Jessica McDonald

Last updated

Jessica McDonald
Jessica McDonald (20432381884) (cropped).jpg
McDonald playing for Houston Dash in 2015
Personal information
Full nameJessica Marie McDonald
Date of birth (1988-02-28) February 28, 1988 (age 30)
Place of birth Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Height 5 ft 10 [1]  in (1.78 m)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
North Carolina Courage
Number 14
College career
2006–2007 Phoenix College
2008–2009 North Carolina Tar Heels
Senior career*
2010 Chicago Red Stars 5 (0)
2012 Melbourne Victory FC 13 (7)
2013 Chicago Red Stars 9 (0)
2013 Seattle Reign FC 7 (3)
2014 Portland Thorns FC 24 (11)
2015 Houston Dash 20 (7)
2016 Western New York Flash 20 (10)
2017– North Carolina Courage 38 (10)
National team
United States U17
2007–2008 United States U20
2009 United States U23
2016– United States 5 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of July 16, 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of January 22, 2019

Jessica Marie McDonald (born February 28, 1988) is an American professional soccer forward who currently plays for the North Carolina Courage of the National Women's Soccer League and is a member of the United States women's national soccer team. She previously played for the Australian W-League team Melbourne Victory as well as the Western New York Flash, Chicago Red Stars, Seattle Reign FC, Portland Thorns FC and Houston Dash. [2]


Early life

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, McDonald is the daughter of Traci McDonald and Vince Myers. Her brother, Brandon McDonald, is also a professional soccer player who plays in the MLS. [3] She attended Cactus High School in Glendale, Arizona where she played basketball all four years and ran track during her junior and senior years. In 2004 and 2006, she was a member of state championship basketball teams and was a first-team all-state and all-region selection. She was also a state champion and record holder in the 400 meters during her track and field career. She graduated Cactus High School as the school's record holder for the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, and 4 × 400 meter relay team. [4]

McDonald was a member of the Sereno Soccer club from 2000–2007 and helped the team win state championships each year she played for it. She helped lead Sereno to regional championships in 2003 and 2007 and played on the Surf Cup title-winning teams in 2005 and 2006. She was the MVP of the tournament in 2006. [4]

Phoenix College

McDonald attended Phoenix College during her freshman and sophomore year of college where she played soccer, basketball and track and was a member of the honors program. She was named a first-team junior college All-America in soccer and National Junior College Player of the Year. McDonald earned first-team all-conference and all-region honors and was the single-season record holder at Phoenix College for goals and assists. Also continuing to excel at basketball, McDonald earned first-team all-region and all-conference honors and was the country's number one rebounder in junior college and among the Top 30 in scoring. [4]

North Carolina Tar Heels

After transferring to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill during her sophomore year, McDonald joined the North Carolina Tar Heels soccer team during the first half of the 2008 season and helped the squad ultimately win the national championship as a starting striker. McDonald scored 5 goals and had 10 assists for 20 points during the season. Despite playing in only 75 percent of the team's games her first year, she led the squad in assists. [4]

Club career

Chicago Red Stars, 2010

McDonald during a Seattle Reign FC match on July 25, 2013 Jessica McDonald Reign FC 2013.jpg
McDonald during a Seattle Reign FC match on July 25, 2013

In 2010, McDonald was the second pick (fifteenth overall) by the Chicago Red Stars in the 2010 WPS Draft. [5] [6] She made five appearances for the squad before suffering a knee injury that required 18 months recovery. [7] Chicago finished the regular season in sixth place with a 7–11–6 record. [8] Following the season, the team suspended league operations in December 2010 and re-established themselves in the W-League. [9] [10]

Melbourne Victory FC, 2012–13

McDonald playing for Melbourne Victory in 2012 Jessica McDonald.jpg
McDonald playing for Melbourne Victory in 2012

McDonald signed with the Melbourne Victory FC in Australia's W-League for the 2012–13 season. [11] She started all 13 of her appearances for the squad, scoring seven goals, and helped the squad to the Grand Final match against Sydney FC. [12]

