ATLANTA BEAT NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release THE ATLANTA BEAT HONORS TOP PERFORMERS AT POST SEASON AWARDS BANQUET --Hooper, Julie and Nancy Augustyniak, Sawa and Sun Wen Among Recipients of Team Awards-- ATLANTA (August 27, 2002) - Charmaine Hooper took home Most Valuable Player honors for the second straight year, as the Beat put a close on the 2002 season at the second annual Atlanta Beat Awards Dinner Monday night. Awards given at last night's event included 2002 MVP, Offensive MVP, Defensive MVP, the Coach's Award and the Kennedy Award. Players and coaches voted for each award recipient. Hooper was awarded the 2002 Most Valuable Player on Monday night for the second time. She led the Beat in scoring for the second straight season with 11 goals and three assists for 25 points. Hooper also led the WUSA in game winning goals in 2002 with six and has 10 for her career. She is tied for 3rd all-time in the WUSA in points scored with 52 and is 2nd all-time in goals scored with 23. Homare Sawa was awarded the team's Most Valuable Offensive Player for the 2002 season. Sawa is highly regarded as one of the best playmakers in the league and in 2002 the numbers proved so, as she notched seven goals and six assists for 20 points. With seven goals, she more than doubled her goal total from last season (3). With six assists, she tripled her assist total from 2001 and more than doubled her point total. She was named to the All-WUSA first team in 2002, had a three game goal scoring streak and recorded a team high of five points off two goals and an assist in Atlanta's game versus the Spirit on July 31. The team's Most Valuable Defensive Player award went to Nancy Augustyniak. During the 2002 season Nancy battled through injury early on and then adjusted to a position change, moving from right marking back into the center of the defense. She played in 19 regular season matches, starting 17 and playing 1,525 minutes. The Beat's other Augustyniak, Julie, received the Coach's Award, presented to one player that gave her all and exemplified hard work and determination. In 2002 Julie stepped up as one of the Beat's most consistent performers. She finished the 2002 regular season having played in 20 games, starting 18 and playing in 1,628 minutes. In 2001 Julie played in only 10 games, starting five and playing only 532 minutes. The Kennedy Award, named in honor of Jim Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of Cox Enterprises, Inc., and a WUSA investor, was given to forward Sun Wen. The award honors the player that most embodies competitive spirit through adversity. Sun Wen suffered through an injury plagued 2001 season, but came back to Atlanta in 2002 and provided the Beat with some valuable minutes and goals. In 2002 Sun Wen played in 18 games and started 10. She notched only one regular season goal in 2001, but came back this year to score four in the regular season. The Beat finished the 2002 regular season in 4th place with a record of 11-9-1 and 34 points. The Beat qualified for the playoffs for the second straight season, but fell to the WUSA Champions the Carolina Courage 2-1 in overtime of the WUSA semifinals. The Beat became the first WUSA team to reach 20 wins and has recorded the most wins in the two seasons of the WUSA with 21. Located in downtown Atlanta, just three blocks from the Georgia Dome, fan-friendly Herndon Stadium will be home to the Atlanta Beat again in 2003. Season ticket packages for the 2003 season are now available and can be purchased by calling 1-877-SOCCER-1. For more information about the Atlanta Beat, log onto www.theatlantabeat.com.