When Claudia Cagnina signed her first professional contract in 2019 with Football Femminile Lugano 1976 of Switzerland’s Lega Nazionale A, she fulfilled a lifelong dream.
The Lindenhurst native has now checked the box on another dream. Cagnina is heading to Italy having signed with UPC Tavagnacco in Serie A.
“When I was little I would watch all Serie A games with my grandparents,” Cagnina said. “That made me into a huge fan of Italian soccer and for AS Roma.”
Founded in 1989, UPC Tavagnacco is located in the Province of Udine in northeastern Italy not far from the Slovenia border. The team has played in Serie A since 2001.
The move to Italy is the next step in Cagnina’s professional career that started last year. Before signing with FF Lugano in 2019, she played her college ball for Head Coach Ian Stone at St. John’s University. She also played for SUSA FC in the WPSL.
Although she did not venture far from her Long Island home for college, the early days of her professional career have been quite the opposite.
Cagnina said her experience at Lugano is something she will always be grateful for. “It was a great step into the professional soccer work,” she said. “I have many great memories there.”
While playing professionally for less than a year, Cagnina said the experience overall has been a good one. The biggest challenge, she said, is keeping busy when she is not practicing or playing in games.
“We have a lot of free time other than when we have practices and games,” she said. “Sometimes I tend to miss home a bit but once I get into more of a routine and schedule I know I will end up feeling a lot more comfortable with where I live.”