Chicago Red Stars and Seattle Reign FC, 2013

In 2013, McDonald signed with the Chicago Red Stars as a free agent for the inaugural season of the NWSL. [13] [14] [15] During the pre-season, she scored four goals in the second half of a match against St. Edwards University. [16] She made nine appearances for the Red Stars during the regular season, serving one assist, before being waived by the team in June 2013. [17]

On June 28, 2013, it was announced that McDonald had signed with the Seattle Reign FC after being waived by the Red Stars. [17] [18] She scored her first goal during her debut appearance for the club in a match against the Boston Breakers on July 3, 2013. [19] [20] Two games later, during the team's first televised match on Fox Soccer, she scored a brace against the Washington Spirit leading the Reign to a 2–1 win. [21] [22] McDonald finished the 2013 season with six starts in seven matches played, tallying a total of 439 minutes played. Her three goals ranked third on the squad for most goals scored – tied with teammates, Christine Nairn and Kaylyn Kyle. [23]

Portland Thorns, 2014

McDonald was traded to the Portland Thorns along with defender Rebecca Moros in late 2013 under head coach Cindy Parlow Cone, in exchange for Danielle Foxhoven. McDonald was a starting forward for the first eleven games of the 2014 season, then mostly relegated to a substitute position as Alex Morgan returned from an injury. The team-leading scorer for the Thorns in 2014, McDonald had eleven goals, including a July 17 goal 33 seconds in against Chicago: the fastest goal in NWSL history. This would be her only season in Portland, where she played as number 14 for a total of 1310 minutes in 24 regular-season games under head coach Paul Riley. [24]

Houston Dash, 2015

On January 16, 2015 McDonald was traded by the Thorns to the Houston Dash for the 13th pick in the 2015 NWSL College Draft and a second round selection in the 2016 NWSL College Draft. [25] [26] McDonald led the Dash's inaugural season in goals with seven during the 2016 season. [27] She scored the game-winning goal during the team's 1–0 win over her former team the Portland Thorns in May. [28] The Dash finished in fifth place during the regular season with a 6–8–6 record. [29]

Western New York Flash, 2016

In January 2016, the Western New York Flash acquired McDonald in a trade that sent two international spots and one 2017 draft pick to Houston. [30] Named Player of the Week for week 10 and to the Second XI list, McDonald finished third in the NWSL overall in goals scored (10), assists(7) shots (61), and second overall in shots on goal (34) for the 2016 season, McDonald earned her first senior team call-up for the USWNT. [31]

North Carolina Courage, 2017–present

It was announced on January 9, 2017, that the Western New York Flash was officially sold to new ownership, moved to North Carolina, [32] and rebranded as the North Carolina Courage. In May 2017, McDonald became the first NWSL player to score 33 regular-season, career goals. She scored 4 goals in 2017, helping North Carolina win the NWSL Shield.

In 2018 McDonald played in 23 regular season games, scoring 7 goals. North Carolina broke the record for most goals scored in a season with 53. [33] In the Semi-final McDonald scored in the 5th minute, which was the fasted goal in playoff history. North Carolina won 2-0 and advanced to their second straight final. McDonald scored twice in the NWSL Championship game as the Courage defeated the Portland Thorns 3-0. She was named Most Valuable Player of the Match. This is McDonald's second NWSL Championship. [34]

International career

McDonald has represented the United States on several youth national teams including the under-16, [35] under-17, [36] under-20, [37] under-23, and the senior national team squads. [4] In 2007, Jill Ellis named her to the U-20 roster for the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil. [38] The team won silver after being defeated by Brazil's senior national team 5–0 during the final. [39] She earned her first call up to the full national team on November 2, 2016, [31] and made her international debut on November 10 against Romania. [40]

International goals

As of November 8, 2018
1November 8, 2018 [41] Lisbon, Portugal Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 1–01–0 Friendly

Personal life

McDonald is married to her husband, Courtney Stuart. She gave birth to a son, Jeremiah, in March 2012. [42] [43] [44]


