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Mitts Puts TV Gig on Hold For Chance at Olympic Run

After the WUSA suspended operations, like many players, former Philadelphia Charge star Heather Mitts was ready to jump back into the "real world," perhaps working in a field that didn’t involve chasing down speed burners like Mia Hamm and Tiffany Milbrett and banging bodies with Germany’s Birgit Prinz and Canada’s Christine Latham. After playing to solid reviews as a studio commentator on ABC and ESPN’s coverage of the 2003 Women’s World Cup, Mitts was approached by Philadelphia’s WCAU Channel 10, the NBC affiliate in the "City of Brotherly Love" and landed a job as a co-host of "The 10 Show," which appropriately airs daily at 10 a.m. on channel 10 after the Today Show. On the fun, laid back morning show, Mitts interviewed Joe Millionaire winner Zora and rock ‘N roll legend Chubby Checker among others, as she trained to anchor the sports on the evening news. Little did she know that she would soon become the story.

Mitts, who has five caps, kept herself fit and had an ever watchful eye on the soccer field. In fact, she had written into her contract that if U.S. head coach April Heinrichs called, she could go. Well, Heinrichs called, and she went, and now the speedy defender is vying for a spot on the Four Nations Tournament team that will play in China at the end of the month, and a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team.

"They were very supportive and understanding of me going after my dreams," said Mitts of her co-workers at WCAU, several of whom actually visited the U.S. training session today all the way from Philly to interview her and other U.S. players. "They didn’t think I would leave this soon, they thought maybe I would leave in April, but the time was now. I had made a lot of progress and I learned a little more each day, but I have a lot more to learn about the TV business. Whenever I get an extended time off, I plan to go back. They are great people."