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Jess McDonald – We want to be one of the hardest teams to play

Jessica McDonald Western United

Western United attacker Jessica McDonald is gearing up for her return to the Liberty A-League Women for the first time in 10 years, and this time she has some clear expectations.

The American star said the inaugural squad is pledging to be one of the most feared teams in the competition in its first season.

“We want to make it very difficult for every team to try and beat us. That’s one of our goals, we want to be one of the hardest teams to play against,” she said.

McDonald said the team is raring to go for Saturday’s Round 1 blockbuster against Melbourne Victory, with the “underdog mentality” driving the group forward.

A lot has happened in McDonald’s career since she played for Victory 10 years ago. She has gone on to become a FIFA World Cup winner with the United States and etch her name into history, becoming the leading assist maker (32) in the National Women’s Soccer League, and the fourth most prolific goal scorer (54) in the competition’s history.

Now with all of that experience under her belt, McDonald is ready to return to Australian football and admits Victory being the first opponent makes for a special moment.

“My experience playing in the A-League 10 years ago was definitely one for the books, because I was in a different situation in my life. I’d just become a mum and I’d just come back from a major knee injury,” she said.

“Now that I have my career set in stone, it’s nice to come back and know what to expect of myself and expect of the league.

“It’s just a cherry on top that the first game of the season happens to be against Melbourne Victory. It doesn’t get any better than that at the end of the day.”

McDonald has been named part of Western United’s inaugural Liberty A-League leadership group, joining Tyla Jay Vlajnic in support vice-captains Chloe Logarzo and Hillary Beall, and Jaclyn Sawicki as captain.

READ MORE: Jaclyn Sawicki named Western United’s inaugural A-League Women captain

At 34 years of age and having achieved just about everything in the game, McDonald is excited to be able to use her experience and her leadership position to help lead a young, fresh group of players.

“Being a pro is nerve wracking, especially when you’re a young player playing your first game. With my leadership presence, I’m just hoping I can bring the best out of everyone,” she said.

“It’s actually a very fun role for me to play because of what I can bring to the table as a footballer, as a leader, and someone that my teammates can look up to.”

McDonald will walk out alongside her new teammates at City Vista Pavilion and Sports Field in search of a famous result in the Club’s first ever Liberty A-League match.

Don’t miss your chance to witness history. Be there to support the girls in Green and Black in Round 1. Get your tickets now, or purchase at the gate before the match.