McCall Zerboni announced last week her plans to return to the Western New York Flash for this upcoming season with whom she helped win the 2011 WPS Championship and 2012 WPSL Elite Championship. The midfielder captained the Flash during the 2012 season and will be a great connection for the Flash in the midfield with star strikers Abby Wambach and Adriana set to play up front.
The former UCLA Bruin graciously offered her thoughts to NWSLnews.com about her upcoming season in the new National Women’s Soccer League and how she plans to take her game to the next level. Get to know McCall!
What were your immediate thoughts when you heard news of the NWSL? And what are your thoughts on the league now that there is obviously a different business model with the support of US, Canadian and Mexican Federations?
My immediate thought on the NWSL was excitement! (mixed with a bit of reservation.) It has been a roller coaster ride every since I turned pro, so it’s always comforting and exciting to find out that I will have a top league to play in here in America. I believe the National teams now realize the importance of a domestic league for our nations continued growth and success in international competition. I think with a strong support from the three federations this league is here to stay.
Can you talk a little bit about your decision to play for the Western New York Flash for the third straight year? What is it about the Flash that you love and keeps you coming back?
My decision to return to the Flash was the best thing for me. Of course when you are offered other opportunities in life you have to take a hard look at them, but I have really enjoyed my playing experience in New York the past two years. Hands down the greatest fans in the league (proven no matter which league we’re in) and the most professionally run club. I really respect Aaran [Lines] as a coach and the rest of the staff from on the field all the way into the front office. Quality people and quality standards, always competing for a championship.
With the new season quickly approaching, is there something specific you are looking to add or change in your game that you may not have showed for the Flash in the past?
This season, which is true every year, I’m looking to take my game to the next level. But especially knowing I’ll be on stage for National team selection it’s even more enticing to perform. I’m excited to patrol the midfield alongside Carli Lloyd and feed Abby up top. And I’m going for goal much more this season. We will be dangerous in our attack and exciting to watch!
Last March you went to Japan with some WNY Flash and Sky Blue FC players and played their top club team, INAC Kobe Leonessa. What was that experience like and was there anything you learned from the Japanese players?
Japan last March was an incredible experience. I think I gained more value off the field there than on the pitch. The Japanese are so gracious, patient, disciplined and kind. It really humbled me even more to what is out there in the world. Visiting the base in Okinawa gave me a new perspective on our service men and I couldn’t be more thankful and impressed by them.
Of course the Japanese style of play is very admirable as well. Their technique is the best in the world in my opinion and their culture’s discipline and focus shines through in their futball.
Is there a player that you haven’t played with before that you are excited to play with on the Flash? Or is there a player you are excited to play against who you maybe haven’t played against before?
For this upcoming Flash season, I always enjoy the experience to play with previous and new teammates. But worth mentioning, I’m excited to be with top Spanish international Adriana again and also Alex Sahlen who is one of the most committed futballers I know and is super passionate like myself. I always love the team Coach (Lines) works hard to put together.
And if you have time, here are just a few fun and quick questions for you McCall … do you have a favorite goal you have scored in your soccer career?
Ah. My favorite goal I have scored was probably my PK in the shootout to win the Championship in 2011.
In the run of play … my left footed volley vs Boston at home infront of our amazing fans in 2011.
Did you have a favorite player or soccer idol you watched while growing up?
To be honest I didn’t really have much of an idol or favorite player growing up, but recently I have had the chance to train and spend some time with Mia Hamm and she is a true legend. World class and I respect her very much.
5 Players you would most like to play with? (male or female)
– Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
– Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray/Netherlands)
– Iniesta (FC Barcelona/Spain)
– Alexandra Popp (VfL Wolfsburg/Germany)
– Gaëtane Thiney (FCF Juvisy/France)
There’s a picture of a Tim Horton’s cup on your Twitter. Do you have a Tim Hortons guilty pleasure? A donut or drink you have to get when passing a Tim’s?
I miss Tim Horton’s! It’s a daily routine when I’m in NY. I’m a sucker for their flavored coffee (Pumpkin in the Fall especially) and the French Vanilla Caps. I’ve always thought they should have a partnership with the Flash (wink wink Mr. Horton!! ;) Although no, interesting fact; Tim Horton was an actual person, hockey player, who wore jersey #7 like me :)
Favorite movie you have seen recently?
I love movies. They are always a great relaxing escape. The last movie I saw was Les Miserablés with my mum and she LOVED it which in turn had me be overly impressed with it … haha!
I was going to ask if you are a Man City or Man Utd fan, but surfing through your Twitter it is obvious you are a pretty big Man Utd fan! So instead, Real Madrid or Barcelona?
I’m a major Man United fan! One of the biggest reasons I fell in love with them was because of Cristiano. So, I still love to watch him. And everyone and their momma loves Barca, so I’m going with Madrid :-P
Any new tattoos or ideas for a new tattoo in the future?
I really enjoy art and I believe tattoos are an artistic form. My most recent tatt is a small red rose on my rib cage representing Love & Beauty.
You have been a big media promoter for the WNY Flash in the past, with your Monday’s With McCall blog posts and videos and lots of media events and appearances. Can fans expect more of these from you this season?
I think Flash fans can expect a lot of fun and great events this season. We are always cooking something up in the community and via social media so you don’t have to live in the area to be a Flash fan. Some of our greatest supporters are nowhere near NY. Myself and the club will have opportunities for all who want to get involved and support us through and through to another championship!
A huge thank you goes out to McCall Zerboni for taking time out of her preparations for the upcoming NWSL season to do this interview with us. Make sure to follow McCall on Twitter @McCaLL2 and her team, the Western New York Flash @WNYFlash on their road to capturing the first NWSL Championship.