SI: Is there any feeling better than hitting the back of the net?
Milbrett: Yeah, but we want this to be G-rated.
SI: You've been the U.S.'s leading goal scorer at the last two
World Cups, and you're the WUSA's alltime leading scorer. Why
aren't we seeing you hawking Gatorade and Coke?
Milbrett: Because I'm five-foot-two [laughs].
SI: Your mother named you after a cat she saw listed in the
classifieds. So whatever happened to that cat?
Milbrett: I have no idea. But I really hope it was adopted and
put in a loving home.
SI: At the 2000 Olympics, you engaged in a shouting match with
antiglobalization protesters who derided you for wearing Nike
shoes. Did the Swoosh throw you any extra money for your efforts?
Milbrett: [laughs] No, but they did bail me out of jail.
SI: Tell us how to make soccer a better television sport.
Milbrett: It's not about making soccer a TV sport. It's about
making people soccer fans. What people have to understand is that
you play 45 minutes straight and then you have a break. Then you
play 45 minutes straight again. It's not meant to be a sport
broken up by timeouts or TV commercials.
SI: Can the WUSA survive long-term?
Milbrett: Absolutely. It's going to take a lot of people being
persistent and being able to withstand hard times. It'll be a
tough road, but we just have to hold on as long as we can.
SI: Many of the top soccer players in this country are
upper-middle-class kids. You were raised by a single parent and,
in your own words, you grew up poor. How did that shape you as an
Milbrett: I think it formed my work ethic. Nothing was given to
me. I had to earn and work for everything to be the athlete I am.
SI: Now that Mia Hamm is marrying Nomar Garciaparra, why don't
you try to top her and ask out Derek Jeter?
Milbrett: Because I'm smart enough to know what I can and cannot
do. --Richard Deitsch
COLOR PHOTO: CRAIG CAMERON OLSEN (MILBRETT) "Nothing was given to me."
For more from Tiffeny Milbrett, go to si.com/scorecard.