Is women's soccer better respected today than it was a month ago? [Updated]
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss how the Women's World Cup affected their opinions of women's soccer. Check back throughout the day for more responses and weigh in by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Bob Foltman, Chicago Tribune
The women's game likely gained some new fans in the last month due to a higher quality of play than in the past. But will that translate into a more viable professional league?
That's the real question. Ideally, MLS teams would also have a women's team, but the league isn't strong enough yet to absorb those expenses. The onus is on women sports fans.
Women's professional sports leagues will thrive only when women increase their support and younger girls watch games on TV and drag their parents out to more games.
It's up to you, ladies.
[Updated at 10:13 a.m.:
Grahame L. Jones, Los Angeles Times
Consider the koi, which is a suitable comparison since it was Japan that won the Women’s World Cup. It comes in colors dull or bright, now and then rises to the surface for a gulp of air, then sinks again into the depths. So it is with women’s soccer every four years. This time will be no different. The buzz of Germany 2011 will not be felt again until Canada 2015. By that time, Women’s Professional Soccer might have joined the dodo and WUSA, the previous attempt to make women’s soccer fly in the U.S.
So is there more respect than four weeks ago? Among those who watched, the answer is almost certainly yes, because the improved quality of play was evident and the tournament had its dramatic moments. But overall, among average sports fans, probably not. No more so than there is respect for softball or the WNBA or the LPGA or any other niche sport. Like the koi, they are ornamental, occasionally fun to watch, but nothing more than that. Disrespectful? No, simply honest.]
Photo: U.S. forward Abby Wambach and her teammates give interviews upon arriving in New York's Times Square on Monday. Credit: Brendan McDermid / Reuters