Bishop brings pro experience to Cyclones


Photo: Samantha Butler/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State’s Jordan Bishop takes the ball and maneuvers around an Iowa player Friday, Sept. 17, at the ISU Soccer Complex.

Cory Weaver

Just four years ago, Jordan Bishop traveled from her hometown in Carrollton, Texas, to Boston with the dream of playing professional soccer. Now, she is back at Iowa State as a student assistant and brings some knowledge not many ISU alumni have.

“I guess it was all about getting experience and the best place for me to be at that time,” Bishop said. “Coming out of high school, my best place was here at Iowa State and after that, Boston just became the next best thing for me and to further my career.”

This summer, Bishop got a taste of that dream when she joined a semi-pro team, the Boston Aztecs, a feeder team for the WPS Boston Breakers.

As many soccer fans know, this summer was the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and Bishop got to witness the event firsthand.

“I started with a semi-pro team that practiced with a professional team a couple times a week,” Bishop said. “Then once a few of the girls went to play in the World Cup, they had openings and they asked me to practice with them on a regular basis, so I practiced with them for my time there and then got to be on the team and become a professional.”

Bishop’s teammates included four players from the U.S. team, including forward Lauren Cheney, who was the second-leading goal scorer for the United States in the tournament.

Bishop and the Aztecs reached the Final Four in the semi-pro league tournament and while semi-professional leagues are not very popular in some sports, soccer is different.

“It’s just one step lower from being a professional and because there’s only six professional teams, the semi-professional league itself is huge as far as competition and girls just trying to make it to the next level,” Bishop said.

Even though she was across the country this summer, Bishop kept friends and family up to date on her adventures with a blog she wrote. ISU coach Wendy Dillinger also said she also kept in touch with Bishop through texting.

Another thing Bishop will bring to the table is her work ethic and ability to lead by example, and captain Mary Kate McLaughlin believes that attitude will help the new freshman class and the upperclassmen as well.

“She’s been one of the hardest working players I’ve ever played with and Wendy [Dillinger] always commends her on her fitness level, which is incredible, it really is,” McLaughlin said. “Every time she steps on the field, she plays like it’s her last game and I would just say she’s a great leader that leads by example.”

This year’s freshman class is not the record number like last year, but sophomore midfielder Emily Goldstein said the experience Bishop gained in Boston will be especially beneficial to them.

“Especially for the freshmen, it’s nice to see someone as talented as [Bishop] and what she did this past summer with Boston,” Goldstein said. “Getting to play with her and she’s so knowledgeable about the game and she’s able to tell them things as a player.”

After her playing career is over, Bishop plans to coach collegiately, and Dillinger said her ability to visualize what’s going on will help her be a great coach.

In addition to helping ISU soccer this fall, Bishop is also coaching both U-12 Ames Soccer Club Girls Teams before graduating in December.