Thursday, February 11, 2010

SoCal Soccer Panel

By Mariska Roodenrijs (SMBA '11)

Today was the first panel in our classroom: a SoCal Soccer panel consisting of Amie Becker and Scott Dreher from the San Diego SeaLions, Marcus Hanson from LA Galaxy, and Alex Monnar from the San Diego Sockers.

The San Diego WFC SeaLions are a national-caliber women's team that plays in the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL). Established in 1988, San Diego WFC enters its 22nd season in 2009 as one of the oldest female soccer clubs in the U.S. The roster consists of former WUSA professionals, veterans of the top college programs in the country, and local high school prospects. Amie Becker is the general manager of the SeaLions and Scott Dreher is the owner.

Marcus Hanson is an account executive for LA Galaxy. LA Galaxy is one of the biggest and most well-known soccer clubs in the U.S. The San Diego Sockers are one of the most successful indoor soccer teams in several leagues. After an absence since 2004, the Sockers were reintroduced to San Diego in 2009.

After an introduction from the panelists, various questions about the soccer market, opportunities, World Cup, and David Beckham were asked. All the panelists agreed that the soccer market in the U.S. is growing and the media exposure for the industry is growing with it. For example, Fox Soccer Channel will introduce a new channel completely devoted to soccer next month. The U.S. women's national soccer team is extremely successful and the WPSL has recently announced the new league sponsors: Eurosport and This means more media exposure and that is great news for the SeaLions. Alex told us about the newly upgraded stadium, the Del Mar Arena, where the SD Sockers have played since 2009. Indoor soccer is played on a much smaller field and usually has more goals and is, therefore, very exciting to watch.

According to Marcus, the Netherlands is going to win the World Cup, which was a great boost of my day! After a one hour panel, the panelists were bombed with more individual questions about favorite worldwide players, cultural differences, the World Cup, and job opportunities in soccer. Overall, it was a successful way to end the week in the Sports MBA classroom.


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