WUSA.com Host: Welcome to tonight’s WUSA chat with Heather Mitts. Welcome, Heather, thanks for spending some time with us.
Heather Mitts: Thanks. I’m happy to be here.
From Andy in Seattle: In your opinion, who is the unsung hero of the Philadelphia Charge? By this, I mean a player who has not received much attention from the press, but someone who is critical to the success of the team.
Heather Mitts: I think Laurie Schwoy and Jen Tietjen are the unsung heroes. I think that when Laurie is healthy and on the field, she makes a huge impact. I look to her every time I get the ball. I think that Jen has done a wonderful job being converted to the center back position. It’s something she hasn’t played before. I consider her one of the strongest defenders on the team.
From Sara in New Bern, N.C.: If you had one week off from everything where would you go?
Heather Mitts: I think I would head to a warmer weather location such as California, Arizona or Florida.
WUSA.com Host: From Kate from NJ: What was the first thing you did when you found out you made the WNT and later the WUSA?
Heather Mitts: That’s an interesting one. I guess I called my parents. I didn’t know how the draft would go and that I would be picked as high as I was. I was kind of in shock. The first thing I did was call my parents to let them know the good news.
From Brad: Heather, if a playoff game ends in a tie, do you think we’ll have sudden death overtime?
Heather Mitts: Yes, I do definitely. We’ve had this discussion before. In college we had sudden death overtimes; we never had ties. In the playoffs one team will have to win and one team will have to lose so they’re going to have to have sudden death overtimes.
From Kritter: I know you’re a pro athlete, so you’re supposed to eat right. What is the one “guilty pleasure,” something you’re not supposed to eat, that you can’t resist?
Heather Mitts: Ice cream! I love ice cream. Today after practice my roommate and I were furniture shopping at Ikea and we both gave in and had ice cream. It’s my downfall.
From Sasha in Pennington, N.J.: Do you like cats or dogs?
Heather Mitts: I definitely have to say that I’m a dog person. I was going to buy a dog in the off-season but it didn’t pan out. I’m trying to decide what breed I will get when I have enough time to buy a dog.
From Darcy in San Jose, Calif.: What kinds of music do you like, and what do you think of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Eminem?
Heather Mitts: Well, I like just about anything from Country to Hip-Hop. I think that Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Eminem are great artists. I like them all.
From Kritter: Did you look up to any athletes when you were growing up? Is it weird having people look up to you in that way now?
Heather Mitts: I always had my role models. In high school there was a girl that was a senior when I was a freshman. I looked up to her. I thought she was a fantastic player. And then once I got to college, Danielle Fotopoulos was someone that I looked up to because not only was she a great player but she was also a very inspirational leader. And obviously I look up to all the members of the National Team because they’ve worked so hard to be at that level. Obviously that’s something that one day I would like to do. I think it’s great. It’s something important to me. I just hope that the children can look up to me in the same way that I looked up to my role models.
From pepsigirl: Heather, I am a big fan of the WUSA. I just wanted to know if the players could be traded from team to team. If they can does it happen during the season? Thank you. Good luck in this season!
Heather Mitts: Yes, players can be traded up until July 1 and then the rosters are set for the rest of the year. There has already been one trade that I know of.
From JohnT13: How do you think the WUSA will help the women’s Olympic program?
Heather Mitts: I think that it broadens the pool. It allows April Heinrichs to maybe see players that she hasn’t had the opportunity to see play before. And obviously playing against the best players in the world and the US National Team players will only make players like myself better.
From Kate from N.J.: Do you have any pet peeves?
Heather Mitts: Yeah, I do. Actually there was one last night — people who chew gum with their mouths open. Lorrie Fair and I actually experienced another one today — people who cut you off and then drive slow. And of course, messy roommates. That’s not good.
From Paul in Philly: Heather, the question we Charge season ticket holders and fans need to know is how’s the general health of the team and has the time off been helpful in getting you guys back to full strength?
Heather Mitts: The turf isn’t helping much but the time off will definitely help with the injuries. We had a great practice today after four days off. We’re looking forward to this weekend trying to bounce back after two unfortunate losses.
From Sammy in Colorado Springs, Colo.: Has any moment in soccer compared to scoring the winning goal against Carolina? If so, what was it?
Heather Mitts: Hmmm. I think that my first game in the WUSA was something very special to me. But winning the national championship is something that I’ll never forget either. It’s kind of interesting.
