Zabala: 'Cal's creating more chances than we ever did when I was here'

Oct. 16, 2003

BERKELEY, Calif. - Maite Zabala, who played at Cal from 1997-2000, recently returned to Berkeley as a volunteer assistant coach for the women's soccer team. The former Golden Bears goalkeeper played for Philadelphia and Carolina in the WUSA, until the professional league's demise.

Q: How good are the Golden Bears?

'They're doing pretty well. We do struggle a little bit up top. But Cal's creating more chances than we ever did when I was here. It's just a matter of finishing them.'

Q: What's your take on starting goalkeeper Anna Key?

'She's a good shot blocker. She's pretty confident as a freshman, which is always pretty good to have.

'The first time I saw her play [a few weeks ago], I thought she did well. She did well in reading balls and coming off the line for them.'

Q: What was your reaction to the WUSA folding?

'I was obviously pretty disappointed. It was something I loved doing the last three years. At the same time, all hope is not lost. I'm pretty optimistic that something will come up. They're doing all they can to get more corporate money. There's definitely an interest in soccer in the communities.'

Q: Other than the Cal position and your other local coaching jobs, are you putting off finding a 'real' job until you find out what's going to happen with the WUSA?

'Definitely. I'm trying to stick it out long as I can, to hold out till we find out more.'

Q: How were the Women's World Cup semifinals, which you attended up in Portland, Ore.?

'They were pretty entertaining. It was pretty disappointing for the U.S. to lose in the semifinals. That Germany-U.S. game should've been the final. Too bad the draw turned out the way it did.'

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