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The Chicago Red Stars had a chance to sit down with their first round draft pick and Naperville native Vanessa DiBernardo to discuss her thoughts on the NWSL College Draft and the upcoming Red Stars season. 

Q: When did you begin playing soccer?
A: I started playing soccer when I was 4 years old.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment in your soccer career thus far?
A: My biggest accomplishment in soccer has been being a part of, and winning, the U-20 World Cup.

Q: What was your initial reaction after being drafted into NWSL?
A: I was so excited to be given the opportunity to play soccer at the next level, and to continue playing the sport that I love.

Q: What is the one piece of advice that you’ve gotten from a coach that you will take with you to the pros?
A: The best piece of advice I’ve been given is “to be confident and to enjoy the experience.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to about living in Chicago?
A: Since I’m from Chicago, I’m excited to be in my hometown playing in front of friends and family.

Q: What is your biggest focus heading into the 2014 season?
A: My focus for this next year is to enjoy the experience of playing in NWSL, while also developing as a player at the professional level.

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t playing soccer professionally?
A: Finishing up my degree at the University of Illinois.

Q: Who is your favorite soccer player and why?
A: I really enjoy watching Messi play. He’s very creative, and a fun player to watch and learn from.

Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
A: I don’t have any pre-game rituals that I can think of.

Q: What are the five most played songs on your iPod?
A: I mainly listen to the Lumineers on Pandora.

Q: What has been your favorite memory in soccer?
A: My favorite soccer memory was the entire U-20 World Cup team cycle, as well as my college career.

Q: What is the first thing you’ll want to see/do when you come to Chicago (outside of playing of course)?
A: I love going to the city, so anything in Chicago I look forward to doing. Plus, the food here is hard to beat.

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