Western New York Flash

North Carolina Courage


See also


  2. "Jessica McDonald's long, unusual journey to NWSL stardom". FourFourTwo. 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  3. "McDonald Siblings". US Soccer Federation. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Jessica McDonald". University of North Carolina. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  5. "Field Trip Diary: 1/15/10 from the WPS Draft in Philadelphia". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  6. "Olympic vets Heath, Cheney, picked at top of WPS draft". ESPN. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  7. Goldberg, Jamie (April 29, 2014). "Portland Thorns forward Jessica McDonald came to Portland with something to prove". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  8. "Jess McDonald". Soccer Way. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  9. "WPS's Chicago Red Stars Suspend Operations". SB Nation. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  10. "Chicago Red Stars Planning to Suspend Operations". Toyota Park. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  11. "American International touches down". Football Federation Victoria. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  12. "Players Abroad with Quotes from Nicole Cross, Jessica McDonald and MORE". Our Game Magazine. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  13. "Red Stars Select 5 in Supplemental Draft, Add 5th FA". Chicago Red Stars. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  14. "Red Stars focus scoring efforts on team, not star". Equalizer Soccer. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  15. "Opponents seeing stars: Chicago Red Stars season preview". SB Nation. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  16. "Red Stars in a Rout". Chicagoland Soccer News. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  17. 1 2 "Seattle Reign FC acquire forward Jessica McDonald". Goal WA. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  18. "Reign FC Acquire Forward Jessica McDonald". Our Sports Central. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  19. "BREAKERS COME BACK TO DRAW WITH SEATTLE 1–1". National Women's Soccer League. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  20. "Reign continues unbeaten run". News Tribune. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  21. "REIGN FC DEFEAT SPIRIT 2–1 ON FOX SOCCER". National Women's Soccer League. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  22. "Jessica McDonald levels for Seattle". Fox Sports. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  23. "Seattle Reign FC 2013". Soccer Way. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  24. Goldberg, Jamie (May 22, 2015). "Jessica McDonald still puzzled by 'unfair' way she lost starting spot with Portland Thorns". The Oregonian. Portland. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  25. Goldberg, Jamie (January 16, 2015). "Portland Thorns trade Jessica McDonald to the Houston Dash". The Oregonian/OregonLive.
  26. Rasmussen, Randy L. (May 22, 2015). "Jessica McDonald still puzzled by 'unfair' way she lost starting spot with Portland Thorns". The Oregonian. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  27. Kaiser, Hal (October 9, 2016). "Underrated, Jessica McDonald just keeps scoring goals". Keeper Notes. Archived from the original on February 17, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  28. Blue, Molly. "Ex-Thorn Jessica McDonald scores only goal in Portland's 1–0 loss to Houston Dash". The Oregonian. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  29. "2015 NWSL". Soccer Way. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  30. "Flash Acquire Forward Jessica McDonald". Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  31. 1 2 "McDonald, Menges Replace Hinkle, Klingenberg on U.S. Roster for November Romania Friendlies". Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  32. "North Carolina Courage joining NWSL signals long-term ambition for young league | FOX Sports". FOX Sports. 2017-01-10. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  33. "NC COURAGE BREAK MULTIPLE NWSL RECORDS IN 5-0 WIN OVER HOUSTON DASH". September 8, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  34. "Courage cap off record-setting season with NWSL Championship win". September 22, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  35. "Sereno Accomplishments". Serreno Soccer Club. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  36. "Thorns FC acquire forward Jessica McDonald, rights to defender Rebecca Moros from Seattle in exchange for Danielle Foxhoven". Portland Thorns. November 27, 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  37. "U.S. under-20 women's national team roster". Soccer America. June 17, 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  38. "Ellis names 18-players to U.S. Roster for Pan-American Games". U.S. Soccer Federation. July 6, 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  39. "U-20 WNT Fall in Pan-Am Final to Full Brazilian National Team". U.S. Soccer Federation. July 26, 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  40. Lee, Allison (2016-11-11). "Christen Press hat trick lifts USWNT over Romania, 8–1". Once A Metro. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  41. "WNT Wins 500th Game in Program History with 1-0 Shutout of Portugal in Lisbon". U.S. Soccer. November 8, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  42. "The Lowdown: McDonald looks to inspire son – Equalizer Soccer".
  43. "'Soccer Mom' Jess McDonald flourishing for Flash".
  44. "It Hasn't Gotten Any Easier to Be a Soccer Mom in the NWSL". May 12, 2017.

Further reading