Poll of the Day: Will Women’s Pro Soccer see a boost in support?

Millions of Americans tuned to ESPN this morning to catch semifinal action in the Women’s World Cup from Germany.  Inspired from an improbable U.S. comeback victory in the previous quarterfinal round game versus Brazil, men & women went to Twitter to provide their personal commentary on the game’s wall to wall action.

Immediately following the game, Women’s World Cup and Abby Wambach (albeit a misspelled “Wombach”) became Worldwide trending topics on Twitter.

Athletes and celebrities like LeBron James and Gabrielle Union tuned in, took to Twitter (click on their names to check out their tweets), and offered their support of the team.  More nationwide support will continue to build as everyone awaits the Championship game on Sunday.

Read more about the game in an ESPN article here.

In the 1996 Summer Olympic Games held in Atlanta, women’s team sports thrived and used the momentum they received to start professional leagues here in the United States.  After winning the gold medal in women’s basketball, two leagues were formed.  The ABL, which folded in December 1999 and the WNBA, which is celebrating its 15th Anniversary this summer.

Soccer also saw a league formed when the WUSA became a reality.  Unfortunately, with no big brother league to fund its start-up, the league eventually folded in the Fall of 2003 as well.  Only to see a similar league, Women’s Pro Soccer – WPS, revitalized in recent years as it started in March of 2009.

The percentages of young girls who would go on to participate in basketball & soccer soared in the subsequent years and will, undoubtedly, do the same as a result of the exciting & inspiring performance from sheroes like Abby Wambach & Hope Solo.

As we wait for the U.S. team to challenge for its 1st World Cup Championship in 12 years on Sunday against the winner of the Japan vs Sweden semifinal, NetWorks Sports wants to get your opinion on the impact the U.S. Women’s National Team’s performance in Germany will have on the future of WPS.

Tell us what you think by voting in our NetWorks Sports Poll of the Day:

[polldaddy poll=5231469]


Thanks for taking the NetWorks Sports Poll of the Day!

In Their Own Words – Bryant Pfeiffer

In Their Own Words profiles former student-athletes who have leveraged their experiences on the field, court, and in the pool to buoy their professional careers. They’ve had success in the classroom & in their sport, and now are enjoying tremendous success in various sectors around the world.

In Their Own Words with Bryant Pfeiffer

As the MLS season roars ahead, we are grateful to Bryant for taking a few moments to share his journey from the soccer fields at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN to being one of the most innovative executives in the sports industry as he serves as Vice-President, Club Services with Major League Soccer.

Bryant Pfeiffer oversees training process at MLS Sales Center

What is your current title and how long have you been in this position?
I am currently the Vice-President, Club Services with Major League Baseball and have been with the MLS for 3 years.

Tell us what your specific role is with the organization?
I work very closely with every MLS team from ownership and senior management to sales and customer service staff to help them reach their local business objectives. This ranges from helping support the development and execution of business plans, best practice sharing, sales and retention, training and benchmarking results between teams.

What is your favorite part of the job?

It is fascinating to have the opportunity to work with 18 different MLS teams all with unique opportunities and challenges. And then, the opportunity to help contribute to their success in achieving their goals. I’ve met and had the opportunity to work with so many talented individuals.

What was your first “REAL” job?
Unpaid intern in the sales department for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wasn’t sure I wanted to be a salesperson but knew I wanted to be in sports. Once I had my foot in the door realized I had to “figure it out”. Eventually went on to have a very successful sales career at the Timberwolves including setting many of their all time sales records.

Has being a competitive athlete helped you in your current role or during your career? If so, please tell us in what ways.
I’ve always been extremely competitive in anything I do from varsity competition to playing rock, paper, scissors. I want to win at everything I do and I firmly believe this helps fuel my desire and has separated me from peers in the past. With that said, I’ve always tried to balance that competiveness with humility and teamwork. Never want to show anyone up in the process of reaching your professional goals. Sports, like in the business world, things don’t always go your way so I’ve always practiced winning and losing gracefully.

What do you miss and what don’t you miss about being a competitive athlete?
I miss being assembled with a like-minded group of unselfish teammates who are just as hungry to achieve greatness.

I don’t miss windsprints or ankle injuries.

What was your most memorable moment as an athlete? What was your most embarrassing moment?
Beating one of the top ranked racquetball players in the world in an exhibition match in 2002 or completing my first marathon in 1993.

How often do you workout? What type of things do you do to stay active?
I still workout 6-7 days a week. Basketball, racquetball, running, soccer, golf and chasing kids around.

If you knew then what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently in your career?
Take improvisational comedy courses at a younger age. Huge impact into building confidence, being open minded, thinking big, accepting all styles and deferring judgment.

Do you have a mentor (or mentors) that has helped you along the way?
I have a “connector’ personality and would say rather than lean on one mentor, I’ve instead tried to absorb a little bit from many, many people over the years at each stop of my journey.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
Parents have been very influential.

Do you have any advice for young professionals and/or former student-athletes hoping to have a successful career after sports?
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Ask a ton of questions. Get involved in something that can differentiate you from the thousands of other former student athletes interested in getting into a career after sports.

Favorite Book
The Book of Basketball – Bill Simmons

Favorite Movie
Anything with Will Ferrell

Read & Improv Comedy

Favorite Place to Vacation
Beach with kids – Las Vegas with buddies

What’s playing on your iPod?
Metallica, Rhianna and Doobie Brothers

Android or iPhone?

Mac or PC?

Favorite TV Show

Favorite Restaurant

Favorite Quote
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders not followers

For more information on the MLS, log on to www.mlsnet.com