Issaquah Eagles senior midfielder Claudia Longo is the definition of a leader on the soccer field.
Longo, who has committed to play collegiate soccer at the University of Washington, is the kind of athlete teammates lean on in pressure situations. Issaquah head coach Tom Bunnell is thrilled with Longo’s leadership abilities.
“Claudia is a different level of a leader,” Bunnell said. “She has been a captain for two years, fights through injuries and is just positive all the time. Obviously everyone respects her leadership on the field. During the games she is always keeping her teammates up and creates fun things for them to be excited about.”
Bunnell said Longo is the fifth player to commit to the Huskies’ collegiate soccer program since he became head coach of the program.
“Claudia has gotten better every single year and she has zero ego,” he said. “That is the thing that is so impressive. I have coached a lot of great kids at Issaquah and she is definitely one of the great ones.”
Longo is ecstatic to continue her soccer career close to home at UW.
“I was looking for somewhere that had a balance of both athletics and academics,” Longo said. “Their soccer program has been known to be pretty good and their coaching staff is incredible. UW is pretty much the whole package for me.”
One of the highlights of her high school soccer career is the intense rivalry with the Skyline Spartans.
“It is just something else,” Longo said of the rivalry. “Tom (Bunnell) tells us all the time that you’ll play in bigger games at bigger levels but he says that there is something about the environment between us and Skyline. The competition is always good. I have a lot of club teammates that play there. It is cool being able to compete against them. The whole environment is just crazy and fun.”
Recently the Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter had an opportunity to ask Longo a few questions about her life away from the soccer field.
Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter: What is your favorite movie of all time?
Claudia Longo: “Remember the Titans.” It is a classic movie. We watched it together last year as a soccer team. It’s a good representation of sports.
ISR: What is your biggest pet peeve?
CL: When people are not nice to others.
ISR: What is your dream vacation spot?
CL: San Diego. I have family down there. I just love the feel in Carlsbad (a city near San Diego) and that whole area.
ISR: What is something unique about you that nobody would know?
CL: I like to play the piano and sing.
ISR: What kind of music are you listening to the most in your iPod right now?
CL: I’m listening to a lot of John Mayer. That is about it.
ISR: Who was your favorite sports team growing up?
CL: The New York Giants (NFL team). I have always been a big fan. We’ve had some rough patches but 2011 and 2012 was a a good time for us (Giants fans) for sure.
ISR: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
CL: Hopefully applying to medical school.