Chock full of info this time, including the showing of SHREK (I can hear Fleets groaning already!)after the final game of the year; and a rundown of each team's prospects for making the playoffs... *** SAN DIEGO SPIRIT WINGS Official Newsletter for San Diego Spirit Season Ticket Holders Volume 1, Issue 8 July 26, 2002 In this issue: The BIG News – v Spirit to Visit Children’s Hospital v Tennis Stars to meet Spirit stars v WUSA Playoff Analysis Match Preview – Washington v Spirit Throw-Ins – v Spirit Notes v US Women Win Personality Plus – Upcoming Promotions! v MOVIE NIGHT WITH THE SPIRIT! v Kick off your season party! Media Watch Next Home Match QUICK GLANCE RECORD: 4-8-4, 16 points, 8th place LAST MATCH: 1-0 win over New York on July 20 LEADING SCORER: Shannon MacMillan, 5 goals, 6 assists, 16 points THE BIG NEWS PLAYERS TO HAVE A MEET & GREET AT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL The Spirit continues their monthly visits to Children’s Hospital & Health Center on Monday, July 29, beginning at 2 p.m. Each month, six Spirit players meet with 15-20 children staying at the hospital to visit, sign autographs, and take photos. SPIRIT AND TENNIS STARS COLLIDE On Tuesday, July 30, the Spirit is partnering up with the Women's Professional Tennis tournament at La Costa Resort and Spa for a cross-promotion. Julie Foudy, Shannon MacMillan and San D. Panda (scheduled to appear) will be on the court during the tennis matches that night. They will partner up with two tennis players and play “soccer tennis” on the court. Then Julie will be presenting a check (courtesy of the Pacific Women's Sports Foundation) to an underprivileged youth soccer team. Tennis matches get started at 6:30 p.m and usually go until 10:30 p.m. The Spirit players are slated to be on the court at approximately 8 p.m. Spirit fans who bring their ticket stub from the July 14 Spirit game to the Tennis Tournament on July 30, will receive the group discount rate at the tennis tournament. AN ANALYSIS OF THE WUSA TEAMS AND THEIR PLAYOFF CHANCES PHILADELPHIA: Look for the Charge to essentially lock up a playoff berth Wednesday evening when New York visits. Theoretically San Jose could win a tiebreaker against the Charge since the two clubs still meet two more times this season. It’s not a question of if, but when the Charge will clinch. Philadelphia has six games remaining to secure three points. The big question is, “Can the Charge win the WUSA regular season title?” Philadelphia actually needs a six-point swing to clinch at least second place. Remaining opponents’ record – 30-48-19. Remaining Charge games (18 points possible) Home Road New York – 7/24 Boston – 7/27 San Diego – 8/3 San Jose – 7/31 San Jose – 8/7 Atlanta – 8/10 CAROLINA: Carolina should clinch soon, as the Courage has five games remaining to secure four points. Going 0-3 against Philadelphia this season hurt the Courage’s chances of winning the regular season title, but games against New York and San Diego in the final week of play could propel Marcia McDermott’s club into first place. Carolina’s 5-1-2 road record remains the best in the WUSA. Remaining opponents’ record – 26-39-14. Remaining Courage Games (15 points possible) Home Road Washington – 7/31 Atlanta – 7/27 San Jose – 8/3 New York – 8/7 San Diego – 8/11 WASHINGTON: Jim Gabarra’s club pulled off a major victory at San Jose on Sunday, giving Washington the tiebreaker over the CyberRays. With the exception of a July 31 date at Carolina, the Freedom’s remaining schedule is favorable as only two matches are on the road. The August 4 match against Atlanta at RFK could decide Washington’s fate. Remaining opponents’ record – 28-39-14. Remaining Freedom Games (15 points possible) Home Road Boston – 7/24 Carolina – 7/31 San Diego – 7/27 New York – 8/10 Atlanta – 8/4 ATLANTA: The Beat has five games remaining, including three at home. However, two of those home matches are against Philadelphia and Carolina, the league’s top two teams. Atlanta is on a roll, having scored seven goals in the club’s last two games – both victories. Remaining opponents’ record – 35-24-19. Remaining Beat Games (15 points possible) Home Road Carolina – 7/27 San Diego – 7/31 San Diego – 8/7 Washington – 8/4 Philadelphia – 8/10 SAN JOSE: The CyberRays should fair well in their matches against New York and Boston (depending on the Breakers playoff status on Aug. 10), but two games against Philadelphia and one match against Carolina make it tough. Although San Jose is 0-2-1 against the Charge and Courage in 2002, the CyberRays have performed well against the league’s