Jessica McDonald

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Jessica McDonald
Jessica McDonald May19.jpg
McDonald before USWNT friendly against New Zealand in May 2019
Personal information
Full name Jessica Marie McDonald[1]
Date of birth (1988-02-28) February 28, 1988 (age 34)
Place of birth Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[2]
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current team
Western United
(on loan from Racing Louisville)
Number 8
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Phoenix Bears
2008–2009 North Carolina Tar Heels
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010 Chicago Red Stars 5 (0)
2012–2013 Melbourne Victory 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)
2017–2021 North Carolina Courage 84 (24)
2022– Racing Louisville 22 (3)
2022–Western United (loan) 9 (2)
International career
United States U17
2007–2008 United States U20
2009 United States U23
2016– United States 19 (4)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 6 December 2022
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of March 8, 2020

Jessica Marie McDonald (born February 28, 1988) is an American professional soccer player for Western United of the A-League Women on loan from Racing Louisville FC of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), the highest division of women's professional soccer in the United States, and 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, Houston Dash, and North Carolina Courage.[3] McDonald became a World Cup champion in 2019, with the United States team that won the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Early life[edit]

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 Major League Soccer.[4] 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.[5]

McDonald was a member of the Sereno Soccer club from 2000 to 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.[5]

Phoenix College[edit]

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.[5]

North Carolina Tar Heels[edit]

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.[5]

Club career[edit]

Chicago Red Stars, 2010[edit]

In 2010, McDonald was the second pick (fifteenth overall) by the Chicago Red Stars in the 2010 WPS Draft.[6][7] She made five appearances for the squad before suffering a knee injury that required 18 months recovery.[8] Chicago finished the regular season in sixth place with a 7–11–6 record.[9] Following the season, the team suspended league operations in December 2010 and re-established themselves in the WPSL.[10][11][12]

Melbourne Victory FC, 2012–13[edit]

McDonald playing for Melbourne Victory in 2012

McDonald signed with the Melbourne Victory FC in Australia's W-League (now known as A-League Women) for the 2012–13 season.[13] 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.[14]

Chicago Red Stars and Seattle Reign FC, 2013[edit]

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

In 2013, McDonald signed with the Chicago Red Stars as a free agent for the inaugural season of the NWSL.[15][16][17] During the pre-season, she scored four goals in the second half of a match against St. Edwards University.[18] She made nine appearances for the Red Stars during the regular season, serving one assist, before being waived by the team in June 2013.[19]

On June 28, 2013, it was announced that McDonald had signed with the Seattle Reign FC after being waived by the Red Stars.[19][20] She scored her first goal during her debut appearance for the club in a match against the Boston Breakers on July 3, 2013.[21][22] 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.[23][24] 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.[25]

Portland Thorns, 2014[edit]

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.[26]

Houston Dash, 2015[edit]

McDonald playing for Houston Dash in 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.[27][28] McDonald led the Dash's inaugural season in goals with seven during the 2016 season.[29] She scored the game-winning goal during the team's 1–0 win over her former team the Portland Thorns in May.[30] The Dash finished in fifth place during the regular season with a 6–8–6 record.[31]

Western New York Flash, 2016[edit]

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.[32] 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.[33]

North Carolina Courage, 2017–2021[edit]

It was announced on January 9, 2017, that the Western New York Flash was officially sold to new ownership, moved to North Carolina,[34] 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.[35] In the Semi-final McDonald scored in the 5th minute, which was the fastest 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.[36]

Racing Louisville, 2022–[edit]

On December 17, 2021, shortly before the NWSL draft, Racing Louisville acquired McDonald's playing rights in a three-way trade with the Courage and Angel City FC. Racing sent Savannah McCaskill to Angel City in exchange for the sixth overall pick in the draft plus $25,000 in allocation money, and then traded the pick to the Courage for McDonald.[37] McDonald signed a two-year contract with Racing on January 28, 2022.[38] She scored her first goal for Racing in a 3–2 loss to the Houston Dash in the NWSL Challenge Cup.[39]

Loan to Western United[edit]

In October 2022, McDonald was loaned to Australian A-League Women club Western United on a three-month guest contract for the start of their inaugural season.[40] She made her debut and scored the club's first goal in a 1–0 victory over reigning champions Melbourne Victory in the first round of the season.[41]

International career[edit]

McDonald has represented the United States on several youth national teams including the under-16,[42] under-17,[43] under-20,[44] under-23, and the senior national team squads.[5] In 2007, Jill Ellis named her to the U-20 roster for the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil.[45] The team won silver after being defeated by Brazil's senior national team 5–0 during the final.[46]

2016 – 2018[edit]

She earned her first call up to the senior national team on November 2, 2016,[33] and made her international debut on November 10 against Romania.[47] She was then named to the roster for the 2017 SheBelieves Cup that took place from March 1–7, but she did not appear in any of her teams matches. She was not named to the teams following camp for friendlies against Russia in April.

