Mexico's Monica Ocampo (pictured) celebrates after scoring against England in their FIFA Women's World Cup match on June 27, 2011, in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
PISCATAWAY, New Jersey – In her second year with Sky Blue FC, Mexico international Monica Ocampo is already quite comfortable with the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side.
Sky Blue’s top scorer in 2013 with eight goals, Ocampo has netted twice in nine outings during the current campaign. As this year progresses, however, she is looking to find the net many more times for club and country.
The forward spoke to CONCACAF.com about Sky Blue and her future footballing aspirations.
“Everything’s going very well. Personally, I am very happy here,” Ocampo said of her life in New Jersey. “The level of the NWSL is good. It’s played very quickly, physically and the players are very athletic.”
Ocampo shares the locker room with players who are rivals in international competitions. Among her teammates are Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone and Jill Loyden of the United States, plus Canadian standouts Sophie Schmidt and Jonelle Filigno.
It is a unique situation, but Ocampo enjoys the dynamic created by them playing together and recognizes that it has helped her grow as a footballer.
“At the start it was a little strange, but they are very calm,” explained Ocampo. “It helps me a lot to play with them. It demands a lot of me.”
Later this year, she is hoping to be on the Mexico roster for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, where berths to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada will be at stake.
“We hope to qualify for the World Cup, so expectations are high,” Ocampo pointed out.
The 27-year-old played in the 2011 World Cup, scoring one of the goals of the tournament, remarkably netting from 35-yards out in a 1-1 draw with England. Ocampo remembers that strike fondly and still uses it as a source of inspiration.
“I feel great emotion when I see that goal,” she recalled. “It motivates me to keep going forward. It is the most memorable goal of my career.”
Ocampo views herself a player who can think with the ball; one who is technical, as well as fast.
In the end, though, Ocampo believes the best thing about being a professional footballer is the opportunity to be part of a team.
“I like to be in a group and the day-to-day of being on a team with teammates from all over and to have that friendship,” she concluded.
The sky’s the limit for this Sky Blue star.