"Without Time For a Pit Stop, Forward Tiffeny Milbrett Powers Her Way to WUSA MVP Honors"
A monthly feature about a U.S. Men’s, Women’s or Youth National Team player from the U.S. Soccer Communications Department.
This month, we turn the big spotlight on all 5 feet 2 inches of superstar U.S. Women’s National Team forward and WUSA Most Valuable Player Tiffeny Milbrett. Like many young and successful professional athletes, Tiffeny Milbrett owns two cars. And like many who love their cars, they reflect the owner in many ways.
The first, a jet-black 2001 Chevrolet S10 4x4 pickup truck, which Milbrett received for being named the 2000 U.S. Soccer Chevrolet Female Player of the Year. (She upgraded from a four-door. Not her style). The truck represents the ruggedness of the five-foot-two Milbrett, who despite her small stature, has scored 86 career international goals, good for sixth best in world history. It also represents the outdoors woman and adventurer that she is, a small-town Oregon girl who loves nature and travel, and who spent a good part of three years of her life in Japan playing professional soccer.
Her other car is a gleaming, silver 2000 Audi S4 sports car is unique, sleek and does zero-to-60 in nothing flat. With 275 horsepower, it darts past other cars, takes curves like it was on rails and looks good doing it. It can go as fast as 165 miles an hour (Note to Oregon Highway Patrol: Tiffeny has never taken it that fast, as far as you know).
Milbrett drives it like she plays, at a few gears higher than the rest, and hell-bent to get where she is going, which is usually the goal, a journey that is almost always successful.
"The Audi is stupid fast, stupid powerful, it has six gears and that's all the power you need or could dream of having, unless you drive in the Indy Racing League," said Milbrett. "The truck is mean-looking and gives you a sense of superiority on the road. It is basically my fun car. I never expected to get a car from Chevrolet, but when I had to move to New York for the WUSA, the truck worked perfectly. I wanted to have fun with the truck. I added all the extras."
For her Chevy, Milbrett opted for the leather seats, tinted windows, chrome step-ups (which she needs to get into the monster), chrome custom wheels and a bed liner for the back. In short, like her, the truck has all the tools to dominate.
Milbrett had a fantastic inaugural WUSA campaign and almost single-handedly led the New York Power into the playoffs.
Due to her outstanding season, she now carries a new and perhaps unfamiliar title: World's Best Female Player. Milbrett was anointed the new "WBFP" after dominating a league that featured the best forwards, and defenders, in the world. Milbrett torched the WUSA with 16 goals, four more than anyone else. She made the Power a threat in every game with her running downhill, stop-me-if-you-can, turbo-boost dribbling style. A clinical finisher, she scored from all different angles and places on the field, earning league MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors as well as a place on the WUSA Global 11 First-Team.
"I was just able to play 100 percent of my game this season," said Milbrett. "It was very important for me to have that opportunity because it allowed me on any given day to do what was most important for my team. Whether it was passing, dribbling or scoring, I feel the best of my game comes out when I have that freedom. The season was a success not because of the honors or the goals, but because I was myself out there."
Milbrett has been terrorizing international defenses for years and ranks fourth on the all-time U.S. list in scoring. At 28 and in her prime, Milbrett has a good chance to not only reach 100 career goals, but perhaps even catch Elisabetta Vignotto of Italy (107 career goals) to cement her place alongside Mia Hamm as one of the greatest international scorers in women’s soccer history.
"I have a long way to go to reach those milestones," said Milbrett. "The national team is not going to be playing as many games as in the past, but I know I am going to take it one game at a time and try to make an impact every time I'm out there."
But whether she is riding low on the road in her sports car, or high up in the cab of her truck, Milbrett is definitely leading the way towards the next challenges that face the U.S. Women's National Team -- the 2003 Women's World Cup in China and the 2004 Olympics in Greece. An impact player in world championships throughout her career, the U.S. team will be well served to hop into Milbrett's car and let her drive them to another world title.
"Center Circle" (October 2001, Inaugural Issue)
In this Inaugural Issue of U.S. Soccer's new monthly fan newsletter / e-zine, you'll find the items listed below. Some will return next month, others will be entirely fresh for November.
1) Armchair Midfielder (MLS Playoffs)
2) Word Association (w/ MNT defender Jeff Agoos)
3) At the Movies (w/ U-17 MNT defenders Chris Lancos and Gray Griffin)
4) Queries and Anecdotes (w/ WNT midfielder Julie Foudy)
5) Big Woman on Campus (w/ WNT/U-21 WNT midfielder Aleisha Cramer)
6) Superstar!!! (w/ WNT forward Tiffeny Milbrett)
7) Mark That Calendar (2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup)
8) Point-Counterpoint (w/ journalists Jere Longman and Steve Davis)
9) From the Bleachers (w/ PHILIPS chant contest winner Randal Bird)
10) "You Don't Know Jack (Marshall)" (U.S. Open Cup history)