top two clubs. Remaining opponents’ record – 36-26-17. Remaining CyberRays Games (15 points possible) Home Road New York – 7/27 Carolina – 8/3 Philadelphia – 7/31 Philadelphia – 8/7 Boston Breakers – 8/10 BOSTON: With matches against Washington and San Jose remaining, the Breakers have a shot at the postseason. Three of the club’s remaining four games are at home, where Boston is 3-0-4 at Nickerson Field. However, the Breakers only have four matches remaining where every other WUSA team has five or six. Boston can only finish in third or fourth place. Remaining opponents’ record – 25-25-9. Remaining Breakers Games (12 points possible) Home Road Philadelphia – 7/27 Washington – 7/24 New York – 8/4 San Jose – 8/10 SAN DIEGO: The Spirit has the potential to make a run similar to last year’s 3-0-3 finish, but San Diego has an extremely tough schedule on the horizon. Will the Spirit team that went 1-0-1 against Philadelphia show up? Remaining opponents’ record – 32-23-13. Remaining Spirit Games (15 points possible) Home Road Atlanta – 7/31 Washington – 7/27 Carolina – 8/11 Philadelphia – 8/3 Atlanta – 8/7 NEW YORK: New York has five games remaining, but the Power has already been eliminated from WUSA Playoff contention. *********************************************************************** MATCH PREVIEW Saturday, July 27, 2002 San Diego Spirit (4-8-4, 16 pts.) at Washington Freedom (7-5-4, 25 pts.) – 1:00 p.m. (PT) PAX TV (National Broadcast) (Season Series: Washington leads 2-0-0) (All-time Series History: Series tied 2-2-1) June 15 was the last time these two teams battled it out. The Freedom, paced by two Abby Wambach goals, and handed San Diego its worst-ever loss in a 4-0 shutout at RFK Stadium. The Freedom had previously defeated the Spirit 3-0 on May 5 in San Diego. San Diego will look to win back-to-back road games for the first time this season. Key Players to Watch: The Spirit’s Scottish international, Julie Fleeting (2g, 1a, 5 pts.) has made an immediate impact. In just three games, Fleeting has already tallied five points. This past weekend she scored the game-winner against New York in the 90th minute. Shannon MacMillan (5g, 2a, 12 pts. – 12th among WUSA scoring leaders) returns to the Spirit’s offense after playing with the national team against Norway this past weekend. “Mac Attack” returns with a total of 11 points in 12 games. MacMillan has equaled her assist total from last season, but it will be tough to equal her 12 goals in 20 games from last year. Washington’s Mia Hamm (4g, 1a, 9 pts.) and Abby Wambach (7g, 5a, 19 pts. – 10th among WUSA scoring leaders) return to the Freedom offense after a weekend of national team play. Hamm will continue to push her team toward the playoffs as the Freedom has gone 5-1-1 since the striker’s return (June 12). Key Matchup: (San Diego forward Julie Fleeting versus Washington defender Jennifer Grubb) - Fleeting has had a tremendous start to her career in the WUSA and will look to continue her streak against defender Grubb. Although Fleeting possesses great skills, she will have to rely on her teammates help to get past Grubb. In turn, Grubb will have to do the same as Fleeting has the great ability to evade defenders. The “Inside Scoop”: Washington has outscored the Spirit 7-0 in the two previous meetings this season. The Freedom is undefeated in its last three matches (as of July 22). San Diego won its first road game of the season on July 20. The Spirit will be looking to put together back-to-back road wins for the first time this season. San Diego will be looking for its first goal of the season series as San Diego will try to prevent from being shut out in a season series for the first time in team history. Will Washington playing on two full days rest be a factor? They Said it: “San Diego has loads of experience and the hottest goal scorer in the world last year in (Shannon) MacMillan. I felt last year (Shannon) Boxx was the best defensive midfielder in the league and allowed (Julie) Foudy to be more creative.” – Washington Freedom Head Coach Jim Gabarra on San Diego. THROW-INS SPIRIT NOTES….A goal by Scottish star Julie Fleeting in the 90th minute kept the Spirit’s playoff hopes alive as San Diego defeated New York 1-0 on Saturday, July 20 … Fleeting has scored two goals and an assist in three matches since arriving in the United States … Her 1.67 points per game ranks third in the WUSA … San Diego is 1-0-2 lifetime when its national team players are not available…Shannon Boxx missed her first game in team history while serving a red card suspension … She had played in a club