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WUSA team-by-team

By RODNEY PAGE

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 8, 2001


Atlanta Beat

COACH: Tom Stone (former All-American at Duke; coached the W-League's Denver Diamonds and was color analyst for MLS club Colorado Rapids.)

STAR POWER: G Briana Scurry will be remembered mainly for her shutout against China in the 1999 Women's World Cup final. She played every minute of every game in the '99 tournament and was named to the World Cup All-Star team. She played at Massachusetts and was named the NCAA's top goalkeeper in 1993.

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: F Cindy Parlow (member of U.S. national team and a star at North Carolina); F Sun Wen (top pick in WUSA draft, a 10-year member of the Chinese national team and FIFA's "Co-player of the Century"); M Homare Sawa (captain of the Japanese national team).

NICKNAME: Created by the WUSA after an informal survey of team employees and fans. According to general manager Lynn Morgan: "The Atlanta Beat captures the vibrant personality of our city."

STADIUM: Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field at Georgia Tech University (capacity 46,000).

FUN FACT: The Beat features players from four national teams, including Wen, the top overall pick in the draft.

WEB SITE: www.theatlantabeat.com

Boston Breakers

COACH: Jay Hoffman (staff coach with U.S. Soccer Federation since 1992; assistant with the women's U.S. national team from 1998-2000).

STAR POWER: M Kristine Lilly is the only person to have more than 200 international appearances. She is third all-time in U.S. women's history with 81 goals. Lilly was a member of the 1991 and '99 World Cup champions and the Olympic gold-medal team in '96.

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: D Kate Sobrero (played in five World Cup matches and 21 overall in 1999; at 22, was the youngest U.S. starter in the World Cup); F Robin Confer (three-time all-state at Clearwater Central Catholic; had her jersey retired at North Carolina; has eight appearances for U.S. national team); F Dagny Mellgren (has 34 appearances for the Norwegian national team; scored winning goal in a 3-2 victory over USA in the 2000 Olympic Games).

NICKNAME: Comes from the waves seen off the Atlantic coast. Mascot is a harbor seal.

STADIUM: Nickerson Field, Boston University (6,500).

QUOTE: "It's going to be a riot to see everyone and be like, "Hey, good luck,' and then just want to kill them on the field." -- Sobrero.

WEB SITE: www.bostonbreakers.com

Carolina Courage

COACH: Marcia McDermott (coached Northwestern, 1994-2000; also coached at Maryland and Arkansas).

STAR POWER: D Carla Overbeck was captain of the U.S. national team, 1993-2000. She played every minute of every game in the 1995 and '99 World Cups and the '96 Olympics.

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: F Danielle Fotopoulus (NCAA's all-time leading scorer with 118 goals at Florida; played in 17 national team matches in 1999); D Wen Lirong (Courage's first pick in the draft, sixth overall; member of Chinese national team since 1991).

NICKNAME: Selected by the franchise and WUSA. Team president Jerome Ramsey: "We chose the name Courage because it embodies what this team is all about. In order to get here they needed plenty of courage."

STADIUM: Fetzer Field, Chapel Hill, N.C. (capacity 5,700).

FUN FACT: Raleigh-Durham was not one of the original eight franchise cities. Orlando was unable to secure a stadium, so the franchise moved to North Carolina.

WEB SITE: www.carolinacourage.com

New York Power

COACH: Pat Farmer (coached at Penn State, 1994-2000, was 123-34-8 and won three Big Ten championships).

STAR POWER: F Tiffeny Milbrett was the U.S. national team's leading scorer in 1999 with 21 goals and 12 assists in 27 games.

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: D Sara Whalen (member of U.S. national team since 1997; played in 18 games in 1999); G Gao Hong (member of Chinese national team since 1989; shut out USA in the 1996 Olympics).

NICKNAME: Chosen by the team's front office and features the catch phrase "Get emPOWERed."

STADIUM: Mitchel Athletic Complex, Long Island (capacity 10,000).

FUN FACT: Milbrett was named female athlete of the year by U.S. Soccer.

WEB SITE: www.newyorkpower.net

Philadelphia Charge

COACH: Mark Krikorian (last coached at the University of Hartford, where he led the team to four NCAA Tournaments).

STAR POWER: Defensive midfielder Lorrie Fair has 85 appearances with the U.S. national team through 2000. At 20, she was the youngest member of the 1999 World Cup team and played in four of six matches.

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: M Liu Ailing (starter on Chinese national team since 1987; considered one of best central midfielders in the world); F Mandy Clemens (joined U.S. national team in 1999 and has four appearances).

NICKNAME: Selected in a name-the-team contest. The C on the logo is the same used by Comcast Cable, which owns the team.

STADIUM: Villanova Stadium (capacity 11,800).

FUN FACT: The Charge has one of the youngest teams in WUSA with an average age of just more than 22.

WEB SITE: www.philadelphiacharge.com

San Diego Spirit

COACH: Carlos Juarez (men's and women's coach at Cal Poly Pomona for four years before joining WUSA).

STAR POWER: M Julie Foudy is a co-captain and 13-year member of the U.S. national team, appearing in 196 matches. She was a four-time All-American at Stanford.

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: D Joy Fawcett (played every minute of 1995 and '99 World Cup and '96 and 2000 Olympics); M/F Shannon MacMillian (reserve for USA at '99 World Cup, but started five games in the 2000 Olympics); G Ulrika Karlsson (member of Swedish national team since 1995).

NICKNAME: Selected by the team's front office. It's a take off on the St. Louis Spirit.

STADIUM: Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego (capacity 4,000).

QUOTE: "It's awesome just to be out here," -- Foudy.

WEB SITE: www.sandiegospirit.com

San Francisco Bay Area CyberRays

COACH: Ian Sawyers (was western regional coach of the Olympic Development Program; also coached the Sacramento Storm of the W-League and Stanford).

STAR POWER: D Brandi Chastain is most known for her penalty kick that beat China in the 1999 World Cup final. She played in the 1991 and '99 World Cups and the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: M Tisha Venturini (played in '95 and '99 World Cups; was a three-time All-American at North Carolina); F Katia (member of Brazilian national team since 1995); M Sissi (member of Brazilian national team; scored seven goals in '99 World Cup).

NICKNAME: CyberRays are mythical creatures. It combines Cyber, which has to do with the bay area's computer and electronics industry, with the menacing Pacific Electric Ray found in the Atlantic Ocean.

STADIUM: Spartan Stadium (26,000).

FUN FACT: Eight CyberRays have World Cup experience and 12 have made at least one international appearance.

WEB SITE: bayareacyberrays.com

Washington Freedom

COACH: Jim Gabarra (former U.S. national team member; assistant coach at Navy before joining the Freedom).

STAR POWER: F Mia Hamm is likely the most recognizable female soccer player in the world. She has 114 career goals, the all-time record in men's or women's international play. Hamm has played on the national team since 1991 and was a standout at North Carolina. She scored in a 5-0 exhibition win Friday over the University of Maryland in her first action since shoulder surgery.

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: G Siri Mullinix (reserve for the 1999 World Cup); F Pretinha (played in three World Cup matches for Brazil); F Roseli (Brazilian national team member).

NICKNAME: Selected by the league, Freedom was chosen for its affiliation with the nation's capital.

STADIUM: RFK Stadium (26,000 for soccer).

FUN FACT: The Freedom will share RFK with D.C. United of the MLS until it moves into a soccer specific stadium next season.

WEB SITE: www.washingtonfreedom.com -- Compiled by Rodney Page.

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