Dominant American World Cup-winning striker Jessica McDonald will light up the Liberty A-League Women after signing a guest contract with Western United’s inaugural women’s outfit.
McDonald will spend three months in Green and Black, arriving at the beginning of November and playing until the end of January, meaning she will be available for nine matches with the team before returning to America, where she currently plays for Racing Louisville.
The 34-year-old arrives with world-class pedigree, being a FIFA Women’s World Cup champion with the United States in 2019. In total, she has registered four goals and two assists in 19 matches for her country.
McDonald will be returning to Victoria after playing for Melbourne Victory some nine years ago, and is eager to return to her old surroundings.
“I am super stoked to have another opportunity to play in Australia,” she said.
“It’s always a great opportunity as an athlete to test your soccer knowledge and continue to learn in different ways, adjusting to the game how it’s played elsewhere.
“Hopefully I can help another program succeed with what I can bring to the table.”
In 2017, McDonald netted her 33rd goal in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) to become the top goal scorer in the history of the competition at the time.
Now with 54 goals to her name, McDonald remains fourth on the all-time list and boasts the most assists by an individual player in the NWSL with 32.
Between 2016 and 2019, McDonald won three NWSL Shields for the best regular season record, and three NWSL Championships with the North Carolina Courage organisation – known as Western New York Flash in 2016.
Those team successes included a particularly outstanding 2018 season for McDonald, where she led the league with eight assists, added seven goals and won the Championship MVP after netting a brace in the final against Portland Thorns.
McDonald also scored seven goals in 13 matches on the way to the W-League Grand Final with Victory in 2013, netting the winning penalty in a semi-final shootout against Perth Glory.
Western United Head Coach Mark Torcaso was a goalkeeper coach at Victory at the time and is eager to work with McDonald again.
“Jess is a phenomenal player and this is such a fantastic signing. I’m so thankful for all of the work the Club has put in to secure her signature,” he said.
“With our previous relationship at Victory, it’s an easy fit for us both.
“Her records and achievements speak for themselves, she’s achieved the highest highs in the game and will bring that confidence and experience to the changeroom and to the pitch.
“Our fans are going to be amazed when they see her in action and I can’t wait to see the buzz that she will create while she’s here.”
McDonald will arrive in Melbourne at the beginning of November and will be ready to go for Western United’s blockbuster Round 1 clash against Melbourne Victory on Saturday November 19.