Introducing We are Toronto FC II, a series that looks to bring you a little bit closer to your Young Reds on and off the pitch. In the first instalment, we sit down with local midfielder Luca Uccello.
What has been your favourite moment in your soccer career?
Uccello: Signing my first pro contract [with Toronto FC II] and representing Canada at the U-20 World Cup Qualifiers last winter.
You wore the armband for Canada, what was that honour like?
Uccello: Wearing the armband for Canada was something I will never forget. Playing in a tournament like that, in front of your family and friends. It's an honour to captain a side because it shows that you are a leader. I felt like at the camp I could be a leader on the team and ultimately help my team win.
Do you have a coach/mentor that has impacted your soccer career?
Uccello: My [older] brother Julian is my mentor. He is someone who helped me fall in love with the game.
Your brother played in Europe, did he give you any tips on being a professional?
Uccello: He told me as soon as I started to never give up. To always keep going and always give 110% no matter what you are doing. And to give your all for what you love.
A player you like to model your game after?
Uccello: Marco Verratti. He is not the biggest player, much like myself, but he is smart, technical and a very classy player.
Taking a quick look at your phone, which photo in it means the most to you?
Uccello: A group picture of my family and I after one of the TFC II games. It makes me feel proud to have them all in my life.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Uccello: I like to watch movies and relax. I also love exploring the city and experiencing new things.
Do you have a favourite movie?
Uccello: I love the Lord of the Rings series.
How about a favourite music artist right now?
Uccello: I have a lot of favourites. Drake and Eminem just to name a few.
You spent a long time in the Academy here with TFC, how did they help in your development as a professional?
Uccello: The Academy taught me to be a professional. They taught me how to take care of my body so every day I am ready to compete.
How have you found the adjustment from the Academy to the pros?
Uccello: It was tough at first, managing school and soccer. But all the sacrifices are worth it to try and make it to the first team.
You spent some time with TFC III this preseason, what was that experience like?
Uccello: It was amazing. They play a different style of game over there. I got to see a different side of the game, where the little things matter more. The game speed was great. Playing against Juventus, as a team I grew up watching, was an awesome experience. The experience of playing against top European competition makes you a better player.