Following a strong 2018 NWSL season, McDonald was called up to the team in November 2018 for the abroad friendlies vs Portugal and Scotland. She started vs Portugal in Lisbon on November 8, and scored her first international goal, which happened to be the game winner. The 1–0 win gave the senior national team their 500th recorded victory in program history. She appeared as a substitute days later on November 13 in the teams match vs Scotland in Paisley.


In January 2019, McDonald was included in the teams training camp that took place abroad in Algarve, Portugal. She then traveled with the team to France and Spain for two friendlies that took place on January 19 and 22, where she appeared in both matches as a substitute. She was then selected in the teams roster for the 2019 SheBelieves Cup that took place from February 27 – March 5. She scored her second career international goal, via a second half stoppage time header against Belgium on April 7.

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup[edit]

In May 2019, McDonald was named to the final roster of the United States 23-player squad for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.[48] She made one appearance for the team at the tournament, as a half-time substitute in the teams 3–0 group stage win over Chile on June 16. She did not feature in the teams remaining tournament fixtures. She became a World Cup champion on July 7, 2019, following the teams 2–0 win vs Netherlands in Lyon, France.

International goals[edit]

As of February 4, 2020
Key (expand for notes on “international goals” and sorting)
Location Geographic location of the venue where the competition occurred
Sorted by country name first, then by city name
Lineup Start – played entire match
on minute (off player) – substituted on at the minute indicated, and player was substituted off at the same time

off minute (on player) – substituted off at the minute indicated, and player was substituted on at the same time
(c) – captain
Sorted by minutes played

Goal in match Goal of total goals by the player in the match
Sorted by total goals followed by goal number
# NumberOfGoals.goalNumber scored by the player in the match (alternate notation to Goal in match)
Min The minute in the match the goal was scored. For list that include caps, blank indicates played in the match but did not score a goal.
Assist/pass The ball was passed by the player, which assisted in scoring the goal. This column depends on the availability and source of this information.
penalty or pk Goal scored on penalty-kick which was awarded due to foul by opponent. (Goals scored in penalty-shoot-out, at the end of a tied match after extra-time, are not included.)
Score The match score after the goal was scored.
Sorted by goal difference, then by goal scored by the player's team
Result The final score.

Sorted by goal difference in the match, then by goal difference in penalty-shoot-out if it is taken, followed by goal scored by the player's team in the match, then by goal scored in the penalty-shoot-out. For matches with identical final scores, match ending in extra-time without penalty-shoot-out is a tougher match, therefore precede matches that ended in regulation

aet The score at the end of extra-time; the match was tied at the end of 90' regulation
pso Penalty-shoot-out score shown in parenthesis; the match was tied at the end of extra-time
Light-purple background colorexhibition or closed door international friendly match
Light-yellow background color – match at an invitational tournament
Light-orange background color – Olympic women's football qualification match
Light-blue background color – FIFA women's world cup qualification match
Pink background color – Continental Games or regional tournament
Orange background color – Olympic women's football tournament
Blue background color – FIFA women's world cup final tournament
NOTE on background colors: Continental Games or regional tournament are sometimes also qualifier for World Cup or Olympics; information depends on the source such as the player's federation.

NOTE: some keys may not apply for a particular football player

Date Location Opponent Cap Lineup Min Assist/pass Score Result Competition
2018-11-08[49] Lisbon, Portugal  Portugal 2 Start 42' unassisted 1–0 1–0 Friendly
2019-04-07[50] Los Angeles, California  Belgium 7 {{{4}}}.

on 61' (off Pugh)

90+1' Christen Press 6–0 6–0
3 2020-01-31[51] Houston, Texas  Panama 15 Start 72' unassisted



Olympic qualifier: Group A
4 2020-02-04[52] Houston, Texas  Costa Rica 16 Start 77' Sam Mewis



Personal life[edit]

McDonald's husband is Courtney Stuart. She gave birth to a son, Jeremiah, in March 2012.[53][54][55]


Western New York Flash

North Carolina Courage

United States


  • NWSL Best XI: 2016
  • NWSL Second XI: 2014
  • NWSL Championship Game MVP: 2018

