a 3-1 victory over Sweden on Saturday, June 23. Fitschen, who serves as captain for both the Charge and her national team, started and played all 90 minutes. Charge forward Kelly Smith was unable to start in England's 1-1 tie against Russia on Sunday due to an ankle injury suffered in practice two days earlier. She did come off the bench, however, for the final third of the match. Germany takes on Russia and England plays Sweden this Wednesday, June 27, before Fitschen and Smith have a chance to face off against each other on Saturday, June 30. The European Women's Championship concludes on July 7.
July 1 Game Info
The theme will be Super Soccer Sunday, as all participating teams will get $5 discounts off $20 and $15 tickets. There will also be a special skills competition prior to the match inside the Charge Fan Zone. Sunday will also be Camp Night, as area day and overnight camps receive discounts to take a field trip to the game. The first 7,000 fans in attendance will receive a rally towel, courtesy of Hyundai, while a special collector's poster featuring Charge defender Jennifer Tietjen and Beat forward Cindy Parlow will be handed out courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer's Newspapers in Education program. The Philadelphia Zoo's Zoo on Wheels will also be on display in the Charge Fan Zone and stick around after the match for a laser show, presented by Commerce Bank.
Alternate Alternate Captain
Defender Jennifer Tietjen assumed the role of team captain the last two matches while full-time captain Doris Fitschen was in Germany for the European Women's Championship and alternate captain Lorrie Fair was unable to play due to a strained right hamstring. The first game in New York was extra special for Tietjen since she grew up in nearby Huntington, N.Y., and had numerous family and friends in attendance at the Father's Day game.
Fair Set to Re-Join U.S. National Team
Midfielder Lorrie Fair was among 18 players selected by U.S. Women's National Team head coach April Heinrichs on June 14 to participate in the upcoming Independence Day Series vs. Canada. The two-game match-up will kick off this Saturday, June 30 in Toronto, Ontario and conclude in Blaine, Minn., on Tuesday, July 3. Although she's just 22 years old, Fair already ranks 15th on the U.S. National Team's all-time games played list with 86. She has started 53 matches and recorded seven goals and four assists since
making her debut in February 1996. Fair will miss Sunday's match vs. the Atlanta Beat before re-joining the Charge for a road game against the Carolina Courage on Saturday, July 7.
Charge Among the League Leaders
The Charge currently rank second in the league in goals scored (17, 1.54 gpg) and are tied for fourth in goals allowed (15, 136 gpg). Philadelphia is also tied for the WUSA lead with three road wins and is tied for second with five overall wins. Midfielder Liu Ailing is tied for third place in goals (5) and tied for fourth in points (11). Goalkeeper Saskia Webber is fifth in the league with a 1.33 goals-against average and is tied for sixth with 37 saves.
Charge on National TV
Philadelphia will be playing on national TV for the third and final time this Sunday, as CNN-SI comes to town to televise the pivotal match vs. the Atlanta Beat. The Charge are 1-1-0 in games televised by CNN-SI this season, as they won 3-2 in Boston on May 27 before dropping a 2-1 decision at New York on June 17.
Offense Spread Around
Philadelphia's 17 goals have come from 10 different players. Chinese midfielder Liu Ailing leads the way with five goals, while Kelly Smith, Mandy Clemens and Laurie Schwoy all have two.
The Charge reside in the top half of the WUSA standings despite the fact that seven of their first 11 matches have been on the road. Philadelphia is 3-2-2 away from home thus far and is tied with Washington for the most road games played.
Perfect in Penalty Kicks
The Charge are a perfect 3-for-3 in penalty kicks this season. Defender Doris Fitschen scored Philadelphia's first-ever goal with a penalty kick in San Diego on April 22, midfielder Laurie Schwoy converted an attempt on June 10 vs. Carolina, and midfielder Liu Ailing booted one in on June 17 at New York. Charge opponents are 0-for-1 in penalty kick tries thus far.
Through 11 games, defender Jennifer Tietjen is the only Charge player to play all 990 minutes. Defender Heather Mitts is close, playing 986 minutes. Defender Doris Fitschen had played all 810 minutes over the first nine matches before departing for the European Championship.
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.