I got a chance to chat with one of the newest members of the Boston Breakers, Meghan Klingenberg. We talked about her trade from magicJack, her first experience with the U.S. Women’s National Team, and how UNC prepared her for her professional career. The 2010 NSCAA All American and also talks about her love for musicals and some other fun facts. Check it out below:
Nell Enriquez: How is it going now that you’re a part of the Boston Breakers?
Meghan Klingenberg: It’s great. I’m really glad that I’m here. I love the girls. I’ve always liked Tony (DiCicco, head coach). I have a really good relationship with him since the Under-20 World Cup. I know it’s a really great organization-well run and I’m just really happy to be a part of it.
NE: In terms of training, is it similar to what you were used to with his coaching style in 2008?
Klingenberg: I mean coaches have different drills and do different things from year to year, but with Tony it’s the same intensity and he expects the same from us, which I really like because he expects a lot. He expects us to put in 100 percent at practice to get better. And to push each other, which I really respect because to hold each other accountable is hard thing to do. So for him to expect that of us is really incredible I think.
NE: So imagine you’ve had quite a change in weather and scenery as well. Do you know the Boston area? Do you like it so far?
Klingenberg: Definitely. Very different and I think it’s safe to say no. I’ve gotten lost quite a few time since being here. I do like the area. I’m living with a host family which is a bit different than being in an apartment with a team mate down in West Palm Beach, but I really like it and I love the area and the people on the team. I think it’s really the people that make the area. So being around the team is helping me acclimate to Boston.
NE: Let’s talk a bit about your experience with magicJack. That being your first WPS team did you have any expectations when becoming part of it? Your thoughts on being part of a team that some may say is run in an unconventional way?
Klingenberg: Well, I mean I’m grateful to Dan for drafting me into the league. I’m grateful for him giving me my start and he did some really good things down there like setting us up in a nice place and setting us up with great training fields. So I’m thankful for that aspect of it. Although, I didn’t really fit into his grand scheme of things, playing wise and within the team. So he thought other teams would be a better fit. I think that Boston is actually a better fit so I mean there is really no hard feelings there. He just didn’t see me fitting in.
NE: In terms of trainers and coaches is it a different experience between magicJack and Boston?
Klingenberg: Well, I mean definitely, but not in the sense that most people expect I guess. I knew what I was getting into with Tony. I’ve had him before and he’s very professional and experienced. A coach who I have a lot of respect for. And I thought Mike was a great coach. It just didn’t work out with him and you know, it was sad to see him leave. I guess it’s just different – the way that Dan wants to be as opposed to you know… up here so it’s just different.
NE: Once Mike Lyons was no longer with the team, did you have any set or main coach or was it teammates coaching and assisting the team?
Klingenberg: I mean there hasn’t been any replacement announcement. We’ve always had trainers down there. And there is some really good trainers, but they’re not necessarily at the game.
NE: You had your first experience with the USWNT this year at the Four Nations Tournaments, earning your first cap. How was that experience for you and what did you take away from it?
Klingenberg: Well, I was so happy to be there. That’s where I’ve always wanted to be – with the national team and it’s still a goal. I want to be able to be a mainstay on the team eventually. That’s one of my ultimate goals. Just getting my foot in the door and getting a chance was incredible and I just wanted to make sure I made the most out of it. Then getting my first cap on top of everything else was incredible. It’s really a cool thing to see one of your dreams come into reality. So stepping onto the field with the national team was one of the COOLEST things I’ve ever done.
NE: What are your thoughts on U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage’s style?
Klingenberg: Obviously every coach is different and I’ve never had an international coach before so being with Pia was a very different experience than I’ve ever had had with Anson (Dorrance) or with Tony, but I think she’s an incredible coach and knows the game so well. She’s just got a wealth of soccer knowledge that she shares with the team. She’s so soccer savvy. She’s just really smart about the way she played and she wants us to play.
NE: Let’s talk a little about UNC. You were a 2010 NSCAA All American and a four year starter. Tell me some of your fondest memories if you could and maybe even some moments where you may have had some difficult times and how you got through them?
Klingenberg: UNC is my favorite place in the world! My fondest memories of UNC aren’t necessarily on the field but they’re with the team. Just being around my friends. Playing with them was always just an added bonus because I just loved being around them all the time. So I think that my fondest memories are just hanging out with the girls on the team. Whether it was at team dinners or at practice or after winning a national championship. It didn’t matter when. It was always fun being with them. There were always rough times at UNC. It’s the way that it is because it’s hard. Anson makes it deliberately hard on purpose. The coaches expect a lot out of us. So there wasn’t a day that went by that was easy at practice.
Physically it may be easy because we have a game the next day, but mentally it’s always hard. So I think that that aspect of Anson and Dino (Bill Palladino) and the coaches, how they created the culture really helps me now. Because they prepared me for all the things I have to go through now, with the WPS and with the national team. Because everyday at practice I lost. Every day I failed at something. Every day I wasn’t doing something good enough. You know what I mean? Because we are always trying to get better. So when I fail now or if I’m not doing something good enough at practice, and my coach lays into me, I know how to deal with it.
The Fun Side:
NE: Let’s talk about some of the fun aspects of your personality. I heard on of your nicknames is “Kling.” Do you have any others?
Klingenberg: Ha! Not that I know of. But yea, I don’t think I know anybody that calls me Meghan.
NE: I have to ask, are you a good singer and/or dancer. I heard you would want to be on a Broadway show.
Klingenberg: Haha! Absolutely not. I’m horrible at both, but I love them. And I mean I would love to be on Broadway, but I just do not have the talent.
NE: So is it safe to say that you rock out to some of your favorite songs before a game?
Klingenberg: Actually no. That’s the funny aspect. Honestly, I need to chill out before a game. I need to just relax, calm down and focus my energy because I just get so pumped to play that I need to listen either relaxing music or not music at all. Have a really relaxing day before the game otherwise I spend all my energy before we even get out there and play.
NE: Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Klingenberg: Moose Tracks!
NE: Goal for 2011? With soccer and personally.
Klingenberg: Let’s see. To win the WPS Championship. And personally, to graduate college with my degree in business.
NE: Have you played any other positions other than midfielder?
Klingenberg: I’ve played defense in the work up for Tony. I’ve played forward for UNC. Kinda played everything.
NE: Which do you like most?
Klingenberg: I like forward and midfield the best. Outside mid is probably my favorite position because it suits my strengths. I think. So that’s why I like it. I’m not the biggest girl so being in the center wouldn’t work for me.
NE: Other than soccer, I hear football is one of your favorite sports.
NE: Any particular team?
Klingenberg: The Steelers of course! They are my hometown boys.
NE: You’ve obviously shown your talent to Boston already. What are you hoping for in your next match?
Klingenberg: I think we definitely need a win. We need to get some points to increase our standing in the ranks right now. We need to get into second place behind Western New York so we can make the playoffs and make a run for the championship. So I think from here on out we’re really focusing on getting three points every game.
You can check out the next Boston Breakers match up against the Atlanta Beat in KSU Soccer Stadium in Georgia at 6 p.m. This will also be a televised game on Fox Soccer.
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