Sept. 22, 2002
PORTLAND, Ore. - Washington's Abby Wambach tallied two goals and one assist to claim the Hyundai MVP award in the 2002 WUSA All-Star Game at PGE Park in Portland, Ore., on Saturday afternoon. The rookie forward led the South All-Stars to a 6-1 victory over the North All-Stars in front of 14,208 fans.
"I'm very honored," Said Wambach. "To be in the company of such great athletes and great women and be named MVP is special. I think that every person on that field today has so much to contribute to the game of soccer. I feel very fortunate that I am able to play with them."
The North squad jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. Philadelphia's Marinette Pichon, the 2002 WUSA Most Valuable Player, got the North All-Stars on the board after slotting a shot past Carolina goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill.
The South countered, rattling off six straight goals, including both scores by Wambach, and one by former Santa Clara player Kylie Bivens.
San Diego's Shannon MacMillan and Atlanta's Charmaine Hooper each registered a goal and an two assist for the South. Washington's Mia Hamm recorded two assists in the match.
The crowd of 14,208 was the largest crowd at PGE Park since the stadium underwent a $38.5 million renovation in 2000.
The All-Star match consisted of two 40-minute halves. Players from each squad were allowed to reenter the match after being substituted for.
The All-Star Game also marked the return of New York's Tiffeny Milbrett and MacMillan to the Portland area. Both WUSA stars were teammates at the University of Portland.
"For me this was incredibly special," said MacMillan. "Seeing Clive (Charles) on the field, doing the coin toss was very emotional. I owe a lot to the city of Portland and to be able to come here a participate in the WUSA's first All-Star Game was very special and emotional."
"I think when you have a crowd like this and a day like this in the city of Portland makes our job much easier and more enjoyable," said Milbrett. "The city of Portland has a rich soccer history and everybody understands the game. When you have good players and a good product come to town they will come out and watch. Hopefully, they were entertained."
The complete release can be found at www.wusa.com.