Exclusive: Our Q&A with FCC's 2016 team MVP, Corben Bone
One of the most unique stories of perseverance and dedication comes from a 28-year-old from Plano, Texas. Playing his college ball at Wake Forest, Corben Bone instantly felt success as his Demon Deacons won the NCAA championship his freshman season.
Bone has played for a couple MLS teams before finding his way to FC Cincinnati. As a team, FCC named Bone the MVP after their inaugural season in 2016. Bone, who will be a father this upcoming September, jumped on the phone with Bailey Banter for a couple minutes. Learn more about one of FCC's most beloved midfielders in our interview below.
I know Omar Cummings served as a mentor and meant a lot to the club. What did he teach you as a mentor and player?
"Yeah, he has taught me a ton of stuff. He's been around the game for a long time and has a ton of experience being a professional soccer player. I think one of the main things you learn from him very quickly is how to be a professional and live a life outside of soccer while also maintaining that professionalism in soccer. He has a family, two kids, but he still maintains all the things you need to do to stay professional and successful in this game. He has played at a really high level. So, really, what I've learned from him is a certain type of professionalism. That'll take you a long way in this game for sure."
Since you've delved in writing (check out Corben's personal website), is that something you would venture into after soccer?
"That's kind of the idea. I am getting a little bit older, and soccer doesn't last forever. I'm trying to position myself and find other passions outside of soccer. Soccer has been my whole life, starting in club then to college and now the pros. That has taken up most of my time and thought. Even in college, I left early to pursue a career in soccer and put all of those other dreams to the side, at first. Now, it's coming full circle, and I have to think about life after soccer. Writing is a new found passion. I picked it up randomly; I love sport-based websites like the Player's Tribune that give people, outside of the team or locker room, a perspective of what the team environment is like. That was the point of me starting into writing. It has taken off. I'm going to enjoy it and follow it where it may take me."
I was told you are a shoe collector, what's your favorite type of shoe that you've ever collected?
"I am. I'm a big shoe guy. My favorite shoe is probably the Jordan 1s, the classic. I have the Jordan 1s high and low, but the Jordan 1 high is probably my all-time favorite."
Back to soccer, do you have any favorite USL teams to play against?
"Charleston is a good game for sure. I like going down there and playing them. They are a fun team to play against with a great stadium. This past Louisville game was definitely fun. The rivalry and build up coming to culmination in that stadium was fantastic. Those games are always a blast.:
Playing against the Fire (your former team), you were played the ball into space. Is there anything that went through your mind when that happened?
"It's hard to put into words. It was definitely one of those moments where time slows down a bit, where all those moments flashed before me in a one-second glimpse. Then I looked up, and the goalie was right there. I really, really wanted to score that goal, and it was kind of fate, to be honest. It was a fun one for sure, and I would have loved to score that. It was cool playing against them."
Since you played for Chicago in the past, did you have friends on that team or any acquaintances you still knew and caught up with?
"No, they've actually gone through a couple different regimes since I left. I don't even know one player on the team, and the coaching staff is way different. I was there for four years (2010-2014). They changed it around a good amount. I still know some front office, but everyone involved in the soccer specific part is totally different."
Besides writing, what interests do you have outside of soccer?
"I enjoy reading. I'll dive into some books a good amount. I also really like music. Anytime I find a new song or band that's always fun for me. I'm recently a home owner. I'm just starting getting into things around the house and trying to become a handyman. That stuff has started to interest me now. Shifting into that kind of life style as we are expecting our first child in September, and we bought the new house, so my plate is pretty full. My interests have gone along with my position in life."
This might be the question we all want to know. What are your thoughts on FC Cincinnati possibly getting the MLS expansion bid?
"I think it'd be good. Playing in the USL has been really fun, and I enjoy that every weekend in front of our fans at Nippert Stadium. So, whatever happens, I'll be happy either way. I think this club has been great to me and the city in general. I think the support will maintain from the players, fans, and coaching staff. I think everyone is pretty happy where Cincinnati is right now as a city and club. Whether we get the expansion or not, I think we have something to be proud of in FC Cincinnati."
You were the team's MVP last year for their first season. Was that a surreal feeling and did it give you confidence with the club and moving forward?
"It definitely gave me confidence and some appreciation, for sure. Having your peers vote you as MVP is a great feeling and coming off a bunch of years that I felt were underachieved as far as my performance goes. To come here my first year and get the MVP, it gave me a newfound confidence that I've been looking for ever since becoming a pro. It was a special thing that first year, and me being the MVP put the cherry on top. I really appreciated it, and hopefully, I can continue to play well for my teammates and fans."
Being from Cincinnati my whole life, the last question I have for you is do you like Skyline or Gold Star more?
"I actually just recently tried Skyline. I haven't tried Gold Star. My wife is from Cincinnati, so she loves Skyline. She was like "We have to go." We went after a game one time. I didn't mind it. It's not my favorite thing is the world, but I can respect that people love it and the local spots."
We thank Corben for his time and hope you enjoyed getting to know him a bit better.