With tremendous skill on ball, quality defending no matter where you find her on the pitch, and of course amazing hair, Carmelina Moscato could easily be compared to the great Carles Puyol. Carmelina Moscato made a mark in soccer history this past summer in the 2012 London Olympics when she and her teammates took home the bronze medal. The former Nittany Lion has truly left her mark on every pitch she has played on from that of the Canadian Women’s National Team to Piteå IF. So let’s get to know the newest member of the Chicago Red Stars, shall we?

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First off, congrats on an extraordinary performance in the Olympics. Can you tell us a little about your experience there?

I have to say that it was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I felt as if everything in my being was in unison and I was in harmony with myself, my role and the objectives of the team. We were so prepared in every aspect, technically/tactically, physically and mentally that it was a joy to play. This is of course a tribute to the incredible staff that John Herdman has led to greatness. Bronze medal or not I couldn’t be more proud of our team!

How does it feel to be an Olympian?

Even reading that question gives me a sense of pride and joy. When I hear the word Olympian, and take myself out of the equation, I think prestige, honor, excellence, determination, and perseverance. All words of which I hope described what myself and our team represented on the world stage. To be able to represent Canada, doing something I’ve loved since the age of 4 is special. It doesn’t get much better than that!

What can we expect to see from the Canada Women’s National Team in the years leading up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup?

You can expect to see a team that will put it on the line game in and game out. We are committed to the future vision of soccer in our country and will work every day to be able to play a game that is not only entertaining, but sophisticated and fun to watch. I believe our team has only scratched the surface of our potential and that the best is yet to come. This evolution will not only manifest through the grand vision John and his staff has for us, but from the hard work on and off the pitch to execute a style of play in which we all believe in.

You once played in the W-League with the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Ottawa Fury, and then for Piteå IF in the Damallsvenskan, what were you experiences like with these two different leagues?

The main difference I noticed is just the basic difference in the level of the players in league. In Sweden all players are well trained with the basics and even a relatively unathletic player has a high level of game sense and skill. In the twelve team Damallsvenskan every team is competitive and has a good level of resources where in the W-league there is more discrepancy between the top teams and the bottom teams on both fronts. Clearly this has to do with the sheer number of teams in the W-league being higher, but overall I would say quality of the brand of soccer!

You were recently allocated to the Chicago Red Stars, congratulations, what are you looking forward to the most about playing in the NWSL?

The aspect of the NWSL that I am looking most forward to is the daily high level environment that will be created due to the players involved. I believe that in order for you to be the best you have to train amongst the best and this league is providing everybody to raise the bar and bring the modern game to new heights.

With the previous leagues folding, do you think that this time around using more social media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook, will play a huge role in spreading the word about the league?

I absolutely believe it will propel the league to new audiences more effectively, more often. The recent Twitter chats, lead by Yael Averbuch and Ella Masar has caused the hash tag #wsoccerchat to trend on Twitter. This is quite significant if you think about how many competing topics and sports there are going on at any given time. I believe the interest and the passion is there. We all just hope it fills seats as well. That is of course yet to be seen, but the buzz, the banter, it’s all happening.

Alright now onto the fun questions, who are you looking forward to playing against the most from the CWNT?

This is a great question and I will start will the less obvious answer (Sincy) and say my girls Emily (Zurrer) and Kaylyn (Kyle). We are quite close and I can only imagine the will to win in a game against each other. It will be fun, intense and most likely for bragging rights afterwards!

What is the first thing you want to do in Chicago?

I know that I will dive right into the city and start to explore my surroundings and everything it has to offer! I have only heard incredible things about it and I literally cannot wait to get there.

We all have things that motivate us before a game, is there anything that really gets you pumped up for those 90 minutes on the pitch?

I’ve discovered along the way the silent preparation, mental imagery and “letting go” have been my recipe for success. I am always confident that the work has been done on and off the pitch to give me and the team the best chance to succeed so there is a quiet confidence that comes with that. I try to be as calm as possible and control the emotional aspect of it all. Emotions tend not to serve me, as I can be an Italian fire ball and it just doesn’t help in any way!

If you could play a pick-up game of soccer with any professional players in the World, male or female, whom would you choose as your top five footballers?

Oh this is tough one! My five players (old and new) are:

Eric Catona, Carles Puyol, Ronaldinho, Christine Sinclair and Pirlo.

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I want to personally thank Carmelina Moscato for taking the time out to answer these questions for us today. Fans make sure to keep an eye on Carmelina Moscato in the NWSL and on her journey to the 2015 Women’s World Cup. You can also follow her on Twitter @cmoscato4. Big thank you to Carmelina and good luck in this upcoming season with the Chicago Red Stars.