From fonzie: Why isn’t there an All-Star game midway through the season?
Heather Mitts: I think that there would be next year but since this is the first season, they probably wanted to wait.
From torimk: I recently met Laurie Pells one of your goalkeepers and I was wondering if you think she will play any this season
Heather Mitts: I think Laurie is a great goalkeeper. Everyday in practice she goes out there and gives it her all. But because she’s a reserve player, the only way she’ll get playing time is if one of our goalkeepers gets injured.
From fonzie: Heather talk about your relationship with the international players on the team. Do some of them feel homesick?
Heather Mitts: The relationship with the international players on our team is outstanding. Kelly Smith is from England so there isn’t much of a barrier there. Doris Fitschen knew a lot of English so that wasn’t difficult either. She’s outstanding. She’s been playing soccer since she was 16 — she’s 34 now. So she’s brought a lot of experience to our team. At first we had a tough time communicating with Liu Ailing and I believe that she was homesick. But now she’s going to an English tutor 3 times a week and can hold a conversation with all of us. I think her personality has definitely come out. I want to say that I think our team gets along beautifully. The fact that they are from foreign countries hasn’t made things difficult. It’s been really enjoyable.
From JohnT13: Hi from Atlantic City NJ. We saw you last night on a local commercial for the Charge. Did you like doing the commercial? Would you like to do more? By the way you looked great!
Heather Mitts: Thank you. I had a great time doing the commercial. It was a lot of fun. Sure, I’d love to do more if I had the opportunity.
From Kate from N.J.: What was your major in college?
Heather Mitts: Advertising. I just graduated in the fall of 2000.
From ccliff: Who do you see as the danger teams for the second half of the season?
Heather Mitts: I think that if Bay Area plays like they played against us on Wednesday, they’ll definitely be a contender. I think that San Diego is turning things around. Obviously I think that if NY and DC keep playing the way they have been, they’ll have great success at the end of the year.
From Kritter: Is there anything you would like to see go differently in the second half of the season?
Heather Mitts: I wish that we didn’t have as many injuries. If that were the case then we could have 11 starters game after game.
From Melissa in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Hey Heather! How are you adapting to your new life as a pro soccer player? Do you have time to still do other things that you love? Thanks!
Heather Mitts: I’m adapting very well. I love Philadelphia. I never thought I would like it as much as I do. I definitely still find time to do the things I like to do.
From pepsigirl: Was Philly your first choice team when you got to list where you would like to play?
Heather Mitts: I initially wanted to be in a place that was warmer but it all worked out well in the end because I ended up really liking Philly.
From Paul: Thanks – We Philly fans don’t throw snowballs at Santa Claus and boo Destiny’s Child at halftime of the NBA finals all the time.
Heather Mitts: I was at the game when they did that! I didn’t boo.
From fonzie: Ok, seriously. How much film do you study on other teams? Do you ever study film of your opponents?
Heather Mitts: A lot. Hours and hours a week. Our coaches are up all hours of the night trying to review games and compile clips for us on our play — the things we have done well in previous games. Also they try to give us a rundown of our upcoming opponent.
From A guest: Who is your best friend on the Charge?
Heather Mitts: I would have to say my roommate, Lorrie Fair. It’s kind of funny because we always knew of each other in college but had never actually met. I actually knew her twin sister, Ronnie, first. We get along beautifully. I never had a roommate that I never fight with — even about stupid stuff. She’s a great friend too and I’m just lucky to be on the same team with her.
From Gator_Fan: What would give you more pleasure, shutting down Mia or fellow Gator Fotop [Danielle Fotopoulos]?
Heather Mitts: I’d have to say Mia. It’s different because I always want to see my former Gator teammates do well. Obviously I wouldn’t want them to score on us but I want to see them do well.
From Kate from N.J.: Where do you see yourself in 30 years?
Heather Mitts: Oh yikes! I’d like to have a really successful career here in the WUSA. After that hopefully I’ll figure out what I’d like to do as far as another career is concerned. I’d definitely like to get married and have a couple of kids.
From fonzie: Where do you see yourself in 30 minutes?
Heather Mitts: Wouldn’t you like to know!
WUSA.com Host: Well that’s all the time we have tonight with Heather Mitts. Thanks for joining us, Heather and good luck with the rest of the season.
Heather Mitts: Thanks you guys!