Sunday, September 21, 2003

St. Ursula's Mitts keeps busy

Soccer star covering World Cup for TV

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Heather Mitts, a 25-year-old St. Ursula grad, was a top defender for the WUSA's Philadelphia Charge.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
Heather Mitts has endured the toughest month of her soccer career - first learning she wouldn't play in the World Cup, then having the WUSA fold. Yet the 25-year-old St. Ursula grad isn't giving up on her sport. How she'll keep busy during the World Cup could be a boon to her post-soccer career.

Mitts, an alternate for the U.S. team, will be the in-studio analyst for ABC and ESPN during the World Cup. Her first broadcast will be at 12:30 p.m. today for the United States-Sweden game.

Mitts is also the co-host of The Tailgate Show, a weekly Eagles pregame show for Philadelphia's Comcast SportsNet, and is in her third year as a color analyst for Southeastern Conference women's soccer on Fox Sports South.

"I've got a lot going on right now; that's the nice thing," Mitts said. "(TV) is what I want to pursue after soccer. I'm taking baby steps right now."

Mitts was a top defender for the WUSA's Philadelphia Charge. She has had three separate stints on the U.S. national team, most recently this spring, but her World Cup hopes dimmed when she broke her right leg in June.

Mitts competed in tryouts in late August and said the final roster spot came down to her and Kylie Bivens. Coach April Heinrichs told Mitts she was left off because of concerns about her leg.

Heinrichs encouraged Mitts to keep training in hopes of making the 2004 Olympic team, so she is looking for a part-time job for the next year. Mitts hopes WUSA could return.

"I can only hope for positive things to come out of this World Cup," Mitts said. "There's still hope future investors will take a look at (the WUSA) and we'll come back. If the U.S. wins it all, it can only do great things for soccer in this country."



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