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Hamm, Scurry Seek Another Title

August 24, 2003|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Mia Hamm and Briana Scurry have won the Women's World Cup together and had Olympic gold medals draped around their necks.

Today, one of them will win the Women's United Soccer Assn. championship for the first time. The other will be disappointed, again.

Hamm's Washington Freedom and Scurry's Atlanta Beat will play at the University of San Diego's Torero Stadium in Founders Cup III to determine the championship of the league that formed in the afterglow of the United States' victory in the 1999 Women's World Cup.

Atlanta lost the first Founders Cup to San Jose on penalty kicks in 2001 and the Freedom lost last year to Carolina.

Hamm, the world's most-recognized women's soccer player, and Scurry, a star goaltender, say that in its own way, winning the Founders Cup would be as prestigious as winning the big international tournaments.

"Each one is special and unique, and this would be right up there," said Hamm, who has done everything in her brilliant career except win the WUSA title. "It's definitely a big deal. This is a league that we all feel a huge part of.

"To be able to win a trophy that as a founding member is named after us, would be a tremendous honor."

The WUSA has a five-month season of 21 games per team, with four of the eight teams reaching the playoffs.

"Winning a World Cup obviously is incredibly difficult, but every week in the WUSA is a very hard game to play," Scurry said. "With the national team, sometimes you play teams that aren't so good and you win 6-0, but that doesn't happen in this league."

Beat Coach Tom Stone said there's a growing cachet to winning the Founders Cup, because "then you're the best among all of the best players in the world, all fighting for the same title."

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