record 36 consecutive games … San Diego played without 48 percent of its goal scoring on July 20 with Boxx, Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy and Shannon MacMillan out of the lineup … Kim Pickup became the third player in team history to wear the captain’s armband on July 20, Foudy and Boxx are the other two …Carly Smolak made her second consecutive start in goal for the 2002 season and her third career on Saturday … Both Zhang Ouying and MacMillan are riding three-game point-scoring streaks … San Diego is ranked seventh in both team offense (1.50 goals per game) and team defense (2.06 goals per game) … San Diego’s shutout of New York was the first time since May 19 that the Spirit has held an opponent scoreless … The victory this past weekend was San Diego’s first road win of the 2002 season. U.S. WOMEN PROVE SKEPTICS WRONG WITH 4-0 WIN OVER NORWAY The U.S. women's national soccer team put forth a dominating effort in the stifling heat and humidity, scoring three goals in the first half and adding another in the final minute of play on the way to a 4-0 win over arch-rival Norway on July 21 in Blaine, Minn. WUSA stars Cindy Parlow (two goals), Tiffeny Milbrett and Mia Hamm scored to lead the Americans. A total of 20 WUSA players (16 Americans, 4 Norwegians) saw action. The U.S. women will now return to their WUSA clubs and will not regroup again to play for their country until September, looking toward the 2002 Nike U.S. Women's Cup. CONCACAF qualifying for the 2003 Women's World Cup will take place from October 27 to November 9 at four venues on the west coast of the United States. PERSONALITY PLUS: #6 LORI LINDSEY Motto: “It is the little things that matter.” Pre-game Ritual: She puts everything on her right leg first. Best part of being a soccer player: The teammates and friendships. Biggest Pet-peeve: When reading a magazine, the subscription card falls out. Won’t eat: Liver. Favorite Snack: Yogurt & granola. UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: MOVIE NIGHT WITH THE SPIRIT…August 11th! The team has a special treat planned for FANS after the final home game on August 11th. At the conclusion of the game on August 11th, fans will be invited down onto the field to enjoy the showing of "SHREK", the movie, on the video-board. So, be sure to bring friends and family, AND A BLANKET for MOVIE NIGHT WITH THE SPIRIT. Get your game tickets today for this special occasion!" KICK-OFF YOUR SEASON PARTY ON AUGUST 11th! Youth teams are invited to celebrate the beginning of their club season in grand fashion with the Spirit on August 11th when the team takes on Carolina. The Kick-off package includes: v specially priced tickets v a fundraising opportunity v participation in a team parade on the field at Torero Stadium v video board and p.a. acknowledgement v AND a team photo on the field Plus, the club that purchases the largest block of tickets receives an exclusive post-game meet and greet with members of the team! MEDIA WATCH 7/26- XTRA Sports 690 – Mac & Cheese Show with John Kentera, 9 p.m. 7/27- PAX TV – SPIRIT v FREEDOM, 1 p.m., live 7/27- KSDO 1130 Inside Soccer – Match Review, 4 p.m. The July edition of Channel 4 San Diego’s “In the Spirit with Julie Foudy” premiered on Friday, July 5. This month’s installment of the Spirit’s magazine show features a piece on Shauna Rohbock and bobsledder Jill Bakken, an interview with Margaret Tietjen and her twin sister Jennifer, the bowling exploits of the team and staff at the Sunset Bowl, and the Spirit running the annual Rock n’ Roll Marathon. The show will air at various times throughout the month of July on Channel 4 San Diego. NEXT HOME MATCH: BITTER RIVALS ATLANTA VISIT TORERO FOR FINAL TIME On Wednesday, July 31, 7:00 p.m. PT, Charmaine Hooper and the Atlanta Beat return to Torero Stadium to challenge the Spirit. The Spirit’s only mid-week home game of the season features the team’s first “Corporate Night” event. The Spirit is inviting local corporations and businesses out to a pre-game mixer, which includes complimentary beer, wine, soda and snacks. The happy hour will be from 5:30 – 7: 00 p.m., with the game set to kick off 7.00 p.m. Ticket prices have been set for $15 per person with a minimum of 15 people per group. The category III ticket is regularly priced at $12. Each ticket holder will receive a free team poster and will be entered into a drawing for door prizes to be raffled off throughout the event. FOLLOW THE SPIRIT ON THE INTERNET AT sandiegospirit.com WATCH THE SPIRIT ON CH 4 SAN DIEGO and PAX TV THANK YOU FOR BEING A SEASON TICKET HOLDER!