Before our semifinal match against the Chattanooga Red Wolves, we got the chance to sit down with the "rock" in the midfield Zaca Moran about his experience in USL League 1 and in Argentina.
- What is your earliest soccer memory?
"I think my earliest soccer memories are of playing soccer on the streets with my friends after school and until the sun went down."
- Growing up, what was the position on the field that you gravitated towards the most and how has that development helped you today play as a number 6/number 8?
"When I was a kid, I played as a number 10. That experience still helps me today because playing as a 10 helped me understand the game better and also to think quickly. I then started to play the 6/8 role as I grew up."
- Who have you modeled your game after? How does USL League One compare with Argentina?
"I've always admired Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano. Mascherano is a good example of a number 6 in Argentina."
"I think that the way USL League One compares with Argentina could be the physical and athletic aspects of the game. This is my second year in USL League One, and I think that the league continues to evolve and get better."
- What excited you the most when you first joined the Richmond Kickers?
"When I was asked to join the Richmond Kickers, I saw a great club with people who work hard to support the team. Then, at my first home game, I saw the support of our fans, and I fully realized how great of an opportunity this is."
- Do you still follow River Plate as a fan? What memories do you have from playing with them?
"Yes, I’m a River Plate fan. I try to see every game, and I still talk to some people that work there and some players. I have the best memories there. I lived for 11 years inside the club in the academy. I graduated from high school there. I debuted as a professional soccer player there. I had a lot of great experiences at River Plate."
- How are you adjusting to the American style of play now that you are in your second year?
"This year, I feel that I’m enjoying the work in the midfield even more, and I think that the biggest part of that is because I did adjust more since last year. It's been helpful that I continue learning English every day which helps me to communicate on and off the field."
- What are the challenges of playing your role in the center of the midfield? How do you know that you are “in the zone” during a match?
"Great question because I try every single game to do the same things to be focused. I know that, in my position as number 6, it’s a difficult position because you have to work in the shadows -- in silence. I have to maintain a balance between the defensive and offensive lines.
"Generally, my games are mostly mental games because I have to anticipate what can happen in each play, and above all understand what the team needs to win. I try to help my teammates play a great game, and I know that I’m “in the zone” during a match when the team works."
- Which midfield matchups in the league do you look forward to playing against? The ones that always end up as a good battle?
"Yes, for sure. I think that when you wanna win something, it has to be a good battle, you know? You have to do a lot of hard work, you have to do a lot of effort, and USL League One has a lot of very good midfield matchups."
- Take us through the rocket goal you scored against North Texas last season. What were you thinking prior to the goal and how did you feel afterward?
"It was really incredible. We were losing but the goal tied us. Then we ended up winning with Ivan's goal which was incredible. After the goal, I felt so happy because I knew that it had been a great goal and that it had helped us win the game."
- Favorite meal to make that reminds you of home?
"I’m a big fan of “Asado” which is a traditional Argentinian meal. The "Asado" has different cuts of meat and is similar to something you would see here on a grill or barbecue."