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 – List of Players: USA" (PDF). FIFA. July 7, 2019. p. 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 8, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  2. ^ "Jessica McDonald - USWNT - US Womens Soccer Official Site - U.S. Soccer". Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  3. ^ "Jessica McDonald's long, unusual journey to NWSL stardom". FourFourTwo. October 7, 2016. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  4. ^ "McDonald Siblings". US Soccer Federation. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Jessica McDonald". University of North Carolina. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  6. ^ "Field Trip Diary: 1/15/10 from the WPS Draft in Philadelphia". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  7. ^ "Olympic vets Heath, Cheney, picked at top of WPS draft". ESPN. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  8. ^ Goldberg, Jamie (April 29, 2014). "Portland Thorns forward Jessica McDonald came to Portland with something to prove". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  9. ^ "Jess McDonald". Soccer Way. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  10. ^ "WPS's Chicago Red Stars Suspend Operations". SB Nation. December 14, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  11. ^ "Chicago Red Stars Planning to Suspend Operations". Toyota Park. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  12. ^ "Chicago Red Stars history". Archived from the original on February 23, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  13. ^ "American International touches down". Football Federation Victoria. October 24, 2012. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013.
  14. ^ "Players Abroad with Quotes from Nicole Cross, Jessica McDonald and MORE". Our Game Magazine. January 23, 2013. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Red Stars focus scoring efforts on team, not star". Equalizer Soccer. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  17. ^ "Opponents seeing stars: Chicago Red Stars season preview". SB Nation. April 12, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  18. ^ "Red Stars in a Rout". Chicagoland Soccer News. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Seattle Reign FC acquire forward Jessica McDonald". Goal WA. June 28, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  20. ^ "Reign FC Acquire Forward Jessica McDonald". Our Sports Central. June 28, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ "Reign continues unbeaten run". News Tribune. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "Jessica McDonald levels for Seattle". Fox Sports. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  25. ^ "Seattle Reign FC 2013". Soccer Way. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  26. ^ Goldberg, Jamie (May 22, 2015). "Jessica McDonald still puzzled by 'unfair' way she lost starting spot with Portland Thorns". The Oregonian. Portland. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  27. ^ Goldberg, Jamie (January 16, 2015). "Portland Thorns trade Jessica McDonald to the Houston Dash". The Oregonian/OregonLive.
  28. ^ Rasmussen, Randy L. (May 22, 2015). "Jessica McDonald still puzzled by 'unfair' way she lost starting spot with Portland Thorns". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ Blue, Molly (May 24, 2015). "Ex-Thorn Jessica McDonald scores only goal in Portland's 1–0 loss to Houston Dash". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  31. ^ "2015 NWSL". Soccer Way. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  32. ^ "Flash Acquire Forward Jessica McDonald". Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  33. ^ a b "McDonald, Menges Replace Hinkle, Klingenberg on U.S. Roster for November Romania Friendlies". Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  34. ^ "North Carolina Courage joining NWSL signals long-term ambition for young league | FOX Sports". FOX Sports. January 10, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  35. ^ "NC COURAGE BREAK MULTIPLE NWSL RECORDS IN 5–0 WIN OVER HOUSTON DASH". September 8, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  36. ^ "Courage cap off record-setting season with NWSL Championship win". September 22, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  37. ^ "Racing Lands World Cup Winner McDonald on Busy Pre-Draft Trade Day" (Press release). Racing Louisville FC. December 17, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  38. ^ "Racing Makes It Official, Signing Veteran Forward McDonald" (Press release). Racing Louisville FC. January 28, 2022. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  39. ^ "Davis, McDonald score, but Dash's second half flurry defeats Racing". Racing Louisville. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  40. ^ Chadwick, Justin (October 19, 2022). "World Cup winner Jessica McDonald to play for Western United in A-League Women". Stuff.
  41. ^ "Western United stun reigning champions Melbourne Victory in A-League Women debut". ABC News. November 19, 2022.
  42. ^ "Sereno Accomplishments". Serreno Soccer Club. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  43. ^ "Thorns FC acquire forward Jessica McDonald, rights to defender Rebecca Moros from Seattle in exchange for Danielle Foxhoven". Portland Thorns. November 27, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  44. ^ "U.S. under-20 women's national team roster". Soccer America. June 17, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  45. ^ "Ellis names 18-players to U.S. Roster for Pan-American Games". U.S. Soccer Federation. July 6, 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  46. ^ "U-20 WNT Fall in Pan-Am Final to Full Brazilian National Team". U.S. Soccer Federation. July 26, 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  47. ^ Lee, Allison (November 11, 2016). "Christen Press hat trick lifts USWNT over Romania, 8–1". Once A Metro. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  48. ^ "MEET THE USA'S 2019 FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP TEAM". May 2, 2019.
  49. ^ "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.
  50. ^ "Lloyd Brace Powers USA Past Belgium 6–0 in front of 20,941 Fans in LA". U.S. Soccer. April 7, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  51. ^ "USWNT Defeats Panama 8–0 to Advance to Semifinal Round of 2020 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying". U.S. Soccer. January 31, 2020.
  52. ^ "U.S. Women's National Team Defeats Costa Rica 6–0 to win Group A at 2020 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying". U.S. Soccer. February 3, 2020.
  53. ^ "The Lowdown: McDonald looks to inspire son – Equalizer Soccer".
  54. ^ "'Soccer Mom' Jess McDonald flourishing for Flash".
  55. ^ "It Hasn't Gotten Any Easier to Be a Soccer Mom in the NWSL". May 12, 2017.
  56. ^ Rosenblatt, Kalhan (July 7, 2019). "U.S. women's soccer team wins 2019 World Cup over the Netherlands in 2-0 final". NBC News. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  57. ^ "U.S. Women's National Team Wins 2020 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament with 3–0 Victory Over Canada". U.S. Soccer. February 9, 2020.
  58. ^ "USA Wins 2020 SheBelieves Cup With 3–1 Victory vs. Japan". U.S. Soccer. March 11, 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Grainey, Timothy (2012), Beyond Bend It Like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer, University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0803240368
  • Stewart, Barbara (2012), Women's Soccer: The Passionate Game, Greystone Books, ISBN 1926812603

External links[edit]