58: Jess McDonald

McDonald had a superb year on a personal level, forming a deadly partnership with Lynn Williams as North Carolina Courage comfortably led the NWSL from start to finish. Ten league goals – added to eight assists – included several last-minute winners. But she saved her best contributions for last, scoring in the play-off semi-final against Chicago and twice against defending champions Portland Thorns in the final. She then scored her first goal for USA, against Portugal, ensuring the perfect end to 2018 for a player who is really showing her quality.

Paul Riley, North Carolina Courage manager:

“Jess knows how to manipulate space. Pacey, athletic, physical specimen whose competitive spirit sets her apart. Excellent off the ball and not many know how to time their runs better than Jess. She continues to evolve her game and grow into a top forward.”

 

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